‘’Your weekly informant’’

24 March- 30 April

1. Good news for coffee drinkers: regular coffee consumption may be beneficial to the heart

According to studies presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 71st Annual Scientific Session, drinking coffee, especially two to three cups per day is linked to a lower risk of heart disease and hazardous cardiac rhythms, as well as living longer. Both those with and without cardiovascular disease followed these trends. The studies, which are the largest to look into coffee’s potential impact on heart disease and death, provide confidence that coffee isn’t linked to new or worsening heart disease and may even be heart-protective, according to the researchers. The research was conducted from over half a million people who were followed for at least 10 years.

2. Is it true that octopuses, squid, and crabs have feelings?

Octopuses can solve complicated puzzles and exhibit preferences for different people, but whether they and other animals and invertebrates have emotions is a passionately discussed topic that, according to one specialist in animal minds, might shake up humans’ moral decision-making. Invertebrates such as octopuses, crabs, lobsters, and crayfish are not recognized as sentient animals capable of feeling pain in most nations, however, the United Kingdom is contemplating amending its animal welfare regulations to recognize this. Many people still believe that animals, particularly invertebrates, are painless and have only unconscious reactions to unfavorable stimuli. However, research on mammals, fish, octopuses, and to a lesser extent crabs has revealed that they avoid pain and risky environments, and certain animals, such as cows, show evidence of empathy when they see their calf in agony. Recognizing the sentience of invertebrates opens a moral and ethical dilemma.

3. A new study explains why HIV persists in human tissue despite antiretroviral treatment

HIV infection is no longer a death sentence, thanks to antiretroviral medication. However, despite the efficacy of drugs to manage and cure the virus, it will never be completely eradicated from the human body, persisting in some cells deep within various human tissues where the immune system is unaffected. Shokrollah Elahi, an immunologist at the University of Alberta, has discovered a possible explanation for the enigma of why infected people can’t get rid of HIV completely. Elahi and his colleagues discovered that in HIV patients, killer T cells — white blood cells that are responsible for recognizing and eliminating virus-infected cells — have extremely little to no CD73. CD73 is required for cell migration and translocation into the tissue, therefore its absence impairs killer T cells’ ability to detect and eradicate HIV-infected cells, according to Elahi.

4. When worlds collide: Studying impact craters to uncover the secrets of the solar system

“The most prevalent surface process shaping planetary bodies is impact cratering,” Johnson stated. “We’ve seen craters on nearly every solid-body we’ve ever seen. They are a major force in the evolution of planetary bodies. They are the driving force behind the evolution of planetary crusts. All of the planets and asteroids were formed by a sequence of collisions. Impact research can assist in determining the composition and structure of planets.” Johnson can reconstruct the environment in which the collisions occurred by collecting evidence about collisions, which gives him new insights into how and when bodies develop. His research is assisting humans in exploring the solar system’s planetary bodies using only physics, arithmetic, and a computer. The steady supply of new data and problems to work on comes from space missions and laboratory analyses.

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