10 Science News Roundup #14

Here are 10 science news that I find interesting and important to take note.

Beating heart patch is large enough to repair the human heart – Biomedical engineers at Duke University have created a fully functioning artificial human heart muscle large enough to patch over damage typically seen in patients who have suffered a heart attack. The advance takes a major step toward the end goal of repairing dead heart muscle in human patients. Science Daily

Three to four cups of coffee a day linked to longer life – Drinking coffee is “more likely to benefit health than to harm it” for a range of health outcomes, say researchers in The BMJ today. Science Daily

‘Arrow of time’ reversed in quantum experiment – Your lukewarm cup of coffee won’t suddenly heat itself up, no matter how long you put off the trek to the microwave. But the same rule doesn’t necessarily apply to quantum systems. Like chilly air warming a mug, heat can spontaneously flow from a cold quantum particle to a hotter one under certain conditions, researchers report November 10 at arXiv.org. This phenomenon seems to reverse the “arrow of time,” the idea that natural processes run forward but not in reverse (SN: 7/25/15, p. 15). Science News

Republicans Want To Force The Critically Endangered Red Wolf Into Extinction – The red wolf, Canis rufus, currently exists only as a small population in one part of North Carolina. It’s listed under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as critically endangered, which means it’s one step away from being extinct in the wild. IFLScience

The Once-Deadly Scarlet Fever Is Making a Weird Comeback Around The World – After decades of decline, scarlet fever is once again on the rise in the UK and other places around the world, and doctors are scrambling to figure out why. Science Alert

Latest DNA Analysis Shows The Yeti Are Actually Just a Bunch of Bears – The Yeti of the mountains of Asia, hairy like a white ape, yet bipedal and standing taller than a man, is numbered among the world’s most beloved cryptids. Yet, for all the eyewitness accounts, physical evidence of the beast is proving tricky to pin down. Science Alert

The key to breaking down plastic may be in caterpillars’ guts – To destroy plastic, caterpillars go with their gut bacteria. Science News

Common cold viruses reveal one of their strengths – Common cold season is back, which has people wondering why we catch the same virus, year after year. Why don’t we ever develop immunity against the common cold? Professor Pierre Talbot at INRS has known about the incredible variability of coronaviruses for some time. They’re responsible for the common cold as well as many other infections, including neurological diseases. Along with his research associate Marc Desforges, Professor Talbot worked on a study recently published in Nature Communications about the ways in which coronaviruses adapt and evolve, becoming ever more effective at infecting hosts without being defeated by the immune system. Science Daily

Research Shows That Earthworms Can Thrive Even in Mars Soil – Good news, aspiring Martian farmers! The soil composition of Mars oughtn’t hinder earthworm reproduction, if experiments here on Earth are any indication. Science Alert

Powerful new cancer drugs are saving lives, but can also ignite diabetes or other autoimmune conditions – Last week, Yale University immunologist Kevan Herold spoke about a few of his newest diabetes patients to an unlikely audience: oncologists and cancer researchers. At the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer’s annual meeting in Oxon Hill, Maryland, Herold and other speakers described how a novel class of promising cancer drugs is causing type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune diseases in some of those treated. Science Mag

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