The Italian Almanac

dangerous hi-tech

Dangerous Hi-Tech

Using a laptop on your lap for more than an hour may lower male fertility, researchers from Padua say. Using a five-eurocent-sized stick-on chip, the team led by andrologist Carlo Foresta measured temperature variations in the testicles of men using laptops. "Up till now there had only been empirical observations that suggested an increased testicle temperature can affect the production of sperm," said Foresta, referring to known risks such as wearing tight pants, taking a sauna or having a fever.

"It's quite usual to see young men holding their laptops on their laps, especially on trains, and we've found that this habit can raise the temperature of the testicles by two degrees in an hour". The Padua University team's study, to be presented at a conference on reproductive science near Rome later this month, also examined at-risk groups like the obese and men with variococele, a condition where veins in the testicles are enlarged.

"Infertility is associated with a rise in temperature, which in both groups was about one degree," Foresta said.