"If it weren't for the penis, human life would have ended with Adam and Eve.
It seems strange that something so important is so funny-looking.
I'm an author and journalist. Sometimes I write about funny things.
Some of those funny things are penises."
--Michael N. Marcus

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Monkey testicle transplants to humans may be coming back

Rejuvenation treatment once attracted the rich and famous even the Pope but was later dismissed as trickery. Now it is being reconsidered in medical circles.

At the peak of his fame in the 1930s, Professor Voronoff, a Russian physician, was doing ten monkey gland operations a week in which three thin slices of monkey testicle were grafted (with silk stitches) on to the inside of the scrotum. He was, as a result, a very wealthy man. He occupied the whole of the first floor of one of Paris’s most expensive hotels, surrounded by a retinue of chauffeurs, valets, personal secretaries and two mistresses. 

In 1952, a distinguished British surgeon, Kenneth Walker, described the work as "no better than the methods of witches and magicians". And, in another memorable phrase, the monkey grafts were swiftly dismissed as "nothing more nor less than a piece of dead meat put in the wrong place".

In November 1991 an editorial in The Lancet suggested that the file on Voronoff’s work be reopened and in particular that "the Medical Research Council should fund further studies on monkey glands".


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