I wasn’t going to do it.
Really, I started on Tuesday, and then I thought to myself – Captain. Don’t do it. ‘Tis very silly, and we’re trying to run a professional pirate ship of science here.
But in the end… well… it’s Reproduction Wednesday and this shit is GOLD! A pirate worth her salt can never turn away from gold.
I submit for approval: How to Grow Your Own Penis
Imagine life in a lab. Bright white tables, stainless steel sinks, and clean, filthily clean, a faint smell of ethanol forever clinging to the air. Sterile. You’re exhausted after a long day staring at cell cultures and running gels, hopping from microscope to microscope, always heating, chilling, measuring, counting. And then – SUCCESS! You have created a penis!
“Our hope is that patients with congenital abnormalities, penile cancer, traumatic injury and some cases of erectile dysfunction will benefit from this technology in the future” said Institue Director Anthony Atala, M.D. The technique could replace current surgeries, which usually involve some kind of robot-type prosthetic thing. The huge benefit of this procedure is that it would restore “normal” function – the penis would respond to sexual stimuli without the need of pushing a button. It simply replaces existing tissue with functional penile erectile tissue. AWESOME!
The study was done with rabbit models at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (that’s WFIRM people. FIRM by name, firm by nature.) Endothelial cells and muscle cells were harvested from the rabbit’s who-whos and multiplied in the lab. Cells were put into a scaffold to support them while they grew, which was then implanted into the rabbit’s penis. A mere month later the cells had begun to develop into organized tissues. As if rabbits need help in this department, but still…
Now we all know how erections happen (if we don’t – check out my vid on Viagra). The tissue worked great – nitric oxide induced a normal amount of relaxation causing the erection, which drained away normally after the fun. The animals even mated with females, and eight out of 12 vaginal swabs contained sperm (seriously – who designs these experiments? Voyeur much?) Four of those lucky lady-bunnies got preggo to boot.
Erectile tissue for all! I’m waiting to see how the black market and their damn spambots respond.
Source: Lab Spaces 9th November 2009.