Genetic groove: Your DNA profile as a unique song

The IDNAtity app translates your genetic markers into a unique theme song.

IDNAtity screenshot
My cat's DNA song profile. Screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

I've always wanted to have my very own theme song, like a hero in a movie. Now, I do. I just used IDNAtity, an iOS app that mixes a little science with art. It takes information about your genetic makeup, assigns you a genetic code, and then translates that code into musical notes to form a song.

You start by uploading a photo of yourself into the app. Then, you answer a few questions about your hair color, eye color, and whether you have dimples (I don't) and can roll your tongue (I can't). The app does the rest, creating a song you can listen to and share.

It turns out my genetics make for a somewhat discordant song. There's no way this will ever be a chart-topper, yet I still manage to get it stuck in my head.

You can play back your personalized song using a variety of instrument options ranging from steel drums to bird tweets. My favorite is called "Orchestra Hit." It makes my DNA music sound like a theme song for Darth Vader.

I gave the app a whirl (per the developer's suggestion) with Dashiell, a CNET test cat, as the subject. I had to fudge a little on the hair color, because "born gray" wasn't an option, but the result was a much more dramatic piece than my genetic code had generated.

This 99-cent app is in no way a substitute for an actual DNA test, but it's a fun starting point for getting into the concept of genetics. Plus, my cat and I now have personal theme songs. We'll be ready if anybody wants to make a biopic about us.

Genetic questions
IDNAtity has you answer some basic questions about your looks. Screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

About the author

Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET's Crave blog. When not wallowing in weird gadgets and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.

 

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