Four Weird (But Medically Useful) Things Scientists Just Discovered About Your Genitalia

November 5, 2014 7:32 PM

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Scientists who study the evolution of genitalia often have a good sense of humor but there is a serious side to their area of research. “Malformations of the external genitalia are the second most comment type of birth defects in humans,” said developmental biologist Martin Cohn of the University of Florida. “What’s most alarming is the incidence of these defects has risen sharply in the last few decades in industrialized countries.” Why? Scientists are trying to figure it out, he said, and despite the high incidence of defects, our understanding of our sex organs is far behind that of other parts of the body.

To help advance our understanding, he and other scientists are studying how genitals develop in other mammals as well as birds, and reptiles. Some fascinating new observations were published this week in the journal Scientific Reports, which is associated with the British journal Nature. You can se...

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