Celebrate MRNA Vaccine With This Badge That Blinks The Nucleotide Code

mRNA badge next to an image of the actual Moderna vaccine nanoparticle.

To celebrate getting his second vaccine dose [Paul Klinger] combined two of our favorite things — blinking lights and wearable tech — to create an awesome mRNA vaccine badge.

The badge, which is designed to be worn like a pendant, will slowly blink through all 4,000 nucleotides of the Moderna vaccine over the course of 10 minutes. Watch the video after the break to see it in action. Don’t worry if you got the Pfizer vaccine, you can use the interface button on the back of the badge to change over to Pfizer’s mRNA sequence instead. There’s even a handy legend on the badge, identifying the lipids in case your microbiology skills are a bit rusty.

On the reverse side of the board, you will find a handful of current limiting resistors, a CR2032 battery holder, and the ATtiny1617 microcontroller that runs everything. To assist in converting the mRNA sequence into LED pulses, [Paul] wrote a Python script that will automatically import the nucleotide string from the standard .fasta file and store each nucleotide in just 2 bits, allowing the entire sequence to fit in the program memory of the microcontroller.

This isn’t [Paul’s] first RNA-related project; he originally developed the aforementioned Python script to compress the entirety of the COVID-19 sequence, containing over 30,000 nucleotides, into program memory for his Virus Blinky project, that we featured last year.

[via r/electronics]

21 thoughts on “Celebrate MRNA Vaccine With This Badge That Blinks The Nucleotide Code

  1. i understand that this is pointless but it happens to be an example of awful UI. the color corresponds to the position on the “chain”, which is completely non-representative. multi-color LEDs should be used, and it should scroll across the genome so you can understand that it’s sequential information

    1. True, canΒ΄t understand why he did not use one color per nucleotide as well as a nice scrolling animation. The result is non-intuitive and quite deceiving.
      +1 for the silkscreen, though.

    1. Came for the 5G comments. Left satisfied.

      However, I have to say that although I’ve had the vaccine I live in a rural area where we don’t have 5G (although nobody burned down our 3G tower yet just in case) so I feel a bit cheated. My cellphone reception is still pretty poor, and I haven’t experienced any increase in download speed.

  2. Author should have known this would be polarizing being that close to half the population has a positive or negative view on the mRNA situation.

    How about we keep politics off of hack-a-day?

    1. There’s nothing political about this, just some conspiracy fans raiding the comments. A US poll says 77% plan to be vaccinated or are already, 18% refuse to, so nowhere near 50/50.
      HaD does articles about the moon landings, even though millions deny they ever happened. There’s no sense moderating content to appease the conspiracy crowd.

      Now go find an article about leaded solder or nuclear power and read the comments. Those are the real polarizing articles.

      1. Quite the opposite. We’re kinda pro-science, pro-modern-medicine, and pro-reality around these parts.

        I know it doesn’t seem like it know, but the mRNA vaccine development technique is new and powerful, and some ridiculous fraction of the world’s scientists have swapped over to COVID-related research projects over the last two years.

        These couple years will be looked back on from the future as the turning point in our species’ long relationship with virii. Please come back and comment on this thread in 2031.

      1. I got vaccinated, and got a sore arm for a couple days. Stretching helped. My wife got a crappy fever for an afternoon.

        It’s nice to be able to sit out in a biergarten on a sunny day without (excessive) worry about catching a horrible disease.

        And I will admit that the side effect of being able to communicate telepathically with iguanas is kinda cool.

    1. I’m accinated and don’t have to worry about dying in an ICU now, thanks.

      The world is not out to get you! Quit playing the victim, get your head on straight and think for yourself.

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