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Water exists in two distinct liquid phases

Water exists in two distinct liquid phases

Science
June 26 (UPI) -- Water differs from other liquids in a variety of ways, many of which make it essential for life. New research has identified another unusual property: water exists in two distinct liquid phases."Water can exist as two different liquids at low temperatures where ice crystallization is slow," Anders Nilsson, a professor of physical chemistry at Stockholm University, said in a news release.Researchers used high-powered X-rays to image water at low temperatures, revealing two distinct molecular structures. Each structure proved to represent liquid phases."It is very exciting to be able to use X-rays to determine the relative positions between the molecules at different times," said Fivos Perakis, a postdoctoral researcher at Stockholm University. "We have in particular been ab...
SpaceX completes launch and landing double bill

SpaceX completes launch and landing double bill

Science
US rocket company SpaceX completed back-to-back launches at the weekend. Late on Friday, it used one of its refurbished Falcon 9 vehicles to put up a Bulgarian satellite from Florida.Then on Sunday, SpaceX lofted another 10 spacecraft for telecommunications company Iridium. This time, the rocket flew out of California.Both missions saw the Falcon first-stages come back to Earth under control to drone ships that had been positioned out on the ocean. It means SpaceX has now had 13 landing successes for those missions it has sought to recover the booster. That said, Friday's first-stage had a particularly hard landing, and looked bent over on the live video feed. "Rocket is extra toasty and hit the deck hard (used almost all of the emergency crush core), but otherwise good," quipped SpaceX ch...
How and why does light affect sleep?

How and why does light affect sleep?

Science
June 23 (UPI) -- Many studies have explored the effects of light on the circadian rhythms of plants and animals, including humans. But few have looked at the direct effects of light on sleep.Researchers at the California Institute of Technology set out to determine how and why light directly impacts sleep. Scientists wanted to know why darkness is soporific, and why brightness can disrupt deep sleep.Testing in Caltech labs revealed a light-sensitive neural protein key in maintaining the proper balance between wakefulness and sleep."Researchers had previously identified the photoreceptors in the eye that are required for the direct effect of light on wakefulness and sleep," researcher David Prober, a professor of biology at Caltech, said in a news release. "But we wanted to know how the bra...
Seismic surveys responsible for high zooplankton mortality rates

Seismic surveys responsible for high zooplankton mortality rates

Science
June 23 (UPI) -- Seismic surveys carried out by the oil and gas industry are causing high mortality rates among zooplankton, according to new research out of Australia.Seismic air guns are frequently used on marine petroleum expeditions. New research found the air blasts dramatically increase mortality rates among target zooplankton species. Testing also showed the air gun's negative impact extends well beyond previous range estimates.Testing revealed air gun pulses yielded between an 18 and 60 percent increase in zooplankton mortality rates. The seismic blasts also killed al zooplankton larva. These effects extended across nearly 4,000 feet. It was previously believed the negative impact of seismic air guns was limited to roughly 30 feet.The findings -- detailed in a study published Thurs...
Pandas in Berlin: Meng Meng and Jiao Qing arrive in new home

Pandas in Berlin: Meng Meng and Jiao Qing arrive in new home

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your deviceTwo giant pandas have landed safely in Berlin accompanied by Chinese panda specialists and a ton of bamboo.Meng Meng and Jiao Qing were welcomed at Berlin's Schoenefeld airport by Berlin's mayor, China's ambassador to Germany and crowds of reporters.The pair, flown in from China on a Lufthansa cargo plane, were immediately driven to Berlin zoo.They will be introduced to the public next week by Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping."They slept a bit, munched on their bamboo and nibbled on some cookies," veterinarian Andreas Ochs told reporters at Berlin's Schoenefeld airport shortly after their eagerly anticipated arrival.The bears will be officially presented to the public at Berlin zoo on 6 July.Clingy panda racks up 163m hit...