Monday, July 19, 2010

Weenie barbecue

I'd like to thank my Science Marches on Department for sending me this. Although I'm on vacation, the nature of such important research demands that it be published immediately.

Determination of Human Penile Electrical Resistance

J Sex Med. 2010 May 26. [Epub ahead of print]

Tsai VF, Chang HC, Liu SP, Kuo YC, Chen JH, Jaw FS, Hsieh JT.

Institute of Biomedical Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.

ABSTRACT

Introduction. Electrosurgery has been a surgical application since the late 19th century. Although many urologists take this daily application for granted, the effects of electrical treatment on penile nerves and vessels have not been well documented.

Methods. Measurement of the electrical characteristics of three human penises in order to create models to analyze the effect of electricity on penile nerves and vessels.

Results. Electrical resistivity (rho) of the penile shaft is 127.14 Omega . cm at 500 kHz. Electrical current density (J) of the penis shaft is 71.06 mA/cm(2), nerve (60.23 mA/cm(2)), vessel (67.93 mA/cm(2)), and return electrode (2.11 mA/cm(2)). Electrical field strength (E) of the whole penis shaft is 9.03 volt/cm. The proportion of generated heat on the penis is four times as much as on other body parts of the circuit.

Conclusions. Potential and subclinical injury to erectile tissue caused by electrosurgery on the penis cannot be underestimated.

20 comments:

Grad Student said...

Um, I think I'd rather volunteer to watch the fat people at the Chinese buffet, if it's all the same to you.

Li'l Azathoth said...

I love the way they get such precise values from only three samples. It doesn't look like they even took into account the possible difference between the electrical properties of an individual sample in its "on" and "off" state. But, like they say, it's not the amount of electrical resistivity, it's what you do with it.

Anonymous said...

Did they take circumcision status into account?

Marco said...

Did they account for the turgor status of the penis? i.e. they should do measurements with the men reading the Wall Street Journal vs. Penthouse. After all, when the penis fills with blood (which contains water), the conductivity may change a little...

Dr. Frankenstein said...

"It's alive, Igor! It's alive!!!"

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a traditional Taiwanese med student hazing to me...

Anonymous said...

New carnival game: guess your age, weight, and penile resistance.

Wayne Conrad said...

This reminds me of that hotdog cooker that ran AC through the dog:

http://neighborhoodvalues.com/nv/kitchen/misc/35kc.htm

This isn't the first time I am sorry my brain so readily makes associations like that.

Anonymous said...

Not many people know this, but this was also how Benjamin Franklin kept both his hands free during his famous kite-flying experiment.

The Electric Company said...

"We're gonna turn it on
We're gonna bring you the power..."

Anonymous said...

All that trouble, and they only did DC measurements? What about impedance? They don't think it's important to know the resonant frequency? Typical.

The Mother said...

"Potential and subclinical injury to erectile tissue caused by electrosurgery on the penis cannot be underestimated."

I do not think that means what they think it means.

Chris@Knucklehead! said...

Punchlines:

"Okay, CLEAR!"

"Great balls of fire!"

"Shock the monkey, indeed."

"Now THAT'S a lightning rod!"

Anonymous said...

Oh, and how about anisotropy? Because of the different layers, you'd expect the electrical characteristics to be different in the crosswise direction than in the lengthwise direction. Unless there's something even weirder going on.

Old MD Girl said...

With a sample of three Taiwanese gentlemen, one wonders how generalizable this study is. If you know what I mean.

Have Myelin? said...

Is it on youtube?

Margaret/Heather said...

Wow. *Wow.* That is panicked researcher-speak for "NEVER DO THIS. OH, GOD, NEVER, EVER DO THIS. THOSE POOR MEN. *hysterical sobbing*"

Anonymous said...

Normally, I'd point out the inherent sexism that results in so much more testing being done on male subjects than female, but I think this time, I'm ok with women not being part of such impot- I mean - important research.

quixote said...

Seconding The Mother's comment. Or is there evidence in the article that the authors mean it?

Anonymous said...

Crikey. Hope the victims - sorry, test subjects - were well paid.
Or possibly they were just into that sort of thing.

 
Locations of visitors to this page