Best of Last Week—Golden mystery solved, drug resistant nightmare bacteria and fast talking doesn't offer more info

January 23, 2017 by Bob Yirka recap
Unlocking the secrets of gold. Credit: Massey University

(ScienceX)—It was a good week for physics as an international team of researchers reported that a golden mystery was solved—the group was finally able to bridge the gap between theory and experiments regarding quantum properties of gold. Also, a trio of researchers from France and Mexico proposed that violations of energy conservation in the early universe may explain dark energy, and by extension,the cosmological constant problem. And a team at the University of Cambridge reported that they had found a way to cause graphene's sleeping superconductivity to awaken—by coupling it with praseodymium cerium copper oxide.

In space news, an international team of researchers found that we live in a universe of two trillion galaxies—10 times as many as prior estimates have suggested. Also, a team at San Francisco State University reported on their search for signs of life on the Wolf 1061 exoplanet, a planetary system 14 light years away. And two international teams of researchers separately gave lessons on how cosmic plumes offer geometry lessons to astronomers as part of a tale of two pulsars' tails.

In other news, a combined team of researchers from Monash University in Australia and the University of Colorado described evidence suggesting that humans, not climate change, wiped out Australian megafauna. Also, a trio of researchers with Université de Montréal and Oxford University offered evidence showing that the first humans arrived in North America 10,000 years earlier than believed as part of their analysis of artifacts found in Bluefish Caves in the Yukon, Canada. Also, a team at Harvard and the Broad Institute reported on their study of a drug-resistant 'nightmare bacteria' that showed a worrisome ability to diversify and spread—carbapenem resistant Enterobacteriaceae, they report, has been found in four hospitals in the U.S. and has genetic traits that make it resistant to antibiotics.

And finally, if you are a fast talker, you might find the results of a study conducted by a team at Brown University interesting—they found that whether our speech is fast or slow, we deliver information at the same speed. Saying more due to speaking faster, they learned, is not the same as conveying more information.

Explore further: Violations of energy conservation in the early universe may explain dark energy