Learning! Roundup: Genius octopi, singing fish, the best waterproofing ever, and more!

Learning! Roundup: Smart octopi, loss of groundwater, and more!

Octopi are GENIUSES...

...and now maybe we know why! Looks like octopi, and other cephalopods have about 11,000 RNA coding sites (compared to a human's measles couple-dozen useful sites), and that these allow them to edit their genes on the fly, adapting to new environments in a snap.

The Ground is Going Dry

We are using up vital groundwater, and (unlike Beyoncé's unfaithful lover) it is irreplaceable. This is caused mostly by farming practices - instead of using water from rivers and streams, 43% of water for crops and irrigation comes from the ground.

Singing Fish!

That's about it: there are species of fish that are not only vocal, but that SING SONGS! In CHORUS!

Everybody's Got It

Okay, not everybody. But a new study shows that almost half of Americans have genital human papilloma virus (HPV). Since certain strains of HPV can lead to the fun times of cancer, this is kind of a big deal. Vaccinating 11 and 12 year olds against HPV is seen as our best line of defence so far.


If you've ever tried to waterproof something, you know that the worst part is how fragile whatever the coating is: a little scratch or abrasion and BAM! Wetness. Researchers have developed a new waterproofing spray that is durable and even self-repairing. So basically, it's waterproofing MAGIC that can be used on clothing, roofs, and whatever else you want to make impervious to water.

One-Hour Flu Testing

Right now there's no quick and easy way to prove someone has the flu, which means that people with flus often get prescribed antibiotics, which do nothing but increase antibiotic resistance and hasten societal breakdown and death. Luckily, some scientists have now created a flu test that can give results in one hour, hopefully seriously reducing the number of unnecessary antibiotics out there.

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