What do you think when you look at a cocktail? Do you think, “Mmm, yummy cocktail, I’ll drink that”; or do you think, “This gives me a fantastic idea for blocking the vas deferens?”
If you answered the former, then sadly you are no scientist, for researchers have taken inspiration from layered cocktails to develop a new form of medium-term reversible male contraception.
The idea is simple – or at least it sounds simple when described in terms that ordinary idiots like you and I can understand. Layered cocktails are made by layering different-coloured liquids in a glass.
When the cocktail is heated or stirred, the layers blend into one uniform liquid. So obviously, some bright sparks – namely brilliant boffin Xiaolei Wang and his team – thought, why can’t we do that with contraception too?
So they did, coming up with a way to inject layers of materials to block the vas deferens and thereby prevent sperm being delivered from the testicles to the urethra. When one is desirous of unblocking the pipeline, simply apply heat and voila! Like a cocktail, the layers mix, break down and the sperm’s path becomes free once more.
It’s a brilliant idea, but it must be stressed we’re still at the research stage and the fact it’s been successfully tested in rats doesn’t mean it will necessarily work, or be safe, for humans.
Results so far are certainly promising, though. Just don’t take this as a green light to start injecting cocktails into your own junk – this is very much one of those “don’t try it at home” things.