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Самая интригующая загадка воды разгаданаScientists have managed to solve one of the most intriguing mysteries of water: they found out how it can save the information about those who inhabit it. It turned out that some organic molecules trapped in the water, can be stored in it long enough. This is strange - in theory, they must be immediately destroyed. But for some reason this does not happen.

Traditionally it is believed that water passes smells considerable distances worse than air. The reason is that signaling molecule, combination of which, strictly speaking, is any smell, being very active in the solvent, which is even distilled water, quickly disintegrating. In addition, because of the constant currents (which is even in stagnant water) concentration of aromatic substances drastically reduced - just molecules quickly spread in different directions.

At the same time, biologists and chemists are haunted by the fact that almost all aquatic animals sense organs are developed much better than other receptors. And, apparently, their work is very effective. So, it has long been known that the shark can smell the victims at a distance of several hundred meters. And when it takes place in the ocean - sea water due to the large concentration of salts more than freshwater.

And recently, this paradox was resolved thanks to research conducted at the Institute of polar research named Alfred Wegener, Professor Boris Koch. Scientist, using the method of spectrometry, found one amazing thing. Exact mass spectrometer showed that in the water after the collapse of organic matter for a long time remained its single molecules.

"The water has a chemical memory"and save the information about who was in her organisms in the form of single organic molecules. We learned to know a part of any organisms were these molecules and how long they were in the water", says the researcher. According to him, the spectrometer can accurately determine the atomic structure of molecules and, moreover, the proportion of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, etc., Based on this, you can restore the shape of the molecule and even determine, any part of the body it was.

According to a study Koch, often saves water carbohydrates and organic acids. And it is these substances and are part of the majority of secrets, secreted by the body surface, for example, mucus fish and many invertebrates. Of course, the composition of mucus and other excreta are specific for each species. Perhaps that is why the shark and finds his prey in the far distance without any errors - it just follows the train of organic molecules, which are stored for a long time, sometimes for several days. And, guided by specific smell, bloodthirsty predator immediately understands whose these traces harmless for her tuna or the company of dolphins that it is better not to contact.

Moreover, the scientist managed to find out that the water may be long enough to store information about the death of the animal. Some molecules his decaying body are in a place where being suffered death, a very long time. Apparently, they are the signals for many marine scavengers, for example, mixin or crabs who see bad enough, but without any difficulty finding the deceased immediately after his death. "That is, it turns out that the water keeps the memory of the dead as well as the Registrar's office"jokes scientist.

Interestingly, the opening Koch while that contradicts some regularities of organic chemistry. According to them, any organic molecule after falling into the sea water very quickly decompose into simple ones, like carbon dioxide and water. But in this case this does not happen. But why? Perhaps due to the fact that excretory substances capable of combining with water molecules complex compounds that are resistant to any "destroyers".

However, what is the limit of the existence of such a stable connection? In the work speaks of a few days, however, it is possible that this idea has developed because the experiments was limited. Perhaps molecular information may be stored for months or even years. These should be checked, conducting investigations already not in the laboratory, and in the ocean.

If so, then this technology can be used, for example, in tracking the migration routes of different marine animals. In fact, employees AWI are planning next summer in Antarctica to take water samples near the colonies of southern elephant seals to confirm this assumption. Also they are going to work with sharks that by changing the concentration of organic matter in the water, to understand whether aquatic animals can navigate the ocean "smell", feeling the increased concentration of those or other molecules.

And, finally, such a study has another interesting perspective. Seeing how long in the water can be stored organic molecules, you can set the limit "roominess" ocean as the world's largest reservoir of organic matter. And another to keep track of what part of the CO2 produced in the ocean, and which comes from outside. This will help finally to be defined with the notorious greenhouse effect. He really is the place to be?


Anton Evseev
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