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Penis cloning on horizon, scientists say

You know you’ve thought about it. Soon, it may be possible to clone your penis.

Health Day reports that scientists grafted specially engineered penile tissue onto rabbits with damaged penises. The rabbits re-grew their penises, which functioned normally. Rabbits with re-grown penises were even able to impregnate female rabbits.

"Mating activity in the animals with the engineered [penis] resumed by one month after implantation," Researchers reported. "Presence of sperm was confirmed in the vaginal vault of the female partners, and all females conceived and delivered healthy pups."

Dr. Anthony Atala, director of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., and his team reported its findings at the American Urological Association annual meeting.

While drugs like Viagra, Cialis and Levitra have met with success at treating some forms of erectile dysfunction, scientists hope to use genetically engineered penises to treat the toughest cases.

"This is very exciting—the researchers have been working on this for a long time in a variety of different organs. It's not yet clinically available, but if it works and proves safe and effective, it would be a tremendous advance," Dr. Ira Sharlip, a spokesman for the American Urological Association and a clinical professor of urology at the University of California, San Francisco, told Health Day.