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Translator: Joseph Geni Reviewer: Joanna Pietrulewicz
I'd like to introduce you to an interesting person named Ötzi.
He lives in Italy
at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology
because he's a mummy.
This is an artist's rendition of what he might have looked like
when he was alive 5,300 years ago.
You want to see what he looks like today?
OK, brace yourselves, gross mummy pic coming at you.
So, he's not as handsome as he used to be,
but he's actually in great shape for a mummy
because he was discovered frozen in ice.
Ötzi is the oldest mummy that's been discovered with preserved skin.
5,300 years is super old,
older than the Egyptian pyramids,
and Ötzi's skin is covered in 61 black tattoos,
all lines and crosses on parts of his body
where he might have experienced pain.
So scientists think that they might have been used
to mark sites for some kind of therapy,
like acupuncture.
So clearly, if the oldest skin we've seen
is all tattooed up,
tattooing is a very ancient practice.
But fast-forward to today and tattoos are everywhere.
Almost one in four Americans has a tattoo,
it's a multibillion-dollar industry,
and whether you love tattoos or hate them,
this talk will change the way you think about them.
So, why are tattoos so popular?
Unlike Ötzi, most of us today use tattoos for some kind of self-expression.
Personally, I love tattoos because I love art
and there is something so wonderful to me,
almost romantic, about the way a tattoo as an art form
cannot be commodified.
Right? Your tattoo lives and dies with you.
It can't be bought or sold or traded,
so its only value is really personal to you,
and I love that.
Now, I tend to gravitate towards really colorful tattoos
because I'm obsessed with color.
I teach a whole course on it at my university.
But my very first tattoo was an all-black tattoo
like Ötzi's.
Yep, I did that clichéd thing that young people do sometimes
and I got a tattoo in a language I can't even read.
OK, but I was 19 years old,
I had just returned from my first trip overseas,
I was in Japan in the mountains
meditating in Buddhist monasteries,
and it was a really meaningful experience to me,
so I wanted to commemorate it with this Japanese and Chinese character
for "mountain."
Now, here's what blows my mind.
My 14-year-old tattoo
and Ötzi's 5,300-year-old tattoos
are made of the same exact stuff:
that black powdery carbon dust
that gets left behind in the fireplace when you burn stuff.
And if you zoom way, way in on either my tattoo or Ötzi's tattoos,
you'll find that they all look something like this.
A tattoo is nothing more than a bunch of tiny pigment particles,
soot in this case,
that get trapped in the dermis,
which is the layer of tissue right underneath the surface of the skin.
So in over five thousand years,
we've done very little to update tattoo technology,
apart from getting access to more colors
and slightly more efficient methods of installation.
While I'm an artist, I'm also a scientist,
and I direct a laboratory that researches nanotechnology,
which is the science of building things with ultratiny building blocks,
thousands of times smaller even than the width of a human hair.
And I began to ask myself,
how could nanotechnology serve tattooing?
If tattoos are just a bunch of particles in the skin,
could we swap those particles out for ones that do something more interesting?
Here's my big idea:
I believe that tattoos can give you superpowers.
Now, I don't mean they're going to make us fly,
but I do think that we can have superpowers
in the sense that tattoos can give us new abilities
that we don't currently possess.
By upgrading the particles, we can engineer tattooing
so that it will change not only the appearance of our skin,
but also the function of our skin.
Let me show you.
This is a diagram of a microcapsule.
It's a tiny hollow particle with a protective outer shell,
about the size of a tattoo pigment,
and you can fill the inside with practically whatever you want.
So what if we put interesting materials inside of these microcapsules
and made tattoo inks with them?
What sorts of things could we make a tattoo do?
What problems could we solve?
What human limitations could we overcome?
Well, here's one idea:
one of our weaknesses as humans
is that we can't see ultraviolet, or UV, light.
That's the high-energy part of sunlight
that causes sunburn and increases our risk of skin cancer.
Many animals and insects can actually see UV light, but we can't.
If we could, we'd be able to see sunscreen when it was applied on our skin.
Unfortunately, most of us don't wear sunscreen,
and those of us who do
can't really tell when it wears off, because it's invisible.
It's the main reason we treat over five million cases
of preventable skin cancer every year in the US alone,
costing our economy over five billion dollars annually.
So how could we overcome this human weakness with a tattoo?
Well, if the problem is that we can't see UV rays,
maybe we can make a tattoo detect them for us.
So I thought, why don't we take some microcapsules,
load it up with a UV-sensitive, color-changing dye,
and make a tattoo ink out of that?
Now, one of the troubles of being a tattoo technologist
is finding willing test subjects.
And when it came time to test this tattoo ink,
I thought it best not to torture my poor graduate students.
So I decided to tattoo a couple of spots on my own arm instead.
And It actually worked. Check it out!
I call these tattoos solar freckles
because they're powered by sunshine.
And right now, they're invisible,
but as soon as I expose them to a UV light, acting as the Sun --
there they are, blue spots.
Now, I'm not wearing sunscreen in this video,
but if I was, those blue spots would not appear,
and then when my sunscreen wore off later,
the solar freckles would reappear in UV light
and I would know that it was time to reapply sunscreen.
So these tattoos act as a real-time, naked-eye indicator
of your skin's UV exposure.
And of course,
I think there are lots of really cool, artistic things you could do
with a color-changing tattoo like this,
but I hope that it will also help us solve a big problem
in skin protection.
Let me give you another example.
Normal human body temperature is about 97 to 99 degrees Fahrenheit,
and if you fall outside of that range,
you need to seek medical attention right away.
Now, the problem is that humans can't detect our own body temperature
without a thermometer.
Sure, you could try the old hand-on-the-forehead trick,
but there's zero scientific evidence to back that up.
So what if we could create a tattooable thermometer
that you could access anytime?
Well, remember how the solar freckles used a UV-sensitive dye
inside of the microcapsules of the tattoo ink?
Well, you could also put heat-sensitive dyes
inside of microcapsules
and you could make different tattoo inks
that change color at different temperatures.
Suppose it was 96, 98, and a hundred degrees Fahrenheit.
If you place those inks side by side,
now you have a temperature scale
tuned to the human body.
In this video, you can see the different patches of tattoos
disappearing sequentially
as the pigskin we tested them on
is heated up.
So if you were to place a tattoo like this
in a location that was stable to external temperature fluctuations --
maybe inside of the mouth, perhaps on the back of the lip? --
then you'd be able to read your body temperature anytime
by just glancing at your tattoo in the mirror.
Amazing, right?
Thank you.
Another limitation that we have as humans
is that our skin doesn't conduct electricity,
and that can be a good thing, but not necessarily --
if you have an electronic biomedical implant,
like a pacemaker for example.
Right now, if you have a pacemaker,
you need surgery every five or 10 years to replace the battery when it dies.
And wouldn't it be nice if, instead,
we could simply recharge the battery through a patch of conducting skin?
Well, if you were to try to tackle that problem with a tattoo,
the first step would be to make a tattoo that conducts electricity.
So we've been working on a conducting tattoo ink in my lab.
And right now, we're able to increase the conductivity of skin over 300-fold
with our conducting tattoo ink.
Now, we have a long way to go before we reach the conductivity
of something like a copper wire,
but we're making progress and I'm really excited about this
because I think that it could open up a whole new world of possibility
for tattoos.
I envision a future where tattoos enable us --
tattooable wires and tattooable electronics enable us
to merge our technologies with our bodies
so that they feel more like extensions of ourselves
rather than external devices.
So these are a few examples of the new abilities that we can gain
by using nanotechnology to upgrade our tattoos,
but this really is only the beginning.
I believe the sky is the limit for what we can do with high-tech tattoos.
In the future, tattoos will not only be beautiful,
they'll be functional too.
Thank you.


【TED】カーソン・ブランズ: タトゥーが健康にもたらすもの (Could a tattoo help you stay healthy? | Carson Bruns)

98 タグ追加 保存
林宜悉 2019 年 6 月 5 日 に公開
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