Itchy for Ink

i-0c438b3e76badb52e3ad6bce3699ccca-tattooistset.jpg December 13 is my birthday! Yippee, you say, how old am I? Old enough to not say... I will shamelessly mention the Amazon wish list linked from my contact page, and remind you that Omni Brain has a tip jar in the sidebar (shared with Steve). But I'm not desperate for anything and there are plenty of deserving charities who need your money (I recommend UNIFEM). I'm thankful they are helping people in a more direct way than I can.

Anyway. I'm celebrating aging with a new tattoo, and am very excited about it! I've been interested in intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs). These cells are sensitive to light but nonvisual, connect directly to the lateral geniculate nucleus and express melanopsin, which helps regulate chronobiology. They were only discovered a few years back. Bora could tell you a lot more about them, but here's a good overview from Brown that includes a sound recording.

Another article: Melanopsin-expressing ganglion cells in primate retina signal colour and irradiance and project to the LGN., Dennis et al., Letter to Nature, 2004. A drawing in Figure 3 is what I'm getting inked on my shoulder.

Hey, it was either that or Hello Kitty.

More like this

Since you've all been clamouring to see it, here's my new tattoo, and a video clip of the work in progress. It's an intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cell, my favourite type of neuron. The artist was Gordon at Brain Drops, highly recommended. :) Enjoy your holidays!
There are 14 new articles in PLoS ONE today. As always, you should rate the articles, post notes and comments and send trackbacks when you blog about the papers. You can now also easily place articles on various social services (CiteULike, Connotea, Stumbleupon, Facebook and Digg) with just one…
Looking outside my window, across the snow-cover vista otherwise known as Ann Arbor, it amazes me that anything can live (or, even thrive) in such a frozen environment. Since I was a kid I was fascinated with animals, such as the snowshoe hare, that can change the color of their fur from brown in…
There are 10 new articles in PLoS ONE this week. As always, you should rate the articles, post notes and comments and send trackbacks when you blog about the papers. Here are my own picks for the week - you go and look for your own favourites: Targeted Destruction of Photosensitive Retinal…