Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Biologist 4 Obama Buttons

My friend Tina came up with clever customized buttons for biology-loving Obama supporters to show their pride.





If you're interested in your own Obama RNA and protein buttons, you can reach Tina at warinner@fas.harvard.edu.

Here's what she wrote about how the buttons came to be, what it all means, and how to eat like a true Obama supporter:

After hearing [a biologist friend and Obama supporter] recite YESWECAN YESWECAN YESWECAN about a thousand times, I realized that all the letters in the slogan are single letter abbreviations for amino acids. A few hours later and with the help of Photoshop, Illustrator, and Biodesigner, the YESWECAN biomolecular buttons were born! Now you can sport a button with Obama wielding his very own YESWECAN protein or shouting out his YESWECAN slogan in RNA code. For those of you who are a bit rusty on your college molecular biology, here’s how it works:
The genetics and proteomics of “YES WE CAN”

Single letter amino acid abbreviation:
Y,E,S,W,E,C,A,N

Triple letter amino acid abbreviation:
Tyr, Glu, Ser, Trp, Glu, Cys, Ala, Asn,

Amino Acid:
Tyrosine, Glutamic acid, Serine, Tryptophan, Glutamic acid, Cystein, Alanine, Aspartic acid

RNA code:
UAU, GAA, UCU, UGG, GAA, UGU, GCU, AAU

If you’d like to know how you can eat a healthy dose of all of the YESWECAN amino acids in your diet, you should try beans, which contain moderate to high levels of all the amino acids above. As a side note, beans are truly an all-American food and more American than apple pie. Unlike apples, which were brought over by Europeans in the 16th century, the common bean, Phaseolus vulgaris, was domesticated in the Americas around 2000 B.C., and has since been cultivated into dozens of tasty varieties. So, the next time you’re at a barbecue, help yourself to an extra spoonful of baked beans, sit back as you digest the proteins into YESWECAN amino acids, and sport your YESWECAN button proudly!

About the creator:
Tina Warinner is an anthropology Ph.D. student at Harvard University where she researches ancient Mesoamerican diet and disease. Her dissertation is on the isotopic and genetic diversity of an early colonial town in Oaxaca, Mexico and its relationship to evangelization and the slave trade.

And there are more buttons where these came from. Tina also has an infectious disease line (bubonic plague, measles, smallpox, etc), a mythical animal genetics line (yeti, big foot, etc.), and a hodgepodge of gay buttons ("Judith Butler made me queer," etc.).

1 comment:

Tom said...

(YES! WE! CAN!)^1000