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Articles on Tattoos

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In the not-too-distant future, tattoos could become medical diagnostic devices as well as body art. LightFieldStudios/iStock via Getty Images

Dynamic tattoos promise to warn wearers of health threats

Researchers are developing tattoo inks that do more than make pretty colors. Some can sense chemicals, temperature and UV radiation, setting the stage for tattoos that diagnose health problems.
Image from ‘Criminal man, according to the classification of Cesare Lombroso’ (1911). Internetarchivebookimages/Flickr

How tattoos became fashionable in Victorian England

We may think tattooing is a modern phenomenon, but the reasons for its popularity are not dissimilar to those seen in the prisons and convict ships of the Victorian era.
A schoolteacher in the midst of receiving a full pe'a, the traditional Samoan tattoo generally worn by males. Christopher Lynn

Untangling tattoos’ influence on immune response

An anthropologist works in American Samoa, taking advantage of the island's longstanding tattoo culture to tease out the effects tattoos have on the body's immune function.
Necklaces and earrings in traditional Kenyan cultures denote messages about marriage and childbearing. from www.shutterstock.com

How ‘bling’ makes us human

Why is jewellery so important to the story of human evolution? Because it provides a public message – even to people we don't know.
About one in four people regrets having tattoos. From www.shuttertock.com

Tattoo regret: Can you make it go away?

Tattoos often seem like a good idea in the moment, but tattoo regret is common. There is good reason, not the least of which is infection.
Think twice before copying Tyson’s tattoo. Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

Who owns your tattoo? Maybe not you

Copyright and trademark law mean that the body art inked into your skin may leave you open to an infringement lawsuit.

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