Yes you can, but only for Ubuntu 12.04 Image and later. But burning an Image to a hard disk drive is not a good idea, instead you'd better use a flash drive.
Just use dd to write the image file to the flash disk, then boot the computer from it.
An alternative way is to write grub2 stage 1 to some hard drive, put the image file to some partition , then boot from the hard drive and then boot LIVE system from the image file. In this case it's not limited to 12.04 nor higher. You can use Ubuntu 10.04 for example. The basic syntax in grub2 cli to boot from an ISO file is
sudo dd if=Ubuntu.iso of=/dev/sdc bs=4M
And to write grub2 state1 to some hard drive, you must have a copy of that and use dd again.
loopback loop /Ubuntu.iso
linux (loop)/casper/vmlinuz boot=casper iso-scan/filename=/Ubuntu.iso --noeject --