Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sexy MRIs


Call me a physics geek, but when I learned I was going to be introduced to an MRI machine, I was already giddy. When I finally did meet the object of my amorous affection, it tried to undress me (big magnet plus metal clasps on bra and shirt equals considerable excitement). I thought my love for this massive magnetic force had been consummated the day I went inside of it (it even required me to remove my birth control), but it turns out there are people luckier than me out there.

A 1999 study done by a group of researchers in Holland (Pek van Andel won the Nobel Prize for this work), aimed to examine the anatomy of genitals during intercourse. The second objective, and the one most deserving of funding, was simple curiosity, “To find out whether taking images of the male and female genitals during coitus is feasible…”

The study design was quite interesting. There is an interesting figure in the paper – a sketch drawn by Leonardo da Vinci depicting the anatomy and coital details of intercourse. There are also of course, actual images obtained from the experiment.

There is also a video available.

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