from synthase. Since erectile dysfunction is a thing—both from age and non-specific other causes, and from post-surgical complications—understanding nitric oxide's role could be a step to drugs or other treatments that restore normal life to men whose prostate cancer or other disease rendered them impotent. And—or—the work could bring relief to men with the opposite problem—painful and uncontrollable erections, known as priapism. Apparently, sickle cell anemia can bring this on. "Continued action to address the health care administrative concerns of those most commonly affected by priapism, specifically individuals with sickle cell disease, is also appropriate," reads the abstract from one of the papers the study's principle researcher, Arthur Burnett, wrote. "All successes in these arenas ensure that afflicted individuals avoid the health burdens of priapism and preserve sexual function." So there it is. Mice and rats are being killed (though first they are anesthetized, then their genitals flayed, then they are chemically aroused, etc.) so that men can better understand how our junk functions, and how to keep it functional after trauma. It might sound like a bad tradeoff to animal lovers, or a joke to people not afflicted with any of the troubles this work aims to fix. The again, if you're among the estimated 15 to 30 million men who suffer from erectile dysfunction, maybe it's not so funny.