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

10 Science News Roundup #14

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

First brain training exercise positively linked to dementia prevention identified – Aging research specialists have identified, for the first time, a form of mental exercise that can reduce the risk of dementia. Science Daily

Heavy drinking, smoking linked to visible signs of aging – Heavy drinking and smoking are linked to visible signs of physical aging, and looking older than one’s years, suggests research published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. Science Daily

The brain’s helper cells have a hand in learning fear – Helper cells in the brain just got tagged with a new job — forming traumatic memories. When rats experience trauma, cells in the hippocampus — an area important for learning — produce signals for inflammation, helping to create a potent memory. But most of those signals aren’t coming from the nerve cells, researchers reported November 15 at the Society for Neuroscience meeting. Science News

Scientists Have Confirmed We Had Our First Ever Insterstellar Visitor Last Month – Astronomers have released the first results from an in-depth study on the suspected interstellar object that flew into our Solar System last month – and the findings are fascinating. IFLScience

Here’s What You Need to Know About That Mysterious Radiation Cloud Over Europe – After weeks of silence and denials, Russia has confirmed that it too has detected evidence of a mysterious radiation cloud floating above much of Europe, observing a dramatic radiation spike above Russia’s Ural Mountains. Science Alert

Deep in The Ocean, There’s a ‘Shadow Zone’ Where The Water Is 2,000 Years Old – The oldest water in the ocean didn’t reach its advanced years by accident. Science Alert

Earth Is Getting Hit by Too Much Anti-Matter, And Nobody Knows Why – Amid the high speed cosmic rays raining down on us from the depths of space are a handful of antimatter particles called positrons. Science Alert

Simple electrocardiogram can determine whether a patient has major depression or bipolar disorder, study finds – A groundbreaking Loyola Medicine study suggests that a simple 15-minute electrocardiogram could help a physician determine whether a patient has major depression or bipolar disorder. Science Daily

How Asian nomadic herders built new Bronze Age cultures – Nomadic herders living on western Asia’s hilly grasslands made a couple of big moves east and west around 5,000 years ago. These were not typical, back-and-forth treks from one seasonal grazing spot to another. These people blazed new trails. Science News

New Study Reveals Stress Can Affect Sperm – Stress is never good for anyone, especially if it is ongoing. It affects various parts of our lives and can eventually become unhealthy. Signs of stress can include symptoms such as sweating, sleepless nights, and even nervous twitching, and can prevent us to from getting on with day-to-day tasks. IFLScience

10 Science News Roundup #13

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

Potential new autism drug shows promise in mice – Scientists have performed a successful test of a possible new drug in a mouse model of an autism disorder. The candidate drug, called NitroSynapsin, largely corrected electrical, behavioral and brain abnormalities in the mice. Science Daily

Low dose, constant drip: Pharmaceutical, personal care pollution impacts aquatic life – Traditional toxicity testing underestimates the risk that pharmaceutical and personal care product pollution poses to freshwater ecosystems. Criteria that account for ecological disruption — not just organism death — are needed to protect surface waters, which are under pressure from a growing population and escalating synthetic chemical use. So reports a new study published this week in Elementa. Science Daily

Screen time might boost depression, suicide behaviors in teens – Increased time spent in front of a screen — in the form of computers, cell phones and tablets — might have contributed to an uptick in symptoms of depression and suicide-related behaviors and thoughts in American young people, especially girls, according to a new study by San Diego State University professor of psychology Jean Twenge. The findings point to the need for parents to monitor how much time their children are spending in front of media screens. Science Daily

Ancient spiral galaxy is 11 billion years old – Astronomers have spotted a spiral galaxy more ancient than any seen before. The galaxy, called A1689B11, emitted its light 11 billion years ago, just 2.6 billion years after the Big Bang. Researchers had previously reported a spiral galaxy that dates to 10.7 billion years ago. Science News

Simulating the universe using Einstein’s theory of gravity may solve cosmic puzzles – If the universe were a soup, it would be more of a chunky minestrone than a silky-smooth tomato bisque. Sprinkled with matter that clumps together due to the insatiable pull of gravity, the universe is a network of dense galaxy clusters and filaments — the hearty beans and vegetables of the cosmic stew. Meanwhile, relatively desolate pockets of the cosmos, known as voids, make up a thin, watery broth in between. Science News

“Gluten Sensitivity” May Not Actually Be Caused By Gluten – A recent study claims that people who are gluten-sensitive may not actually be as sensitive as they think they are. Instead, something else may be the culprit, and it’s not gluten. IFL Science

Favorite Planetary Cooling Plan Is Riskier Than We Knew – Faced with the immense threat of global warming, and the refusal of world leadership to act sufficiently, many people have wondered if it is possible to keep the planet habitable through deliberate cooling. Many versions of this idea, known as geoengineering, have been proposed, but a study of the most widely discussed idea has found a nasty side-effect.

People With Certain Blood Types Appear to Be More at Risk From Air Pollution – The kind of blood you have could increase or decrease your risk of having a heart attack in response to high levels of air pollution, new research suggests. A variant ABO gene – which can only be found in A, B, and AB blood types – has been linked with elevated risk of heart attack during periods of significant air pollution, whereas people with blood type O show lower risk. Science Alert

Scientists Will Look For Signs of Life on This Newly Discovered Earth-Size Planet – At just 11 light-years from our Solar System, a newly discovered exoplanet is the second-closest we’ve ever found that’s temperate enough to potentially host and sustain life. Science Alert

For The First Time Ever Scientists Have Boosted Human Memory With a Brain Implant – With everyone from Elon Musk to MIT to the US Department of Defense researching brain implants, it seems only a matter of time before such devices are ready to help humans extend their natural capabilities. Science Alert

10 Science News Roundup #12

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

Pancreatic cancer survival linked to four genes – Alterations in four main genes are responsible for how long patients survive with pancreatic cancer, according to a new study in JAMA Oncology. Science Daily

Humans are driving climate change, federal scientists say – It is “extremely likely” that humans are driving warming on Earth since the 1950s. That statement — which indicates a 95 to 100 percent confidence in the finding — came in a report released November 3 by the U.S. Global Change Research Program. This interagency effort was established in 1989 by presidential initiative to help inform national science policy. Science News

Alzheimer’s protein can travel from blood to build up in the brain – An Alzheimer’s-related protein can move from the blood to the brain and accumulate there, experiments on mice show for the first time. Science News

Sleep Deprivation Has The Same Effect as Drinking Too Much, Says Study – A lack of sleep not only causes us to drop off at our desks in the afternoon and feel cranky, it also weakens crucial communications between the neurons in the brain, according to a new study. Science Alert

Scientists Just Confirmed 18 More Possible Habitable Planets – Remember the other day, when we told you that scientists had found some potentially habitable planets hiding in Kepler data? Well, scientists have found 18 more – and they’re just as important. IFLScience

We Think We Know Where That Interstellar Object Came From – We may have spied our first ever interstellar object in the Solar System last month. Now, scientists think they might know where it came from. IFLScience

Mystery void is discovered in the Great Pyramid of Giza – High-energy particles from outer space have helped uncover an enigmatic void deep inside the Great Pyramid of Giza. Science News

The way hungry young stars suck in food keeps most X-rays in, too – A plasma cocoon lets growing stars keep their X-rays to themselves. Laboratory experiments that mimic maturing stars show that streams of plasma splash off a star’s surface, forming a varnish that keeps certain kinds of radiation inside. Science News

Artificial insulin-releasing cells may make it easier to manage diabetes – Artificial cells made from scratch in the lab could one day offer a more effective, patient-friendly diabetes treatment. Science News

Stimulating formation of new neural connections in the adult brain – A team led by University of Idaho scientists has found a way to stimulate formation of new neural connections in the adult brain in a study that could eventually help humans fend off memory loss, brain trauma and other ailments in the central nervous system. Science Daily

10 Science News Roundup #11

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

Trends in drug development – One third of all drugs on the American market act on the same kind of important cell receptor — the G protein-coupled receptors. A major mapping of these drugs has found that their pharmacological mechanisms are becoming more complex. The mapping also reveals rapid developments especially within Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, asthma and diabetes. Science Daily

How flu shot manufacturing forces influenza to mutate – The common practice of growing influenza vaccine components in chicken eggs disrupts the major antibody target site on the virus surface, rendering the flu vaccine less effective in humans. Science Daily

Building a sustainable future: Urgent action needed – We need to act urgently to increase the energy efficiency of our buildings as the world’s emerging middle classes put increasing demands on our planet’s energy resources. Science Daily

Aliens Probably Went Through Natural Selection Just Like Us – Science fiction normally depicts aliens in one of two ways. The first is that they look almost identical to us (hello Star Trek). The other is they are something wildly beyond our imagination, say, the heptapods in Arrival. IFLScience

Photons are caught behaving like superconducting electrons – Light is a fan of the buddy system. Photons, or particles of light, have been spotted swapping energy with partners. This chummy behavior resembles how electrons pair up in materials that conduct current without resistance, known as superconductors, researchers report in a paper accepted in Physical Review Letters. Science News

Zika hasn’t been in the news much, but that doesn’t mean it’s gone – Less than a year after the World Health Organization declared Zika is no longer a public health emergency, the virus seems to have fallen from public consciousness, at least outside of heavily affected areas. The mosquito-borne virus staged a massive assault on the Western Hemisphere in 2015 and 2016 (SN: 12/24/16, p. 19), but this year, Zika appears to be in retreat. Science News

Extremely Rare Case in US as Woman Gets Pregnant While Already Pregnant – An extremely rare case of a woman becoming pregnant while already pregnant has occurred in the US, with a mother unwittingly giving birth to ‘twins’ who were not conceived at the same time. Science Alert

Alzheimer’s Could Actually Start Elsewhere in The Body And Not The Brain, Says Study – Alzheimer’s disease is usually described as a degenerative neurological condition, one that is commonly associated with memory loss and confusion. Science Alert

This Monster Planet With a Tiny Star Poses a Planetary Formation Puzzle – Astronomers have found something they thought was impossible: a gas giant roughly the size of Jupiter orbiting a white dwarf half the mass and size of the Sun. Science Alert

Yellowstone’s massive volcano could erupt more frequently than scientists thought – SEATTLE, WASHINGTON—Some 630,000 years ago, the supervolcano beneath Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming recorded its last catastrophic eruption, forming a caldera that nearly spans the park’s width and belching a thick layer of ash, or tephra, across North America. Science