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Thursday, September 6, 2007
Celiac Tattoo
I got a Google Alert today and found this article on Wired Science. The article, by Carl Zimmer, is called "The Coolest Science Tattoos" and I found the gluten protein tattoo to be amusing and extremely dedicated. Hey, if this is going to spread the word about Celiac, then so be it.


© All rights reserved. From Carl Zimmer's Flickr Photostream

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).

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11 Comments:

Anonymous DavidF said...

I had a feeling you'd be all over this one!

Anonymous Melissa said...

Hi Erin -- I found you through the GF Feed and really enjoyed the "coolest science tattoo" piece. Yes, she's very dedicated. Thanks for posting it. It's always nice to insert a little "fun" into this whole celiac thing. No need to be so serious all the time. :-)
Melissa

Blogger Erin S. said...

David, do you know me that well already? ;-)

Hi Melissa. Welcome to my blog! I look forward to reading yours as well.

Blogger Allergic Girl said...

wow that is some SERIOUS dedication!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So I take it, tattoos are gluten-free? Heh. No, I'm not kidding - since it's in lipsticks, cosmetics, stucco, wall paper glue, maybe envelopes, etc.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if I can have a tattoo if I have celiac disease.
Please, let me know.

Carla

Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes of course,i have celiacs,and i am covered...but i have allergy reactions to some inks w gluten fillers,no big deal tho

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have celiac and a tattoo too. The only thing that had bothered me was the cream and the "tattoo goo". In the future I plan on getting another. Is there a cream I can use that is gluten-free?

Seth

Anonymous Wes said...

Are black tattoo inks gluten free.

Anonymous shady lady said...

I have celiac and Im a tattoo artist. I cant use tattoo goo either, its the wheat germ oil. But there are planty of natural healing salves that work great. The simplest is A&D used very sparingly, just enough to make your skin shiny... but if you want to go more natural you can use calendula salve, pure coconut oil, or my favorite, pure shea butter. Just dont plaster it on, always use a teeny tiny bit and apply often. Good luck with your atattoo and your celiac!

Anonymous shady lady said...

Black ink is mainly carbon, probably in a glycerin vehicle, but all the different manufactureres have different formulas. Most of them will make their ingredients available to you if you are persistent. When you look at the ingredients list you will find a lot of hard to decipher chemical compounds and weird numbery things listed, so unless you have a background in chemistry, good luck! Black is one of the more straightforward inks. I have celiac and have never had a problem with black. Just make sure your tattooist is using ink manufactured and bottled in the U.S., where everything is regulated. Have fun getting a tattoo!

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