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Scientists have engineered fully functional rabbit penises, replacing damaged penis spongy tissue for the first time. The penises stay erect, and ejaculate, and the rabbit proved much more sexually active than normal male rabbits.  (Source: PNAS/Wake Forest University)

Anthony Atala, M.D.  (Source: Winston-Salem Journal)
Rabbit recipients of artificially grown penises are eager to copulate with female partners

We've seen all sorts of tissue engineering examples -- from bone, to brain tissue, to nerves, to vascular tissue, and even muscles -- but a new study from the Wake Forest University’s Institute of Regenerative Medicine has surpassed all of these in pure strangeness.  The study used advanced tissue regrowth techniques to create and endow lab rabbits with fully functional replacement penises.

The research was led by the institute's director, Anthony Atala, M.D., who is most famous for devising a cell seeding technique that involves spraying cells harvested from an applicable tissue onto a collagen matrix, led the research.  Under Dr. Atala's scheme the developing tissue is bathed in a nourishing serum than keeps the tissue in a chemical environment similar to the human body, and at a similar temperature to that of the human body.  Growth factors and other beneficial compounds are seeded into the tissue beforehand, to encourage the cells to divide and populate the new tissue.

Most cells contain a wealth of information about how to grow and form their local tissue.  Once in a receptive scaffold (like the collagen), they're sometimes able to grow and form new tissues, if they're exposed to the proper chemicals and physical conditions.  By combining one or more tissue types and encouraging the growth of blood vessels, organs can be formed.

Dr. Atala's team had already regrown and implanted seven human male bladders, a significant success.  Ten years later, the patients are still showing good function.  However, the penis proved a much more elusive and complex tissue to grow.  Growing the outer skin in theory wouldn't be overly challenging, but the inner spongy tissue, called corpus cavernosa, proved to be a much stiffer challenge due to the complex mix of cell types needed.

Past artificial penises grown at Wake Forest were taken off the drawing board after failing to stay erect when implanted into rabbits with a piece of their spongy tissue removed.  After close to 18 years of failed attempts, the researchers tried a different angle, removing the entire spongy tissue (not just a segment) and using different growth factors on a complex mix of cells, including smooth muscle cells and endothelial cells -- the cells needed to form the arteries needed to bring blood to the penis's spongy tissues, allowing it to become erect.

The result was a resounding success.  Writes the research team in their paper on the accomplishment, "This technology has considerable potential for patients requiring penile construction."

The resulting penises were identical to their natural kin in response to electrical and chemical stimuli.  And the recipient rabbits proved eager to copulate, with eight of the 12 rabbits with implants achieving ejaculation and four becoming fathers.  While rabbits normally like to procreate over the long term, the recipients proved unusually randy, attempting to procreate much faster than normal male rabbits.

Describes the team, "Most control rabbits did not attempt copulation after introduction to their female partners.  All rabbits with bioengineered neocorpora attempted copulation within one minute of introduction."

The study was reportedly published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) on Monday, though a quick glance at the November 9 early edition did not show the study. 

The research proves eerily similar to the frequently on-point animated show South Park's episode "Eek a Penis", which aired last year and involved the character Mr./Mrs. Garrison having his/her penis regrown on a lab rat.  Despite the success, though, such more advanced sex change operations remain out of reach, as scientists have yet to engineer functional testicles from body tissues.  Still, for some with damaged penis tissue, this study may provide new hope.

The research team next plans to start trying to implant regrown human penis tissue.  States Dr. Atala, "We're going to be doing that experimentally at our center."

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Donor material?
By tmouse on 11/10/2009 7:50:24 AM , Rating: 1
I guess this will bring new meaning to the term "organ donor". You will be hard pressed to find a living donor for this. "Just a little off the top doc". Some recipients of organ transplants have claimed to have phantom memories connected to the organ donor, On a genetic level the number of genes expressed in the brain that overlap with testis has been a long running joke in high throughput genetic analysis circles. Why on earth there would be work on testis regeneration is beyond me, unless you can populate them with the recipients primary germ cells you might as well just keep putting plastic balls in, unless the idea of spreading someone else's genes get you going.

RE: Donor material?
By Brandon Hill on 11/10/2009 7:51:25 AM , Rating: 2
I guess they could use the "leftovers" from circumcision after birth?

RE: Donor material?
By tmouse on 11/10/2009 8:46:21 AM , Rating: 5
Unless you are using "shakey the moyle" from Seinfeld, circumcision is the surgical removal of part or all of the prepuce (the skin sourrounding the outside)if he is cutting into the corpus cavernosa you have trouble.

RE: Donor material?
By GotDiesel on 11/10/2009 1:03:35 PM , Rating: 1
after birth ??? who does that and why ?.. i was under the impression that it was a religious practice by Jewish people ?

RE: Donor material?
By armulyman on 11/10/2009 2:27:47 PM , Rating: 3
do you not watch porn?!

RE: Donor material?
By tmouse on 11/10/2009 2:47:35 PM , Rating: 2
It's widely practiced in most US hospitals. Most thoughts were it was better from a hygiene point of view and while it's certainly not necessarily better a bit more care must be taken with uncircumcised babies to avoid bacterial growth. Some state sex is "better" if uncircumcised, there is no real evidence one way or the other, VERY few males reach sexual maturity and then get circumcised and there has not been any surveys I'm aware of. The other point is you do not miss what you never had so the sex point is moot. It's not rare today but there is no right or wrong answer either. What I have observed is on the other end of the spectrum: very elderly men often have infection problems if uncircumcised and the added embarrassment of urinating on themselves.

RE: Donor material?
By AlmostExAMD on 11/11/09, Rating: -1
RE: Donor material?
By inperfectdarkness on 11/12/09, Rating: 0
RE: Donor material?
By tmouse on 11/10/2009 8:55:06 AM , Rating: 3
I should also point out that humans, unlike rabbits and most other mammals do not have a baculum. Rabbits could mate with a somewhat defective corpus cavernosa, humans could not.

RE: Donor material?
By drmo on 11/10/2009 12:18:32 PM , Rating: 3
Rabbits do not have a baculum.

RE: Donor material?
By tmouse on 11/10/2009 2:33:18 PM , Rating: 2
I stand corrected, I've gotten antibodies from them but all of those rabbits were females. Lagomorpha is a strange order, who puts their scrotum in front of their penis?

RE: Donor material?
By MrPoletski on 11/16/2009 9:20:52 AM , Rating: 2
A professional rochambeau trader?

RE: Donor material?
By molgenit on 11/18/2009 3:08:31 PM , Rating: 2
Not being a big south park fan I had to look that up. I was aware the Japanese had a fetish involving that but having a game is a bit too weird for me. I do not think moving the jewels up a few inches would help much.

RE: Donor material?
By MrBlastman on 11/10/2009 12:36:47 PM , Rating: 3
What I'm curious is, what man in their right man is going to read the bulletin board on campus one day and see:

"Male subject needed for penile vivisection and artificial implantation study to test the viability of a re-grown proboscis and its procreative efficacy. Hot chicks will be provided!"

... and say, "Gee, that sounds swell. I get my **** operated on by hot chicks!" Hmm, in retrospect, it might just work.

Any sane person though I imagine wouldn't want their rod chopped off and a new one put on in its place. That area is a "no sharp objects allowed" zone.

RE: Donor material?
By Drag0nFire on 11/10/2009 6:58:03 PM , Rating: 2
Jokes aside, they will never test this on a healthy subject - to do so would be unethical. However, the prevalence of congenitally malformed genitals is higher than one might expect. If severe enough, these individuals have little recourse. This treatment would probably be tried in this population.

Curious about what age group they will work with though.

RE: Donor material?
By rudy on 11/10/2009 8:43:16 PM , Rating: 2
Also sex chance candidates will be interested.

RE: Donor material?
By ViroMan on 11/11/2009 12:25:46 AM , Rating: 2
And anyone who wants a 2 foot long probe. :)

RE: Donor material?
By drmo on 11/10/2009 9:40:05 AM , Rating: 2
"Why on earth there would be work on testis regeneration is beyond me, unless you can populate them with the recipients primary germ cells you might as well just keep putting plastic balls in, unless the idea of spreading someone else's genes get you going. "

First, the testes also contain hormonal cells, so those who have lost their testes (or those undergoing female-male sex changes) would not have to take constant hormonal treatments. Second, it may be possible to use adult stem cells (or cloned embryonic stem cells) to produce sperm, so one could use one's own cells to grow the seminiferous tubules/sperm. I think the first reason is probably more significant.

RE: Donor material?
By tmouse on 11/10/2009 3:00:28 PM , Rating: 2
I'll agree to your first point although artificial testis is not necessary for that, Leydig cells could be grown any ware even within the body (it's the sensitivity of the primary spermatogonia that requires a lower temperature). As for the second point about germ cells you couldn't be farther off base. You cannot make primary germ cells from adult stem cells, germ line segregation happens very early in development , add to that the complications of reestablishing the environmental conditions to reestablish genomic imprinting and I highly doubt it would ever be possible. You may be ok with a muscle that is only 75-100% similar to a real muscle cell a primary germ cell that has to undergo meiosis had better be 100% or you will get a 100% failure in the resulting sperm.

RE: Donor material?
By drmo on 11/10/2009 5:26:56 PM , Rating: 2
Whereas it is difficult to make germ cells from adult cells, it appears it is not impossible.

I agree that you could possibly put Leydig cells many places in the body, and they could work fine.

RE: Donor material?
By tmouse on 11/11/2009 7:35:44 AM , Rating: 2
I'm aware of the article, believe me most of those markers are NOT germ cell specific. I personally have seen many ovarian and spermatogenic "specific" markers appear in tissue culture induced cells in the hundreds of high throughput genomic screenings I have done. It's such an artificial system it is really stretching to make those conclusions. As I said before you do not want a 90% derived germ cell and they have less than a 10% if that. I'll concede my point when anyone can produce a germ cell that can even began to undergo meiosis, even if it results in a malformed gamete. I personally know most of the individuals who uncovered genomic imprinting and the complexities of this epigenetic modification system have not even been begun to be unraveled. We are now just starting to look into epigenetic methylation regulation and its interactions to coregulate cell state/function, mostly still ignoring imprinting.

RE: Donor material?
By drmo on 11/12/2009 9:39:17 AM , Rating: 2
I realize there is a lot of controversy in that study, which is why I said it may be possible, not that we are there. Also, cloning plus extraction of embryonic stem cells may allow one to create sperm much easier (some undergo meiosis, but those studies have been controversial as well and at least one was retracted). It seems to be a lot of trouble just to get one's own sperm produced, so it does seem a bit pointless. That's why I figured the point was more to have the Leydig (and Sertoli) cells present in the testes more than the sperm; but the correct feel may be even more important to those who have lost them. Apparently someone is funding the research, though; probably taxpayers.

By FITCamaro on 11/10/2009 7:26:18 AM , Rating: 4
First of all, where's the pic of Mr. Garrison chasing a rat with his c**k on it?

Second, seriously? Is this just a scientists version of a joke so we can have a grand ole time making jokes.

If this is real the porn industry is gonna be thrilled. And can you imagine the late night TV ads? "Do YOU need a new penis? Let Happyslappy Penis Co. grow you a new one. Just listen to the significant others of our satisfied customers testiMOANies."

RE: Cmon....
By teldar on 11/10/09, Rating: 0
RE: Cmon....
By TSS on 11/10/2009 8:07:12 AM , Rating: 2
And here i was thinking i'd finally gotten rid of penis enlargement spam. This is gonna be hell on my inbox.

Does anybody find it funny the rats with the implant tried to have sex with anybody they where introduced with, while the control males didn't?

They did not just grow a penis. They grew a *super* penis.

RE: Cmon....
By Aloonatic on 11/10/2009 8:48:33 AM , Rating: 3
the implant tried to have sex with anybody they where introduced with, while the control males didn't?
Can anyone foresee any problems with the human trials then?

I wasn't me, it was my implant your honour!

RE: Cmon....
By MrPoletski on 11/16/2009 9:24:16 AM , Rating: 1
gotta be some kind of hormone production associated with the growing of the penile tissue.

Does that mean getting a replacement dick would be like going trough puberty again? probably not, except for how badly you need a shag...

RE: Cmon....
By Mint on 11/10/2009 5:06:31 PM , Rating: 2
Peter Griffin: Take it from me, that thing you got there is a blessing. I mean, every guy you see with a big house or a fancy car or a shiny gold tooth is really just saying "Don't look at my penis."

Not anymore. $$ --> 8============D

Talk about a jackpot discovery. This guy's gonna be richer than the guy who pioneered breast implants.

RE: Cmon....
By SavagePotato on 11/13/2009 4:52:29 PM , Rating: 2
Some guys might even get two or three added. You could say it would be a growth industry.

RE: Cmon....
By Hoser McMoose on 11/13/2009 6:48:59 PM , Rating: 2
Any such guy could get a job in the Japanese porn industry in a heartbeat!

By mindless1 on 11/10/2009 7:32:56 AM , Rating: 5
18 years of cutting penises off fluffy bunnies?


By chick0n on 11/10/2009 12:34:50 PM , Rating: 3

post of the day !

By FITCamaro on 11/10/2009 2:08:32 PM , Rating: 2
There's plenty more.

can you order these yet?
By brundall on 11/10/2009 2:22:07 PM , Rating: 2
I would like to order a foot long replacement penis please.

RE: can you order these yet?
By hobsry7350 on 11/10/2009 2:26:14 PM , Rating: 4
$5.00, please

RE: can you order these yet?
By brundall on 11/10/2009 2:32:47 PM , Rating: 2
If that includes a warranty - you have a deal!

RE: can you order these yet?
By hobsry7350 on 11/10/2009 3:25:35 PM , Rating: 2
I was thinking more aslong the line of Subway's $5.00 Foot Longs.......... :-)

A Couple Things
By wrekd on 11/10/2009 8:11:41 AM , Rating: 4
First of all,
but the inner spongy tissue, called corpus cavernosa, proved to be a much stiffer challenge

And second,
The resulting penises were identical to their natural kin in response to electrical and chemical stimuli.
...Ouch, WTF!

RE: A Couple Things
By FITCamaro on 11/10/2009 8:19:33 AM , Rating: 2


RE: A Couple Things
By Cappadocious on 11/16/2009 4:46:50 PM , Rating: 2
Lets not forget...

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)

new horizons
By Bruneauinfo on 11/10/2009 8:04:52 AM , Rating: 4
so Dailytech has added the Onion to their news aggregation.

By englisboa on 11/10/2009 8:04:52 AM , Rating: 2
I'm feeling a whole new wave of "enlarge your penis" spam on the horizon... beware!

RE: Spam
By UnlimitedInternets36 on 11/10/2009 3:33:10 PM , Rating: 2
my thoughts exactly... you can grow a Peter North
...join male enhancement club for men and grow to heights

By bradmshannon on 11/10/2009 7:26:50 AM , Rating: 3
South Park must be psychic. Next thing you know there will be penii hopping around and old men chasing them trying to get their penii back.

In the land of one penis men
By AyashiKaibutsu on 11/10/2009 9:36:57 AM , Rating: 3
The two penis man is king.

Serious question:
By zinfamous on 11/10/2009 11:22:09 AM , Rating: 3
How would this affect my e-peen?

Oh, Come On.
By drewsup on 11/10/2009 8:08:00 AM , Rating: 2
Don't be to "hard on" them! LOL

By Wierdo on 11/10/2009 11:13:40 AM , Rating: 2
but the inner spongy tissue, called corpus cavernosa, proved to be a much {stiffer} challenge
After close to 18 years of failed attempts, the researchers tried a {different angle}


achievement ++
By zinfamous on 11/10/2009 11:19:15 AM , Rating: 2
I'm thinking an unintended benefit of this progress will be that a significant number of bitter and woefully-endowed ultra fundies will suddenly be in favor of embryonic stem cell harvesting.

They'll probably be the first in line to donate their own fertilized embryos.


penile transplants
By hobsry7350 on 11/10/2009 11:51:27 AM , Rating: 2
Lessee, ex-VP Dole came out and was a huckster for Viagra when it first came out. Now, will he be a front man for penile transplants???

P.S. like your verification procedure, DailyTech. First time visitor.

By SiliconAddict on 11/10/2009 12:03:43 PM , Rating: 2
We have the capability to build the world's first bionic schlong. Better than it was before. Better, stronger, faster.

the question is will it make that cool bionic noise?

Shopping choices
By sandhuatdt on 11/10/2009 1:32:28 PM , Rating: 2
I am wondering should I click on the "buy V1agra" or the "grow a new one" link or both?

Make something more useful
By Belard on 11/10/2009 3:01:57 PM , Rating: 2

like there is not enough humans on the planet.

How about birth control for men? A pill, shot, suppository - so for those moments of "hell... the pull out method works"... no "accidents".

And if getting a new penis makes the person (born male or female) horner - then by ALL means, gotta put a hold on the live sperm.

NOTE: For the love of god - don't let any of those genetic rabbits out in the wild. Imagine the horror! But it could help re-populate endangered species. :)

a much stiffer challenge
By matthewfoley on 11/10/2009 4:30:19 PM , Rating: 2
Growing the outer skin in theory wouldn't be overly challenging, but the inner spongy tissue, called corpus cavernosa, proved to be a much stiffer challenge due to the complex mix of cell types needed.

rabbits be damned
By Alderman on 11/10/2009 6:26:57 PM , Rating: 2
Finally, some help for the little guys out there..

Do I make you RANDY??
By Jedi2155 on 11/10/2009 8:06:29 PM , Rating: 2
These rabbits obviously got their MOJO back....

By jamawass on 11/10/2009 8:17:59 PM , Rating: 2
Very interesting to know what my kid's physician is up to.

article update from The Onion....
By chagrinnin on 11/10/2009 8:39:01 PM , Rating: 2
All rabbits with bioengineered neocorpora attempted copulation within one minute of introduction.

Update: Several of the control group rabbits were immediately raped and wont be poopin' right for awhile. PETA is alarmed and plans to protest.


By unplug on 11/11/2009 1:44:09 PM , Rating: 2
I now officially a wake forrest football fan.

By MamiyaOtaru on 11/12/2009 3:11:53 PM , Rating: 2
finally hope for Sawyer Kaden (warning: crap webcomic)

What about PETA?
By FPP on 11/15/2009 1:16:58 PM , Rating: 1
I suspect they used a perfectly good rabbit. After all, how many rabbits are there with no penis?

"hey!...what are you doing man!?....hey, cut that!...I didn't mean CUT!.....I'm a rabbit man!'s working fine!........what the &%$#!....nooooooooo!"

Now if only
By WindowsSux on 11/10/09, Rating: -1
RE: Now if only
By mindless1 on 11/10/2009 10:17:57 AM , Rating: 2
Pipe down or we'll graft a penis onto your forehead while you're asleep.

lol, never thought writing something like that would be in context.

RE: Now if only
By n0ebert on 11/10/2009 10:59:36 AM , Rating: 1
Ironic seeing how this post is obviously from a "I'll buy anything you offer for whatever price you feel it's worth, Mr. Jobs" person.

To each their own with whatever computer they enjoy, but if you're going to try and flame bait at least think before you make your post.

RE: Now if only
By SiliconAddict on 11/10/09, Rating: 0
"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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