Great Swedish meatballs of fire. A Swedish scientist had his penis and testicles badly scorched while using his laptop.

The 50-year-old father of two had spent an hour writing a report in his armchair with the portable computer perched on his... err... lap.

He had been so engrossed in his work that he paid no heed to the occasional burning sensation in his crotch. Oh, and yes, he was wearing underpants and trousers.

The next day though, he looked down in horror to find his privates rather red and irritated. A hasty (but very careful) journey to the doctor was in order and, on inspection, the physician found a smorgasbord of blisters, which soon popped, leading to a full-blown infection.

According to a letter in The Lancet written by the physician who treated the victim: "The patient recalled that, while sitting two days earlier with his computer on his lap, he occasionally had felt heat and a burning feeling on his lap and proximal thigh, a sensation that was relieved at least temporarily when the computer was moved slightly.

"After the first two days, the penile and scrotal blisters broke and developed into infected wounds that caused extensive suppuration. More than a week later, the wounds were covered by dry crusts and thereafter were healing quite rapidly. No antibiotic treatment was needed."

The make of laptop is not known, but as laptops become faster and more powerful they can become hotter. Computer chips double in capacity about every 18 months and manufacturers have to find ways to dissipate the heat. Preferably away from our more tender areas.