#2. Super Monkeys
Hey, you know how every time you go to the zoo, the only thing you can think about is how great it would be if monkeys could jump like kangaroos? No?
Shit, Science is the only one that thinks that? Weird.
Oh well, they went ahead and made Monkey-roos a reality anyway (you're welcome, children's cartoons and bestiality enthusiasts looking for a challenge): Scientists at the Nationwide Children's Hospital have successfully used gene therapy to augment the amount of follistatin in the leg muscles of monkeys. Follistatin is what's known as a "myostatin blocker" in the chemistry world. Myostatin is what's known as a "decreased muscle mass protein" in the weightlifting world. Blocking this process in monkeys, thereby giving them super strong legs, is what's known as a "dick move" in the "I was hoping they couldn't get me on top of this building" world.
Johns Hopkins, via ScienceDaily
Here's what the results of this process look like in mice, in case you were foolishly thinking you could "take" our new supermonkey masters ...
The scientists weren't setting out to make murderous Monkey-roos, of course. They had excellent intentions: This treatment could be used to counter muscle weakness in many disorders, such as multiple sclerosis. It's just another case of not being able to see the forest for the angry, screaming monkeys launching out of the trees at your infuriatingly untorn face.
Ah, but I'm being ridiculous. The monkey apocalypse is a silly idea. Despite what the Planet of the Apes movies insist, nobody's out there actively encouraging the downfall of man and the rise of monkey-kind in his place. I mean, it's not like anybody's out there right now building ...
You'd roll your eyes if your spastic little brother said it: Monkey Robots!
Yep, really funny putting random words together, Billy. Good work, but don't quit your day job eating crayons, buddy.
Well, don't you look like an asshole? Turns out, little Billy was a futurist, just trying to warn us all of our impending doom. Behold, the dawn of the Monkey-bots!
So what the hell are you looking at here? That's a monkey with its arms restrained, mentally controlling a robotic arm in order to feed itself. How the hell did they do that? Well, scientists at the University of Pittsburgh first designed the highly complex robot arms with seven points of articulation, and then implanted sensors in the monkey's hand and motor cortex to control it. Why the hell would they do that? Because shit, son, even scientists like to get a little high sometimes.
You know what? I take it all back, Science. You were right: This was a damn fine idea. I mean sure, maybe we shouldn't be artificially augmenting similar-but-lesser species for our own amusement if we want to retain our positions atop the food chain, but in all fairness, look at that video: It is really, really fucking funny to watch a monkey feed itself pieces of marshmallow with a crazy robotic claw. Look how casually he's dealing with it! He's all like "Whatevs; so I got a robot arm. Ain't no thing. But dang, have you guys seen these marshmallow bits? This shit be crazy!"
And yeah, maybe we're inadvertently bringing the plot of Rise of the Planet of the Apes to fruition here. And sure, we're almost certainly spelling our own doom, trampled beneath the armies of rage-infected dystopian mice, kung fu rats and super-jumping cyborg apes led by the infallible strategies of the slime overlords, but once again -- look at 'im eat those little marshmallow bits with that robot arm. That's every bit as weird as it is adorable. We'll probably get a pretty bitchin' meme out of this shit.
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For more from Brockway, check out The 5 Weirdest Drug Experiments Performed on Animals and 5 Lovable Animals You Didn't Know Are Secretly Terrifying.