Amphibio

Humans have long envied fish their ability to breathe underwater. A few extreme athletes trained in the sport of freediving—in which divers swim underwater or perform aquatic feats on a single breath—have been able to hold their breath for more than 20 minutes. (The current world record is held by Croatian free diver Budimir Šobat, who held his breath while staying underwater for 24 minutes, 11 seconds in February 2018.) But that’s not breathing underwater.

So envious are we, in fact, that it shouldn't surprise us that there have been songs written about this elusive phenomenon.

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Helmut Corneli / Alamy

Animals’ ability to recognize themselves in a mirror — long considered the ultimate test of self-awareness — has historically been limited to great apes like chimpanzees and, more recently, young dolphins. However, an international group of researchers working in Japan recently tried “the mirror test,” as it’s known, with fish, and the results were shocking.

The fish passed.

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PRIMORYE TERRITORY, RUSSIA - MAY 29, 2018: Unloading fish from the hold of the Uraganny seiner (MRS-450) of the Dobroflot Fishing Company at a shore-based fish factory in the village of Yuzhno-Morskoye. Yuri Smityuk/TASS (Photo by Yuri SmityukTASS via Getty Images)

Fish and other seafood species are associated with various regions or nations. Icelandic cod, Alaskan salmon, Louisiana crawfish, Nile tilapia, Auckland oysters—specific species have unique habitat requirements. Water quality, temperatures and conditions all affect the types of fish that can thrive in an area. However, all around the world, conditions are changing. As the world’s oceans warm, historic fisheries are relocating. Countries that counted on finding adequate stocks of a specific species in their patch of the ocean are suddenly finding their fisheries are collapsing. As fish populations relocate, fishing operations are following them—sometimes into territories controlled by other nations.

One example: Within the last 10 years, Atlantic mackerel, one of the UK’s chief exports, relocated to cooler waters near Iceland. The resulting unsustainable fishing, trade embargoes, and boat blockades created tensions between the previously friendly countries and helped lead Iceland to drop its bid to join the EU.

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Researchers at MIT have created the most advanced robotic fish built to date.

SoFi, short for “Soft Robotic Fish,” is 18.5 inches long, weighs 3.5 lbs. and can swim up to 60 feet underwater for about 40 minutes at a time. Just like a real fish, it features a torpedo-like shape and undulating tail.

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Women in the state of North Carolina cannot revoke consent once they grant it––even if intercourse turns violent. According to a 1979 State Supreme Court ruling, State v. Way, "If the actual penetration is accomplished with the woman's consent, the accused is not guilty of rape, although he may be guilty of another crime because of his subsequent actions." North Carolina is the only state with such a law on the books, and a legislative effort to change the archaic law has stalled in the Senate.

Senator Jeff Jackson (D-Mecklenburg) sponsored Senate Bill 553, which would criminalize the failure to stop intercourse after a woman rescinds consent. It reads, in part:

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[DIGEST: CNN, KTLA, Washington Post, Good Housekeeping, Alaska Dispatch News]

Adventurous diners may want to think twice before ordering that salmon sashimi.

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Big Orca Sunset Spyhop

[DIGEST: New Scientist, Smithsonian, LiveScience]

Culture plays a role in all aspects of our lives. Whether you’re an American eating sushi for the first time, a Chinese person deciphering English verb tenses, or a Western woman traveling to a country where women are typically veiled, our culture informs our preferences and expectations. But it can affect our biology as well. Humans have the ability to adapt to different environments, which explains how populations in climates with greater sunlight developed darker skin to protect the skin from damaging UV rays, while populations in lower light climates developed lighter skin to enable greater production of vitamin D.

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