Archive for 'Boys Will Be Boys'

Enabling Blue-Light-Inducible Penile Erection in Switzerland

Friday, March 20th, 2015

One of the first — perhaps the very first — papers about enabling blue-light-inducible penile erection in Switzerland has just been published.

The paper is:

fusseneggerA Synthetic Erectile Optogenetic Stimulator Enabling Blue-Light-Inducible Penile Erection,” Taeuk Kim, Marc Folcher, Marie Doaud-El Baba and Prof. Martin Fussenegger [pictured here], Angewandte Chemie, epub Mqrch 18, 2015. (Thanks to Ig Nobel Prize winner Len Fisher for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, Institut Universitaire de Technologie, IUTA, France, and the University of Basel, Switzerland, report:

“We thank Thomas Horn for generous advice with sperm microscopy…. An erectile optogenetic stimulator (EROS), a synthetic designer guanylate cyclase producing a blue-light-inducible surge of the second messenger cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) in mammalian cells, enabled blue-light-dependent penile erection associated with occasional ejaculation after illumination of EROS-transfected corpus cavernosum in male rats. Photostimulated short-circuiting of complex psychological, neural, vascular, and endocrine factors to stimulate penile erection in the absence of sexual arousal may foster novel advances….”

Cock-Eyed Optimism: Using a Foreskin to Repair Eyelids

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

This study documents a case of cock-eyed optimism in a German surgical team, and the presumably happy result for the patient:

UthoffCicatricial ectropion in ichthyosis: a novel approach to treatment,” Detlef Uthoff [pictured here], M. Gorney and C. Teichmann, Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, June 1994, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 92-5. The authors, at Eye-Hospital Kiel-Bellevue, Kiel, Germany, report:

“An uncircumcised youth with total body involvement from ichthyosis developed bilateral upper and lower ectropion. The penile foreskin was the only possible suitable donor site because it seemed unaffected by the disease. A circumcision was performed and the foreskin divided into four separate full-thickness skin graft triangles to treat the four-lid ectropion. There was successful resolution of the eye symptoms and a watertight closure. To our knowledge, this is a unique case in which penile foreskin has been used to correct cicatricial ectropion.”

Flaccid Mechanics: From Penis-Size Statistics to Penis-Size Physics

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

As recently discussed in this blog and elsewhere, a team of UK researchers have published a new study with the scintillating title of Am I normal? A systematic review and construction of nomograms for flaccid and erect penis length and circumference in up to 15521 men.

The first sentence of the paper’s introduction sums things up rather nicely: “The measurement of penis size may be important either in the assessment of men complaining of a small penis or for academic interest.”

In the authors’ own words, their objective was “To systematically review and create nomograms of flaccid and erect penile size measurements.”

The authors of the paper conducted a statistical study of penis sizes in “up to” 15521 men. I found that to be an odd thing about which to be uncertain—were some people too embarrassed by the result to admit being in the study?—but then it turns out to have a simple explanation: there were actually multiple studies and the 15521 men is the number in the largest one. Their methods included a simulation of 20000 observations of penis size from a normal distribution, though it may also have been interesting to consider a heavy-tailed distribution in case of extreme events.

Importantly, one can also go beyond the statistics of penis sizes to consider the physical properties. A penis could be modeled as a continuum, where the properties such as an elastic constant (to measure stiffness, under the assumption that the object is elastic) and other Lamé parameters are different depending on the state of the penis.

The fluid mechanics of urinating has been studied before, so it seems rather natural to also study the solid mechanics of the penis (aka: “flaccid mechanics”).

New penis survey follows in footsteps of Ig Nobel Prize-winning study

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

A new British survey of international penis size builds on — and cites — an earlier, Ig Nobel Prize-winning Canadian study.

The 1998 Ig Nobel Prize for statistics was awarded to Jerald Bain of Mt. Sinai Hospital in Toronto and Kerry Siminoski of the University of Alberta for their carefully measured report, “The Relationships Among Height, Penile Length, and Foot Size.” That study was published in Annals of Sex Research, vol. 6, no. 3, 1993, pp. 231-5.)

davidvealephotoThe new study is:

Am I normal? A systematic review and construction of nomograms for flaccid and erect penis length and circumference in up to 15 521 men,” David Veale [pictured here], Sarah Miles, Sally Bramley, Gordon Muir and John Hodsoll, BJU International, epub March 2, 2015. The authors are at The Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London Medical School, King’s College London,South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, King’s College NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK. The study takes its data from earlier studies done in many nations.

BONUS FACT (possibly unrelated): The number 15221, if treated as a postal zip code, identifies the city of Alum Bank, Pennsylvania, which is immediately south of Blue Knob State Park.

BONUS FACT (certainly related): The press officer for King’s College London Medical School, to whom all inquiries are directed, in the press release about this new study, is named Tom Bragg.

Miss Poland’s Attractiveness: What, oh, what is enough?

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

Leszek Pokrywka, co-author of the seminal study “The Second to Fourth Digit Ratio and Age at First Marriage in Semi-Nomadic People from Namibia” [featured here a while ago], also played a leading role in analyzing what makes and what does not make Miss Poland attractive:

Body mass index and waist: hip ratio are not enough to characterise female attractiveness,” Leszek Pokrywka, Milan Čabrić, Helena Krakowiak, Perception, 2006;35(12):1693-7. the authors explain:

“The assessment of characteristic body features of Miss Poland beauty contest finalists compared with the control group, can contribute to recognising the contemporary ideal of beauty promoted by the mass media. The studies of Playboy models and fashion models conducted so far have been limited to the following determinants of attractiveness: body mass index, waist:hip ratio, and waist:chest ratio, which only partially describe the body shape. We compared 20 body features of the finalists of Miss Poland 2004 beauty contest with those of the students of Medical Academy in Bydgoszcz. Discriminant analysis showed that the thigh girth-height index, waist: chest ratio, height, and body mass index had the greatest discrimination power distinguishing the two groups. A model of Miss Poland finalists figure assessment is presented which allows one to distinguish super-attractive women from the control group.”

The Miss Poland contest.

The Miss Poland contest.

BONUS: A video that addresses a question about the female attractiveness. (Thanks to investigator Lily Hashem for bringing this to our attention):