Science Gets Personal

Jessica Pikul writes:

I am a Chemistry PhD student at University of Washington. My research is in bioinorganic chemistry, specifically modeling non-heme iron-sulfur metalloenzymes. I am also a Celiac (autoimmune disorder triggered by ingesting gluten). The tattoo on my leg is one of the segments of the gluten protein that I can not digest. The ball and stick molecule is of a Proline-Serine-Glutamine-Glutamine peptide that I can’t break down which then stimulates T-cells to start the fun chain reaction that ends in my small intestine villi being attacked by antibodies. The background to the molecule is an artsy spacescape. I chose this to speak to the universality of the physical laws that govern the microscopic and macroscopic, an idea that has kept me excited about chemistry and in the lab to this day (and hopefully longer).

Jessica’s picture is just one of several remarkable images I got just today. You can see them, along with all the others, on my new Flickr account. (Sorry, Picasa.) The home for the set, with comments, is here. And you can subscribe to an RSS feed of sciencetattoo tagged images here, to keep up with the collection’s additions.

Update: Tip for my fellow Flickr novices: you can see a slide show here. Click the “i” to show the captions.