Tetrahedra may explain water’s uniqueness

Tetrahedra may explain water 's uniqueness
Scientists at The University of Tokyo use a two-state model based on the formation of tetrahedral structures to explain water’s anomalous properties and the surprising liquid-liquid transition of water Credit: Institute of Industrial Science, the University of Tokyo

Researchers at the Institute of Industrial Science at the University of Tokyo sifted through experimental data to probe the possibility that supercooled water has a liquid-to-liquid phase transition between disordered and tetrahedrally structured forms. They found evidence of a critical point based on the cooperative formation of tetrahedra, and show its minor role in water’s anomalies. This work shows that water’s special qualities—which are essential for life—originate predominantly from the two-state feature.


Liquid water is indispensable for life as we know it, yet many of its properties do not conform with the way other fluids behave. Some of these anomalies, such as water’s maximum density at 4°C and its large heat capacity,

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Nearly Half of South America’s Mammals Came from North America, New Research May Explain Why | Smart News

North and South America haven’t always been connected. South America functioned as a continent-sized island for millions of years following the extinction of the dinosaurs, incubating its own strange assembly of animals such as giant ground sloths, massive armored mammals akin to armadillos and saber-toothed marsupial carnivores. Meanwhile, North America was exchanging animals with Asia, populating it with the ancestors of modern horses, camels and cats, writes Asher Elbein for the New York Times.

Finally, when tectonic activity formed the Isthmus of Panama roughly ten million years ago, a massive biological exchange took place. The many species that had been evolving in isolation from one another on both continents began migrating across the narrow new land bridge. Llamas, raccoons, wolves and bears trekked south, while armadillos, possums and porcupines went north.

It would be reasonable to expect this grand biological and geological event, known to paleontologists as the Great

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A new 3D model could explain the formation of a hexagon storm on Saturn — ScienceDaily

With its dazzling system of icy rings, Saturn has been a subject of fascination since ancient times. Even now the sixth planet from the sun holds many mysteries, partly because its distance away makes direct observation difficult and partly because this gas giant (which is multiple times the size of our planet) has a composition and atmosphere, mostly hydrogen and helium, so unlike that of Earth. Learning more about it could yield some insights into the creation of the solar system itself.

One of Saturn’s mysteries involves the massive storm in the shape of a hexagon at its north pole. The six-sided vortex is an atmospheric phenomenon that has been fascinating planetary scientists since its discovery in the 1980s by the American Voyager program, and the subsequent visit in 2006 by the U.S.-European Cassini-Huygens mission. The storm is about 20,000 miles in diameter and is bordered by bands of winds

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Pain relief caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection may help explain COVID-19 spread — ScienceDaily

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can relieve pain, according to a new study by University of Arizona Health Sciences researchers.

The finding may explain why nearly half of people who get COVID-19 experience few or no symptoms, even though they are able to spread the disease, according to the study’s corresponding author Rajesh Khanna, PhD, a professor in the College of Medicine — Tucson’s Department of Pharmacology.

“It made a lot of sense to me that perhaps the reason for the unrelenting spread of COVID-19 is that in the early stages, you’re walking around all fine as if nothing is wrong because your pain has been suppressed,” said Dr. Khanna. “You have the virus, but you don’t feel bad because you pain is gone. If we can prove that this pain relief is what is causing COVID-19 to spread further, that’s of enormous value.”

The paper, “SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein

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Cannabis VCs explain what it takes for startups to get their attention

  • As the cannabis industry matures, winners have begun to separate themselves from the pack and position themselves as leaders in their categories.
  • VCs are taking notice. They said they’re shifting their investment dollars from early stage firms to growth stage companies that already have a proven track record.
  • According to data from PitchBook, VC investment in cannabis startups cratered this year, as the cannabis bubble burst and investors pulled back during the pandemic.
  • Many investors told us they’re still open to new exceptional startups, however.
  • Business Insider talked to six VCs who say that for a startup to get their attention, the company would need to have solid leadership, an idea that would completely innovate or create a category, and the ability to scale quickly, among other qualities
  • Subscribe to Insider Cannabis for more stories like this.

The crowded cannabis market has thinned out since its boom in late 2018,

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Can Dark Matter Really Explain The Universe’s Structure?

One of the most puzzling components of the Universe has to be dark matter. Although we have extraordinary astrophysical evidence that the normal matter in the Universe — the stuff made out of known particles in the Standard Model — cannot account for the majority of the gravitational effects we observe, all of that evidence is indirect. We still have yet to obtain a shred of repeatable, verifiable direct evidence for whatever particle might be responsible for dark matter. The total evidence places very tight constraints on any non-gravitational interactions

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