This news seems especially timely now that we’ve been subject to a host of summer flash floods – scientists in Japan have discovered a “snorkel” gene that could make rice more tolerant to extreme water conditions. The gene triggers hollow tubes to grow swiftly from parts of the rice plant called internodes, which then allow it to literally keep its head above water. When floods arive, it can grow up to 25cm per day. Considering up to 40% of crops in Asia and Africa are subject to flash floods or deep water, this could significantly boost yields. The scientists at Nagoya University are currently introducing these “snorkel” genes to high-yield rice. The BBC also has a creepy cool video showing how quickly the rice grows. Check it out.