ArminasX has a Sexual Encounter!

Saturday, April 3, 2010 Saturday, April 03, 2010

No, it's not what you think. But it does involve sex. This week I visited a place where Second Life's virtual capabilities were used to the extreme: The Tour of the Testis.

It's one of those amazing automated tours, where you board a vehicle that takes you through interesting and usually educational displays. This tour is definitely educational, as you actually fly through a truly gigantic testis and observe the entire biological process from the inside.

The tour is presented by The Ohio State University, Second Life Campus. Specifically, it's for their Medical Center, and was built by DrDoug Pennell.

Strangely, your vehicle has a wiggly tail and is shaped like something familiar. It seats four, so bring your friends. You choose between an audio or text tour. I chose text.

The tour takes you inside the relevant body structures, as if you are cell-sized, where you can actually see cells being generated and swimming through tubules. The sperm particles are represented as fluorescent green particles! They're pretty easy to notice as you can see in this image.

The biological explanations in text are well beyond my meager medical knowledge, but they seem quite comprehensive. Here's an example:

Normally these spaces would be filled with sperm in various stages of development.
However in patients with Sertoli Cell Only Syndrome, they only have ....
Sertoli Cells :-).  They are azoospermic (have no sperm) and as you might expect, are infertile.
We are now outside the tubule.  However, we would still be INSIDE the testis.
Note that the blood vessels as well as some cell types such as the Leydig Cells (orange/brown) are OUTSIDE the tubule.
I suspect medical students would benefit from the explanations more than casual visitors such as myself. 

The display shows incredible biological detail in a massive and intricately built model. Key structures are highlighted and animated to show you precisely how things work.

The tour ends at a dramatic platform where you can examine a breathtaking overview of the tubule. Don't leave yet, because there are additional animations you can access from the platform by clicking on the signs.

This tour is very well done and provides some great educational value. But here's the key question: is this a good place to take a date? Heh, it depends. Why don't you find out? Here's the SLURL.


Unknown said...

Thank You so much for giving me the opportunity to ride the Testis. It was much bigger then I thought. You understated it. I also failed the Hormone Test.

Related Posts with Thumbnails