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Zero Gravity is a Boner Killer.

January 7, 2011

Liara is disappoint.

From Captain Kirk to Commander Shepard, sci-fi has made space a sexy sexy place. In the far flung future we may be advanced enough to travel across the galaxy, but we’re still human. It wouldn’t be long until we’re sexually experimenting with other consenting alien adults.

Then again, maybe not. The University of Kansas Medical Center has released a report of 20 years of research into space sex, and it doesn’t look good for astrophiliacs. The effects on sexual organs in rats exposed to a few weeks of weightlessness saw a drop in sperm production. But what about a longer time in space? That’s when it gets scary as hell. Biologist Joe Tash explained the results of his research.

Tash kept his experiment going for six weeks, a duration more like the time astronauts spend on the International Space Station.

His results were more dramatic than anything found previously: The rats’ testes shrank and their sperm counts dropped so low the rats were infertile.

Tash’s experiment with female mice that flew on the space shuttle Discovery in April showed effects that were equally devastating.

Fifteen days of spaceflight shuts down the ovaries,” Tash said.

"I swear, this has never happened to me before."

Told you it was scary as hell. The next time he sends rats up on Discovery, he’ll repeat this experiment, but keep the mice alive and under observation to see if the effects are reversible.

There’s been pretty much no research into the effects of space travel on human sexual reproduction, aside from some women astronauts having babies after flight despite a high miscarriage rate. NASA turned down Tash’s request to measure a sperm count of male astronauts before and after a space mission.

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