kottke.org posts about tattoos
People who are struck by lightning are sometimes left with tattoo-like markings called Lichtenberg figures or lightning flowers. This guy was out tending to his garden when he was struck and left tattooed, Potter-like.
Using a modified iPhone and a fluorescing nanoparticle tattoo, researchers at Northeastern University have found a way to monitor chemicals in the blood without drawing blood.
The team begins by injecting a solution containing carefully chosen nanoparticles into the skin. This leaves no visible mark, but the nanoparticles will fluoresce when exposed to a target molecule, such as sodium or glucose. A modified iPhone then tracks changes in the level of fluorescence, which indicates the amount of sodium or glucose present. Clark presented this work at the BioMethods Boston conference at Harvard Medical School last week.
The tattoos were originally designed as a way around the finger-prick bloodletting that is the standard technique for measuring glucose levels in those with diabetes. But Clark says they could be used to track many things besides glucose and sodium, offering a simpler, less painful, and more accurate way for many people to track many important biomarkers.
Tattly is selling "designy, cool, typographic" temporary tattoos from designers including Frank Chimero, Jessica Hische, and Chris Glass.
More about Tattly at Swissmiss:
After applying many bad-clip-art tattoos on my daughter Ella, I decided to stop complaining and take matters into my own hands. I was ready to put designy, cool, typographic tattoos on my daughter, or myself for that matter. The idea for Tattly was born.
Tattoos for blind people can be made by placing implants under the skin to create embossed text on the skin.
Update: Somewhat related is braille graffiti. (thx, jake)
Infrared photography of some NBA players. In the photos, the uniforms are almost completely white and tattoos "pop" quite a bit, particularly on some of the more darker skinned players. (via th)
Barcode tattoos + mobile phones with cameras = business card (or, say, a list of your sexual preferences) on your arm.
Tattoo copyrights and lawsuits. David Beckham is being threatened with a lawsuit by his tattooist should he and his wife "go ahead with a promotional campaign highlighting their body art".