- Only Human
Some 40 years ago, researchers at the University of Missouri were searching for an alternative to the condom — a cheap, trustworthy and reversible form of male birth control.
For their first study, published in 1975, they strapped anesthetized rats, face-down, to a plexiglass platform with a cut-out cup full of water for their dangling scrota. The scientists then exposed the animals’ testicles to a variety of things.
Heat, for example, can kill sperm (which is thought to explain why the testes hang outside of the body). So some of the animals got a 140-degree Fahrenheit water bath for 15 minutes. Others received a dose of infrared radiation, or short blasts of microwaves or ultrasound. After treatment, the animals had constant