Scientists Clock the Expanding Universe
Scientists have made the most accurate measurements yet of how quickly our Universe is expanding. Since gravitational pull gave way to dark energy, the rate is increasing.
What's the Latest Development?
Scientists have made the most accurate measurements to date concerning how fast our Universe is expanding. Using the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey, researchers at Berkeley University have calculated what the dimensions of our Universe were five to seven billion years ago. Using today's dimensions as a benchmarck, they can understand at what rate everything is pulling apart from each other. The astronomers measured about half the distance to the big bang, a point where they think the gravitational pull between objects began to give way to dark energy.
What's the Big Idea?
For a time, the expansion of our Universe was slowing down due to the gravitational attraction between large objects like stars and galaxies. At some point, however, acceleration began to increase--a discovery announced just 14 years ago--creating an unforeseen exception to Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. In response, scientists positted dark energy, the mysterious force which is causing the accelerated expansion. But is it possible that Einstein's vision of gravity was simply incomplete--or wrong? After measuring gravity on a scale of 100 million light years, far larger than the most accurate gravity measure yet, Berkeley researchers have concluded that Einstein was right.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
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Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.
- Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
- As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
- If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
- Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
- By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce – and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
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