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.

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