iPad Heat Could be Bad News for Sperm

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First, laptops. Then, Wi-Fi. And now the iPad. Can't the little guys catch a break?

If you're a male iPad user who likes to hold the tablet near your crotch while playing Infinity Blade for hours, it's time to stop. Your future children will thank you.

Why? Because the new iPad reportedly runs 10 degrees hotter than the iPad 2--and that means the iPad and your testicles should maintain a safe distance from one another.

The culprit, as usual, is excessive heat.

Thermal images of iPads from Consumer Reports
Thermal images of iPads from Consumer Reports

The design of the male anatomy makes it clear that sperm production requires cooler temperatures than what the body naturally provides. Obviously, heating up your lap with a tablet or laptop (despite its name) is unwise.

Now, I'm not accusing the tech industry of trying to decimate the human species but, well, it's beginning to look that way. In fact, I'm sure conspiracy theorists have already concocted a bizarre doomsday hypothesis involving toasty testicles, declining birth rates, and the Illuminati.

Tinfoil-hat lunacy, you say? Perhaps not. Consider the evidence:

  • In 2004, a research team from the State University of New York at Stonybrook warned teenage boys and young men that they should use laptop PCs as desktops. According to the research team, the combination of heat generated by the computer and the position of the thighs to balance the laptop could decrease sperm production over time. According to study leader Dr. Yefim Sheynkin, a laptop on your lap could lead to something horrible called "scrotal hyperthermia," which sounds far worse than, say, carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Argentinian researchers last year warned that Wi-Fi signals could damage male fertility as well. They studied the effects of sperm exposed to Wi-Fi, and the results weren't pretty, Techworld reports. "Our data suggest that the use of a laptop computer wirelessly connected to the internet and positioned near the male reproductive organs may decrease human sperm quality," said lead researcher Conrado Avendano.

Apple says reports of overheating iPads are overblown, and the company may be right. But the 3rd-generation model does feel hotter than its predecessor, a fact I discovered last Saturday when I picked up one of the new models at my nearby Apple Store.

My advice: Enjoy your new iPad, but keep it away from your midsection.

Contact Jeff Bertolucci at Today@PCWorld, Twitter (@jbertolucci) or jbertolucci.blogspot.com.

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