Scientists are putting a great deal of time into studying beetle penises, and not for the reasons you might think. The behavior of erect beetle genitalia could serve as the perfect inspiration for improvements in medical catheter design.

The issue researchers are trying to solve is the flimsiness of catheters, which need to be able to be easily inserted into the body. However, they can’t be so rigid that they’re unable to maneuver through the body’s interior to get to their target. They also must be able to stay rigid enough inside the body to avoid buckling somewhere along the way, which would cause liquids to stop flowing.

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