If you've ever considered getting a tattoo, it's probably for aesthetic purposes. That's all well and good, but in the near future getting a tattoo might be the best way to deliver vaccines, so if you go in for a new ink job you could also protect yourself from any number of diseases, including some cancers.
Some vaccines, when injected traditionally, fail to produce the necessary immune response. Researchers in Germany have found that by using a vibrating tattoo needle, they can get the optimal results. In tests on mice, using a tattoo needle produces 16 times more antibodies than by using a simple injection into muscle tissue. It may be tied to the greater damage to the body that tattoo needles produce.
It certainly would be interesting to have a permanent reminder of just when and how you were made immune from terrible, life-ending diseases, it would just suck to be forced into getting a tat in order to get the vaccine. Time will tell whether or not this becomes a viable or widespread technique. [BBC via Spulch; Image by Morgan Stana]