Rendering Vitality [Science Tattoo]

By Carl Zimmer | May 16, 2010 8:44 pm

hemoglobincrop220David writes, “My tattoos each mark–although in rather oblique and coded ways–life events, or at least transitions that are important to me (several are a rebus for my 1999 dissertation in post-structuralist political philosophy). This 10th tattoo, of Hemoglobin A, perhaps requires less decoding than many. Over the last couple years, I have had the opportunity to work with some amazing people, on the computer science side of things, who have built the world’s fastest supercomputer–called Anton, after so-called ‘father of microbiology’ Antonie van Leeuwenhoek–which is highly specialized for computing molecular dynamics. As a gesture to this opportunity, I commemorate it with a molecular rendering (of the PDB chemical 2W6V, using VMD and the NewCartoon rendering style) of the sort that the chemist who do the actual MD often look at. Of course, Hemoglobin is a well-known molecule to laypersons, and it is one that is easy enough to give a metaphorical or mimetic sense to; the molecule is inscribed above my heart, whose function is largely to pump around oxygen-carrying Hemoglobin (hence giving my body life, vitality, energy, etc).”

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Science Tattoo Emporium

Comments (4)

  1. CoffeeCupContrails
  2. Andrew Dalke

    As one of the original authors of VMD, I am touched and honored.


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The Loom

A blog about life, past and future. Written by DISCOVER contributing editor and columnist Carl Zimmer.

About Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer writes about science regularly for The New York Times and magazines such as DISCOVER, which also hosts his blog, The LoomHe is the author of 12 books, the most recent of which is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.


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