What Your Penis Will Look Like When You Get Older

Standard
Illustration by Chelsea Beck/GMG.

Hello and welcome to Burning Questions, the column where we ask doctors to explain the weird things that your body does, or could do, or that you are afraid your body might do, but you probably don’t want in your search history. Let’s get started.

We’ve got two different questions today, from readers who want to know what will happen to their penis (or, I guess, to penises in general) as the years go by. First up:

Why do penises, both flaccid and erect, seem to curve as a man ages? I’ve noticed this happening to mine, and I’m wondering what I can do to prevent further wandering of my member. It’s not severe, but it’s noticeable, and I don’t want it to worsen and affect my sex life.

“Having a curved penis is common and can change with age, but it can also be a sign of a more serious disease,” says Dr. Matthew Mintz, who practices internal medicine and who teaches at the George Washington University School of Medicine.

Advertisement

Let’s talk about the normal scenario first. Dr. Mintz explains that when your penis becomes erect, it’s because two tubes called the corpora cavernosa fill up with blood. Just like breasts can be different sizes on the left and the right, so can these two tubes. That results in a curve that may not be noticeable when you’re flaccid but will be obvious when you’re hard.

The skin on your penis also plays a role in how curved it looks. As you get older and your skin gets looser, the curve can be more pronounced.

Great! Everything’s fine. Except for that part about a severe disease. What if it’s that? Because it could be that.

Advertisement

“This sounds like you may be developing Peyronie’s disease,” says Dr. Michael Reitano, physician in residence at men’s health service Roman. In Peyronie’s disease, scar tissue develops that can pull on one side of the penis, causing it to curve. This can happen after an injury, but can also just happen with no obvious cause. You may be able to feel the scar tissue as a band or lump.

The bad news is, Peyronie’s tends to get worse over time. The good news is that it’s treatable. If the curve isn’t bothering you, there’s no need to do anything, but if it gets so bad that it’s painful or that sex becomes difficult, there are medications and surgery that can help.

While we’re talking about aging penises, it seems like a good time to answer this question too:

Here’s my weird question: do older men get liver spots on their penises?

“The skin of the penis is like skin everywhere else on the body. We age, it ages,” says Dr. Reitano. But liver spots, or solar lentigo if you want to sound fancy, are a reaction to sunlight exposure over the years. So we tend to get them on exposed skin like our hands.

Advertisement

“It is unlikely that there will be significant sun exposure to cause a liver spot on the penis,” says Dr. Mintz, but hey, I don’t know what you do with your penis. If you’re worried about liver spots, keep it covered.


Got another oddball inquiry for our experts? Email me at elizabeth.skwarecki@lifehacker.com, and make sure to put BURNING QUESTIONS in the subject. We won’t use your name in the column, unless you specifically say you want us to. And if you want to stay completely anonymous, I’m also taking questions at bethskw.sarahah.com. Answers are not guaranteed, so please don’t use Burning Questions in place of going to an actual doctor.

from Lifehacker http://bit.ly/2zyLFE8
via IFTTT

IBM’s processor pushes quantum computing closer to ‘supremacy’

Standard

IBM Q research has built and tested an operational 50 qubit prototype processor, a huge leap up from its previous record of 17 qubits. The company is also set to make a 20 qubit quantum system available online for clients to try, with an updated superconducting design, connectivity and packaging. That’ll let users run computations with a "field-leading" 90 microseconds of coherence, allowing "high-fidelity quantum operations," IBM says.

Quantum computers work much differently than regular supercomputers, taking advantage of weird quantum physics principals like "superposition." In theory, they can run specific programs, like encryption-cracking algorithms, many, many times faster than regular computers.

The 50 qubit system (shown below) is a significant leap toward practical quantum computers. "We are really proud of this, it’s a big frickin’ deal," IBM AI and quantum computer director Dario Gil told MIT Technology Review. Other players in quantum computing including Google, Intel and Rigetti.

IBM’s 50 qubit computer is just a prototype, but it will soon have a working 20 qubit computer that users can try online by the end of 2017, with improvements planned throughout 2018. The company has already made lower-powered machines available for cloud use, and used a 7 qubit model to simulate a molecule, for example. IBM says around 60,000 users have run 1.7 million experiments, resulting in 35 research papers.

Quantum computers haven’t been able to run programs that a regular computer can’t, so the massive speed breakthrough many have hoped for has yet to arrive. Still, Google researchers said last month that a 50 qubit computer they’re working on could surpass current supercomputers, achieving an (excellently-named) milestone called Quantum Supremacy. The technology is tricky, though, so there’s good reason not to get too excited. But, there’s also a good chance that quantum computers will finally break that barrier sometime in the next year or two.

Source: IBM

from Engadget http://engt.co/2mciSAp
via IFTTT

Bitcoin Cash Spikes To Record High As Bitcoin Collapses Over $1000

Standard

Following the surge in Bitcoin’s USD price after the suspension of the SegWit2x hard fork, the cryptocurrency has collapsed as traders exit ‘fork dividend’ trades.

Dennis Gartman had a few words of praise for the bulls right before the collapse…

Well “bully” for Those Who’d Gotten It Right: Our “position” on Bitcoin and the other cryptos is clear: we shall have nothing whatsoever to do with them, but “good on” those who’ve been long and right; but be careful… all Bubbles eventually end in tears.

As bitcoin fell, Bitcoin Cash – a clone of the original that was generated from another split on Aug.1 – surged, trading up as much as 35%, ahead of this weekend’s launch of Bitcoin Gold.

 

This is all happening as CoinDesk reports, Bitcoin gold is set to go live this weekend.

In a new blog post, the developers behind the fork of the bitcoin blockchain said that they would release a formal software client for download at 7:00 PM UTC on Nov. 12. Originally set for a public launch on Nov. 1, the project is backed by LightningASIC, a seller of mining hardware based in Hong Kong, as well as a community of relatively unknown developers.

As reported by CoinDesk, the idea behind bitcoin gold is to keep most properties of the protocol, but restrict the use of specialized chips for mining, or the process by which new transactions are added to a blockchain (while also creating new tokens as a reward).

It’s also the latest example of a "airdropped" cryptocurrency that will distribute new coins to anyone who owned bitcoin at the time of the split, or up until the date the ledger of transactions started to differ.

Yet in a move criticized by some observers, the team behind bitcoin gold has been mining blocks in insolation since the new network was formally created last month, with a certain amount of coins being set aside to support development.

In comments, the team behind the effort sought to send a signal of confidence to the market, perhaps owing to concerns circulating around the effort.

"We are extremely grateful for the community around the world who have been contributing hash power to our testnets; besides patiently testing their own mining process, they allow exchanges, pools, wallet developers, and all other service operators to implement and test their support of BTG so that the bitcoin gold community can have a full suite of services at launch time," the project’s backers said in a statement.

In the days ahead, exchanges will no doubt be watching the launch. Soon after its August release, bitcoin cash, another cryptocurrency that forked the bitcoin network, amassed a nearly $4 billion market value.

Exchanges and traders will no doubt be watching to see if history repeats.

from Zero Hedge http://bit.ly/2i0PrN8
via IFTTT