Ferrous Wheel

Creating a T-shirt- design your very own t-shirt

The Story Behind the Story-

I love puns, inside jokes and chemistry. This is a T-shirt that I would wear with pride, extremely nerdy pride. This past semester in biochemistry, we discussed a large number of co-factors, more commonly known as vitamins. These are the functional portions of enzymes, the proteins that carry out all of our metabolic reactions. One of the enzymes we discussed, Aconitase, a key component of cellular respiration during the Tricarboxylic acid Cycle (Krebs Cycle).

Aconitase is responsible for the hydration and subsequent dehydration of citric acid to produce iso-citrate, an intermediate of the cycle. Aconitase has a unique iron-sulfur cluster at the center of its active site that is able to coordinate the substrate of its chemical reaction, positioning it precisely so that the resultant product has a specific form of stereochemistry (the way the atoms of the molecule are positioned around each other.)
Prior to the discover of the iron-sulfur cluster, it was believed that aconitase functioned through a ring of iron atoms coordinated with some electronegative non-metal like oxygen or sulfur, this theorized structure was dubbed the “Ferrous Wheel” given that Iron with two valance electrons is named a ferrous atom. This proposed structure was eventually disproved, however I have always thought it would make for an excellent t-shirt. It would only make sense to a chemist or biochemist, so I chose not to include any text so as to make the joke somewhat exclusive. I have been planning to create this shirt for several months, so this project was a perfect choice for me.

The Tutorial-

To make this t-shirt, I used the CustomInk design lab program. CustomInk is a relatively new company that makes custom t-shirts. The tool was incredibly easy to use. I simply uploaded the photo I wanted to use, and then began using the tools of the site to reposition the image on the shirt. I also took advantage of the many style and color options available on the site.