An ultrasound zap to the testicles can stop the production of sperm, reducing overall sperm count to a level that would render males infertile, according to a new study involving rats. Further studies are still needed to test how long this new contraceptive method would last, and whether infertility could be reversed. But for the researchers studying rat and monkey testicles, the early results are pretty gratifying.
The birth control pill turns 50 this month -- the birth control pill for women, that is. While researchers have searched for a hormonal contraceptive pill for men for at least that long, so far they've been unsuccessful. Men produce a thousand sperm each second versus the monthly female egg, making the male reproductive process harder to control. But researchers think they may have finally found a safe and simple means of temporarily stopping sperm production using a common clinical device: ultrasound.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.