Chinese scientists turn copper into "gold".

Can someone explain this to me? Have they created a new copper isotope or what?

They turned copper nanoparticles into a catalyst that can drive a specific reaction that usually requires a gold catalyst. Cool work, but not nearly the big deal for the general public that the headline would imply.

umm, what? Gold weighs more than twice as much as copper, and I guess look similar in a non-silver-grey-metallic sense.

No copper and gold have the same weight, you just need more copper;)

Or maybe feathers?

I would bother too much with a scientifically illiterate SCMP journalist’s misreporting.

Here’s the actual paper:

Copper, Silver and Gold are all Group 11 metals, that’s probably the more relevant point for catalysis. They are not doing anything remotely like nuclear transmutation, of course. It seems that the key to the this process is that it makes copper more resistant to oxidation - which is a natural property of gold - and somehow that gives them the catalytic properties that they want.