Of the many tools available to public health officials and epidemiologists trying to understand and prevent the spread of global pandemics, one valuable resources has been ignored, until now: zombie movies.

Also in today’s links: valuable measures countries take to be clean, worthless tests for predicting diseases.

  • In a three-hour test of endurance, a Kenyan man battled a 13-foot python, trying to smother the snake using his shirt and eventually biting the creature. Be careful, though. The snake was taken by authorities to a sanctuary afterward, from which it promptly escaped.
  • While only one species of octopus is dangerous to humans, a new study has found that all octopuses are venomous. This finding raises the possibility of drug development from octopus venom, which the creatures use to capture prey.
  • A list of the world’s cleanest countries has some surprises: Colombia, Albania. Who knew? But not surprisingly, the non-plastic-bag-providing countries of Europe fared best.
  • Want to know what kind of diseases might slay you later in life? Try guessing. Don’t bother with personal DNA tests. A series of commentaries find that this new service provides little information of value.