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FHM's This Week In SCIENCE: Cancer-Fighting Nano-Bots, Vampire Crabs, And The World's First Successful Penis Transplant!

Could these nano-bots be the elusive cancer cure we've been looking for?
by Gelo Gonzales | Mar 20, 2015
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Contrary to popular belief, the Internet isn't just your easy-access repository for "sexy pics." The Internet is good for other things—namely: cute cat pics, videos of people falling on their faces, and scandals.

There are other things, still. And one of these is SCIENCE! The world is full of new discoveries, and for those who have stayed curious, it takes but a click to stimulate one's grey matter with the smart stuff courtesy of the Internet. In This Week In SCIENCE!, we compile some of the best science-related stories we saw for the week. 

Geek glasses at the ready, fellow Internet nerds, and prepare to pump your brain with brain-steroids!

1)   Cancer-destroying nano-bots soon to be tried on human patient

Could this be the mythical cure to the Big C? An Israeli scientist by the name of Ido Bachelet of Israel's Bar-Ilan University has been working since 2012 on cancer-destroying DNA nano-bots that seek out and destroy cancer cells.

The method works like this: The nano-bots are released in a patient's body, and they are able to identify which are cancer cells and which are healthy ones. When they discover a cancer cell, they deliver their payload, and snuff out the cancer cell much like a jet fighter firing its missiles on a target.

Below is how scientists see it. That woven-looking object is the DNA nanobot while the pink booger-like things are the cancer cells:

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Now here's how we see it. The shark is the DNA nano-bot while the man is the cancer cell. (We're really hoping these nano-bots can prey on evil cancer cells as effectively as Jaws did on humans.

Watch out, cancer! The sharks are coming for you!

The project takes on a monumental step this year as Bachelet and his team attempt the procedure on an individual with late-stage leukemia. If the procedure works as well as it has in experiments, the nano-bots could usher in a new era for cancer sufferers.

Read more about it here.

2)   Doctors announce world's first successful penile transplant 

Getting your penis cut off is a scary, scary thing. For members of the Xhosa community in South Africa, it's something that happens to 250 of their men every year--thanks to their method of traditional circumcision.

Once such patient though was lucky to have been the first person to have a successful penile transplant. The procedure was done on December 11, 2014 at Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town. Three months after the fact, the 21-year-old man's transplanted penis now works as it should--that is, he is able to urinate and have sex with it.

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Image via Stellenbosch University

The rapid progress blew the doctors' initial prediction of the patient requiring two years for functionality, sparking hope for the region's accidentally-castrated ones.

There's hope for you yet, person who has broken his ano!

Image via

Read more about it here.

3)   People could be driving a flying car two years from now

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Slovakian company, AeroMobil, announced their flying car in October 2014 at the Pioneers Festival in Vienna. They called it the AeroMobil 3.0, and had fans of Back Of The Future (and flying-car hopefuls) holding their collective breath.

It's eye-catching:

The company has upped the stakes though, announcing at the SXSW Festival 2015 in Austin, Texas that their car will be going from prototype to consumer model within two years. That means, in 2017, we'll all get the chance to drive the transforming automobile/airplane provided we have a few hundred thousand dollars to spare and a flying license. The car is said to have a top speed of 100mph on land and 125mph in flight.

Here it is in action:  

Video via Pioneers Festival

Read more about it here.

4)   Alcohol now comes in powdered form in the U.S.!

Call your inuman mates, mate! There's a new way to drink as powdered alcohol or "palcohol" is now legal in the United States. The powdered beverage, meant to be mixed in with liquid like powdered juice or powdered milk, was made legal by the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau last Tuesday, March 17. 

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Health and public safety officials in the U.S. have now started to take measures to somehow ban the product, stating that it makes it easier for the youth to drink at an earlier age or for people to put the powder in some unsuspecting person. The drink's creator, Mark Phillips, defended his product saying that it's an overblown notion, and said that he only created the powdered drink for those who want to travel and not carry around a heavy bottle. 

In the meantime, Palcohol will be available in four different flavors: vodka, rum, cosmopolitan, and margarita. Any importers out there?

Read more about it here.

5)   Scientists discover two new "vampire crabs"

For those who love exotic pets, here's a pair that might excite you. Scientists have just found two new species of crabs, the Geosesarma dennerle and the Geosesarma hagen. The crabs from Java, Indonesia have actually been in the exotic trade for well over 10 years now but have only been recently described in the latest issue of Raffles Bulletin of Zoology.

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Image via Raffles Bulletin Of Zoology

The vampire crabs--called us such for their fierce yellow eyes--are colorful land-dwellers, with the dennerle having a purple carapace and the hagen sporting an orange finish. Their striking "colorway" is the main reason why they've been such prized catches in the aquarium industry. On the negative side, their value as pets have made it difficult for scientists to pinpoint where they were coming from as the crab-hunters were trying to keep their sources for the animals a secret.

Image via Raffles Bulletin Of Zoology

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The recent scientific discovery is said to lead to protection and conservation tactics designed to prevent the crabs from the exotic pet trade.

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