Various Lies

Friday, January 6, 2012

Crowd Sourcing Ink

There are many changes on the horizon; some before, some aft. The biggest of them I think will be the birth of my son sometime in late February or early March. In true punk-dad tradition I'm getting a tattoo to commemorate this event. However, exactly what to get...therein lies the rub...

I have a few tattoos already...a tribal design on my left  shoulder, and a skull on my left  biceps. My right shoulder has an astrological/zodiacal design on it. My right shoulder blade bears a bulldog, and I need to get the matching one done on my left. My right ribcage has large Kali that needs colouring and shading finally.

So, what to do next...the bulldog, the colouring for Kali? I want to finish my left biceps into a full half-sleeve, and perhaps my son's name or motif...his avatar can be built into that?

Originally I thought to go DeepGeek and use the single letter protein code to spell his name. Alas, unless I can get back in the lab and discover a novel protein and have it accepted with the letter O as its single letter designation, that plan is foiled from the start...and with a protein represented by the letter B, I can't even use just his initials either.

I'm inspired by the folks featured in Carl Zimmer's book "Science Ink". I've been looking at the photos online (not yet owning my own copy). Indeed, I saw that the Science Online Conference this year actually includes a trip to an awesome looking tattoo studio and will feature some of the attendees getting permanently inked! Zimmer finally reaches cult like status! To any attendees reading this who are getting inked for the first time, don't worry too much. It only really really hurts like absolute fuck for the entire time you're under the needle. Some areas are worse than others. My rib cage tattoo hurt so much i got a migraine, and for the skull on my left biceps, I nearly vomited with pain when he started to colour the inside of my arm.

It's like someone carving into your skin with a razorblade. Really slowly, with a lot of pressure.

You'll love it.

And have a few drinks afterwards - the endorphin rush is fucking unreal!

 

Anyway...I feel strongly that I want something to commemorate my PhD - i used molecular genetic techniques to dissect the function of voltage-gated calcium channels in synaptic transmission using <i>Drosophila melanogaster</i>. Among other things I discovered a novel RNA editing sequence intragenic to the gene we were looking at. That gave a pretty cool chromotograph I could have transcribed somewhere. Or, of course, if I had the money (and patience) a full detailed scanning electron micrograph of a fly head! The tenth anniversary of my defence and graduation is next summer, so I'm saving this up for then.

F1.medium

(credit - J Endocrinology, 191(1) 2006)

For now...well, seeing as there is no O in the protein code, I'm stuck. Hivemind - what thoughts do you have? What has inspired yours (wether or not you actually got it done; many think about it but fewer actually do it).

6 comments:

Dr. AnnMaria said...

I have no tattoos. My friend, who has a daughter nicknamed Kitty has a tattoo of a kitten. It's quite nice. She said, "Never get a name or image for anyone other than your children because no matter what, you will love your children all your life. You can't say that about anyone else except your mom."

Good advice. Do you have a nickname for your son? If so, get that.

Other than that, I like bulldogs. My daughter has a friend whose nickname is Pitbull, so you can always TELL your son it was for him.

Anonymous said...

O is an amino acid in bacteria... ^^ a derivative of a human one... not sure you'd want to use a bacterial aa for your son's name though?

Ian Brooks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tideliar said...

Dr. AnnMaria - he isnt due for a few weeks so no nickname yet...although a friend of mine is trying call him B-Lo. I think not... Maybe an animal avatar though...

Nonymouse - oh, i didnt know that! Thanks, but you're right about bacterial proteins LOL

Nico said...

How about a tattoo of DNA recombination? After all that's what your son is (I called mine "the experiment" for a while)...

tideliar said...

That's a nice idea Nico. However (there's always a but, right?), what, or indeed whose, DNA? If I could sequence a pertinent gene in me and Mrs. T then I could use that. But I'm feeling ultra-specific....

Food for thought though, cheers!