Scientists Make Rabbit Penis Replacement Parts; Male Rabbits Rejoice

By Andrew Moseman | November 10, 2009 12:34 pm

rabbitOur long national nightmare is over: At last, scientists can make rabbit penis spare parts.

In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers led by Anthony Atala published the results of their successful attempt to engineer new corpora cavernosas, the column of tissue that engorges with blood during male arousal, for male rabbits. Other procedures can partially restore function to a damaged phallus, and Atala’s team has previously shown they could replace a small portion of the tissue (they had up to a 50 percent success rate in rabbits) [Scientific American]. This, however, was the first time they totally replaced corpora cavernosas.

Atala is best known for developing a technique in which cells are taken from an organ and sprayed onto a frame made of collagen, the primary structural protein in animal tissue. The structure is then bathed with growth-stimulating compounds and kept in an oven that duplicates the body’s temperature and chemical composition. Given these starting conditions, natural biology does the rest [Wired.com].

In this experiment, the team surgically removed the corpora cavernosas of 12 rabbits, and replaced them with new “scaffolds” built through this technique. The tissue took hold, and copulation ensued at stereotypical rabbit pace. Every one of the revitalized dozen attempted to mate within a minute of being introduced to females; four became fathers.

The Wake Forest research contains the standard caveat: No, the technique isn’t ready for humans yet. But when it is, look out. Such methods could potentially aid men who just want to enhance their normal penises, rather than repairing any damage. “Our intent and the goal of our work is to provide a solution for men who need penile erectile tissue for medical reasons…. Of course, you cannot control how the technology is used in terms of what patients want” [LiveScience], says Atala.

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Discoblog: Need a New Pancreas? It May Come from a Sheep.

Image: flickr/Gidzy

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine
MORE ABOUT: sex & reproduction
  • ajax

    Male rabbits may rejoice, but will the females? “Oh no. I was finally getting enough sleep, and now he’s back with replacement parts”. :-)

  • JD

    Kind of interesting in a Frankenstein-esque way. Objectively speaking though, I’m a little disturbed by how much medical research is driven by male phallic inadequacies.

  • http://www.deborahteramischristian.com Deborah Teramis Christian

    I imagine that the thing actually driving this advance is interest in restorative and reconstructive surgeries for men damaged by things like improvised explosive devices in Iraq/Afghanistan, or suffering other types of damage from accidents like 3rd degree burns. That’s a wonderful thing. That’s not an issue of inadequacies. Hitherto there was no way to functionally replace such tissue loss.

    It probably says more about popular interests, rather than the science itself, that the personal equipment enhancement angle is mentioned. It doesn’t take people long to extrapolate to wider uses.

  • JW

    It also really raises some interesting questions for vegetarians.

  • Brian Too

    Egads, yet another ‘erectile disfunction’ angle for spam.

    BTW, were rabbits as a species really in such difficulty in this area?
    ;-)

  • bebop

    sounds like another way for rich boys to enlarge thier inadequate male members.

  • bltmn

    JD: What aspect of Western Civilization is NOT driven by male phallic inadequacies?

  • Dave in Calif

    No just Western civilization, but ALL of civilization from the beginning 200k plus years ago, to the end of history…Dec 21, 2012…:-)

  • MensaJeff

    Looks like Miss Deborah was the only adult to weigh in, and with the right response.
    Fact is, people lucky enough to spend their time immersed in and excited by thought-intensive work, such as the sciences, are not consumed by their baser instincts. That has its place, obviously, but there are more intersting worlds to live in.

  • http://tattooasylum petein cali

    well me being a man wanting to satisfy the woman that I’m with …. I am always looking to try and enhance the experience … out of all the women that i have been with the general thing that i have heard coming from their mouths is that they want larger … and more from their man… so I myself am interested in seeing the results..I would even consider the possibility of surgery to make my unit larger and more responsive…lets face it guys… women always say it’s not the size but the motion …. but we all know they are just trying to be nice…

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