Sunday, November 27, 2011

Scientists and Tattoos

Prof Datta's  Love Tattoo
A surprising number of scientists have tattoos hidden under their lab coats and these tattoos are examples of their cool geekiness.   Prof Sandeep Robert Datta has a tattoo of a twisting ladder of DNA.  The DNA message spells out the initials of his wife, Eliza Emond Edelsberg.  True love manifested through amino acids that are the building blocks of protein!!!  
Science journalist, Carl Zimmer, posted a blog at Discover Magazine and asked scientists if a tattoo like this was a trend.  Without trying, he became the curator of tattoos and a scholar of science ink.  He found out that many scientist sport tattoos of carbon atoms, DNA, ancient fish, embryos...just about anything that interests them and is meaningful.  He has published a book called Science Ink.

Body ink has been around for thousands of years.  Two hikers climbing the Austrian Alps discovered the freeze-dried body of a 5,300-year-old hunter whose skin was preserved in the ice.  He had tattoos made from fireplace ash rubbed into incisions on his skin.  Ancient Greeks used tattoos as a method of secret identification and communication between spies.  In ancient Asia, tattoos were used to signify rankings in life and tattooing has been among the Polynesian culture for over a thousand years.

Most people who get tattoos find designs that are meaningful or mark a certain passage in life.  I often hear of mothers and daughters getting tattoos together and I find that really charming.  I guess it is no surprise that scientists would use tattoos to signify their work and what is important to them also.


gradydoctor said...

Ha! I have two -- one Pre-MD and one post-MD. (But no DNA!)

Solitary Diner said...

I have no tattoos myself, but one of my friends has a calculus equation tattooed to her foot.

Rifas said...

the last picture very uncommon for me, how about add a full periodic table ? :D :jk

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paula said...

funny i like this but my tatoos are much better

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