Jordan writes: “My tattoo is of the ‘glider’ formation from John Conway’s Game of Life. As a History of Science student I love this geometric arrangement and its promise of self-contained (not viral) reproduction, and travel.”Carl: For more on Conway’s primordial artificial life, see here.
“I am an immunologist, and a second-generation biologist; my mother was a cell biologist (she passed away from brain cancer, which influenced my choice of career). I find DNA to be elegant; the code is so simple, and yet capable of enormous complexity. So I had my artist make a stylized DNA double-helix for me. The two double-stranded breaks don’t bother me; adaptive immune cells have those as part of normal development. 😉 “
Sandra writes, “My tattoo is an intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cell, my favourite type of neuron. Only discovered a few years ago, it detects light without vision and communicates directly to a part of the brain (the suprachiasmatic nucleus) that helps control circadian rhythms.”
Chad writes, “Based on Huxley’s Man’s Place in Nature.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Ape_skeletons.png
“I teach English at a community college in Kansas City. My tattoo is attached. You might wonder why I am sending a tattoo of a sailing ship to you. That’s not just any ship: it is the Beagle, in a famous image as it anchored off of the Galapagos. Darwin has long been one of my main intellectual heroes. In addition, I do teach science (evolution and climate change at various times) in writing classes because the “debates” about each represent much that is wrong with public discourse today and because we have a theme of informed citizenship in those classes; it is impossible to be an informed citizen without some understanding of what science is and how it works. For both of those reasons, teaching science in college writing classes is both relevant and very interesting”
Troy writes that he got his tattoo “as a post-doctoral fellow studying protein folding. The tattoo is sort of a telescoping view of the contents in a cell (many contents omitted, obviously). This came about from a very vague idea of something I wanted, and the artist (Chris Adamek, Immortal Ink, Clinton, NJ) really ran with it. He has no scientific training but came up with some really amazing artwork. He was so enthusiastic and wanted to know all about what it all meant and how it works. I enjoyed the experience of sitting with him for three days as much as I enjoy the result. The DNA doesn’t code for anything (at least not intentionally).”
Amy writes, “I am a marine biologist and I find jellyfish intriguing. I just thought a jellyfish would make a cool marine bio tattoo.”
Robin writes, “I recently graduated from Bard College. My senior thesis in biology used zebrafish as a model organism, and in honor of this and the three previous years I spent working with this animal, I got a tattoo of one. He’s a male, as one can tell by the all green fins and the slim belly.”
Tony writes, “While my hobby lies with spiders (mainly theraphosids) and other arachnids, scorpions also have some attraction for me as well. When I found a tattoo ink that fluoresces under blacklight like a scorpion does, well it seemed to make for a perfect tattoo!”
“I am not a scientist, but I am an oil painter and illustrator in awe of science. My work can be seen on the Scienceblog, Of Two Minds as well as the online ‘zine The Eloquent Atheist. My blog is called The Flying Trilobite, and I paint fanciful and surreal images inspired by the discoveries in biology and evolutionary history. Unreal trilobites with insect or bat wings have been a part of my work for over 12 years now and I have painted some of them on pieces of shale, as in this interview with Virginia Hughes. Yesterday I got this tattoo on my arm.”
Carl: Why so many trilobites?