I’m over at SciAm Blogs today, and for the next few days, blogging the fabulously weird IgNobel prizes!! The ceremony was last night, and now I’m doing in depth analyses of all of the winners, and we’re starting with…weirdest first. The IgNobel winner in public health, the reattachment of the penis, unless of course, it was partially eaten by a duck first. Like you do. For more about the reattachment, and why there’s a duck in the first place, head over and check it out!
Today’s post is some seriously OLD science. Old science and WEIRD science, coming to you courtesy of Mt. Sinai hospital in NYC, 1913.
And it’s also the WEIRDEST conjunction of this:
That Sci has ever seen.
Gerster AG, Mandlebaum FS. “XI. On the Formation of Bone in the Human Penis.” Annals of Surgery, 1913.
The pictures below are curiously safe for work. I suppose that picture up there wasn’t. oops.
It was ALL OVER the internet (check out Observations of the Nerd for some particularly good coverage), of course you know I HAD to blog it, right? Sadly, it got taken over in the first week by the Oxytocin weeks of DOOM (oh, it was doom, there were a lot of late nights that week, Sci can’t give up her day job, you know).
But here I am. And here it is. And for those media outlets that complained that you couldn’t find the paper in the PNAS issue and acted all mysterious, Sci got the paper. Cause Sci’s got CONNECTIONS. Connections which involve emailing the PR people who put out the press release. Simple, yet effective! May I recommend it to you sometime.
Chen et al. “Bioengineered corporeal tissue for structural and functional reconstruction of the penis.” PNAS, 2009.
(Also, some of the pics are probably NSFW for those of you who have coworkers sensitive to scientific depictions of the anatomy of the penis. You were warned.)
This post brought to you by Ben and Jerry’s Dublin Mudslide Ice Cream. Because the Twitter people are like little devils on my shoulder, making me eat the cake…
So Sci was going to do her final oxytocin post on another study in humans for oxytocin levels during male masturbation, but you know, you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. I know that they were looking at slightly different things, but…well…it all looked the same: oxytocin measured while a guy is in a room with some porn, measure some other stuff as well, look at the correlations. So Sci started digging around for something a little more unusual.
And when Sci saw this one, her little eyes brightened, and she said “oooooh! THAT ONE!”‘ much to the surprise of the nice evening janitorial lady in the lab. Because if you thought the LAST Friday Weird Science was one that you wouldn’t want to volunteer for…
…how would you like a butterfly needle in your penis? What, that’s not stimulating?!
Uckert et al. “Oxytocin plasma levels in the systemic and cavernous blood of healthy males during different penile conditions” World Journal of Urology, 2003.
For those not in the know, a butterfly needle looks like this:
Yadda yadda. Photos below NSFW, yadda yadda. It’s Friday Weird Science, not like there’s going to be puppies and kittens here.
Sci will be honest. The migraine continues apace. But the oxytocin, it must be blogged. And the migraine medication, it makes Sci loopy! Given what I’ll be blogging today, that might not be a bad thing…
I’ve already gone through some of the basics of oxytocin, and the famous effects that oxytocin has on females. But what most general biology and physiology courses don’t tell you is the big role that oxytocin plays in MALES. This molecule isn’t just for the ladies.
Let’s hear it for the boys:
(Nothing says manly men like high kicks)
Editor’s Selection Icon Who would have thought Sci would be running a normal pub-med search, for something COMPLETELY not weird science material, and come across…this? Truly, it was meant to be!
This case report is probably one of the weirdest things I’ve seen all week, and kept Sci scratching her head as to the possible mechanism. Also, it is, without a doubt, one of the most incredibly embarrassing thing to ever happen to a 15-year-old. And you thought YOUR teenage stories were bad…
Scwartz and Rushton. “Stuttering priapism associated with withdrawal from sustained-release methylphenidate” Journal of Pediatrics, 2004.
Sci heard of today’s Friday Weird Science via the magic of Twitter (follow me if you like. Or don’t. Sometimes I tweet haikus). It’s actually almost too bad, I was GOING to write something not related to penises, but then this came out, and Sci had no choice. When something this outrageous hits the internet…well someone has to blog it.
Forde, et al. “An unusual penpal: case report and literature review of posterior urethral injuries secondary to foreign body insertion” The Canadian Journal of Urology, 2009.
This is a story of what happens when you combine a man, a sexual encounter, a pen, and a complete and thorough ignorance of human anatomy.
Yeah, yeah. Friday Weird Science is late. I know. Give Sci a break. She needed some sleep, and she is now full of delicious whole milk latte.
I have to begin this post with a direct quote from the paper, because no one can put it better:
“The human penis has always been the subject of much interest, especially, when afflicted with a medical condition”
Ain’t it so. Edit (I mentioned the wrong comma last time) Well, ok, I can ALMOST get behind this quote, except that I HATE that comma right after ‘especially’. It bugs me. A lot. But that’s the way it is.
But penises are interesting. If they weren’t, I wouldn’t write about them half so much. And when they get “broken”, they are even MORE interesting. And hard to fix.
Sawh, et al. “Fractured Penis: A Review” International Journal of Impotence Research (oh yes, there is one), 2008.
WARNING: The pictures behind the cut are not for the faint of heart. They are also probably NSFW, though they are so “surgical” in nature, I doubt the guy looking over your shoulder would really know what he was looking at. Except that it was cut open. You’ve been warned.
Believe it or not, for this Friday’s weird science, I wanted to get AWAY from sex. Do something different. But then the boys at Deep Sea News decided to have their sex week, and then Joanne at Joanne Loves Science decided to interview Mary Roach (without ME!!! What were you thinking, Joanne. Sci is so hurt…but she couldn’t really ask all the good questions because it’s for middle school age…), and well, I have to do SOMETHING sex related, right? Of course right.
And, well, penises are funny looking. There’s that, too.
Deng et al. “Real-time three-dimensional ultrasound visualization of erection and artificial coitus” International Journal of Andrology, 2006.
I would have loved to see the advertisements for this study: “Men needed between ages 18-65 for study of erection and coitus. Must have no history of erectile dysfunction. Ability to get it on with a Jell-O mould a plus.”
I owe this entry to Scientific American, where they have a great article up on this very subject. Imitation being the most sincere form of flattery, I’m getting me some of this action! Jesse Bering has an excellent write up over there, far more in depth than mine, but I flatter myself that mine has better pictures.
And it’s a great subject. I mean, we all probably know, deep down (or not so deep down), that penises are some funny looking things. All bulbous at the top and weird. You know it’s true. But what if the penis was shaped all funny…for a reason?
Gallup, GG. “The human penis as a semen displacement device.” Evolution and Human Behavior, 2003.
(WARNING: pictures of penises below the fold. Mostly not human, but you’re still warned.)
And the best thing about this paper, it’s another example of those not afraid to develop a coital simulator in the name of SCIENCE!
And this is a great theme for the First of May (NSFW, like everything else in this post…):