Raising more than the roof at the house of blue lights

In the words of the song “Shed a little light”: There is a feeling like the clenching of a fist, There is a hunger in the center of the chest, There is a passage through the darkness…


As such, this story is one in the eye for all those spammers selling erectile dysfunction drugs as scientists have implanted a light-activated gene into rats that makes a protein involved in sexual arousal.

“With this gene in place,” the team reports in the journal Angewandte Chemie, “the rats make a protein involved in the release of the a synthetic designer guanylate cyclase producing a blue-light-inducible surge of the second messenger cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) in mammalian cells.” With this molecular biology in place, shining a light on the rat’s penis triggers and erection or as the team puts it: “雷竞技炉石传说 timulated short-circuiting of complex psychological, neural, vascular, and endocrine factors to stimulate penile erection in the absence of sexual arousal.” They suggest that this “may foster novel advances in the treatment of erectile dysfunction.”

Research Blogging IconKim T. (2015). A Synthetic Erectile Optogenetic Stimulator Enabling Blue-Light-Inducible Penile Erection, Angewandte Chemie, DOI:

Creative Commons rat photo adapted from vyctryx (Lauren Harradine)

Author: 雷竞技官网

Award-winning freelance science writer, author of Deceived Wisdom. Sharp-shooting photographer and wannabe rockstar.