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Ants aid discovery of new gold deposits

Ants and termites are stockpiling gold in their mounds, according to Australia’s national science agency, The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

The organisation said that these insects carry the gold from underground up into their mounds and also accumulate metals in their bodies, the Brisbane Times reported.

The CSIRO’s Dr Aaron Stewart said the mounds could hold the clue to uncovering new gold deposits.

He said although most minerals are buried by a layer of earth, signs of the resource are often close to the surface.  “In some places we have shown that termites and ants can bridge the gap by bringing up evidence from five metres down,” the paper quoted Dr Stewart as saying.

Dr Stewart said exploration drilling costs thousands of dollars a hole and ants and termites could save miners fortunes.

Several exploration companies are already working with CSIRO to develop and refine the method.

Eggnog made with booze kills salmonella bacteria

 Classic holiday drink eggnog doesn’t bring about a spike in salmonella cases, say experts.

“Actually, it happens very, very, very, very infrequently. We do not record an increase in salmonellosis due to eggnog. Otherwise, there would be a CDC health advisory,” ABC News quoted Dr. William Schaffner, chair of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University MedicalCenter in Nashville, Tenn, as saying.

Unlike raw chicken, store-bought eggs rarely have salmonella on their shells because they are cleaned before they're packaged, Schaffner said.

On the rare occasion that the salmonella bacteria enters an egg, it's likely one of the 800 salmonella species that needs to be present in large quantities to make someone sick.

On the other hand, up to 20 percent of store-bought chicken contains salmonella, and they have a lot more diarrhea-causing bacteria than eggs do, Schaffner said. Rockefeller University’s Laboratory of Bacterial Pathogenesis and Immunology has been making a raw-eggs-and-alcohol eggnog for at least 60 years. It calls for leaving the egg, sugar, cream, spices and alcohol mixture in the fridge for about six weeks.

“I've been here almost 50 years, and we've made it every year. We usually make it about a week or so before Thanksgiving, sip it to cheer Thanksgiving, and finish it at the Christmas party,” said professor and lab head Vincent Fischetti.
Although the original recipe calls for leaving the mixture in the refrigerator at least overnight, it says it will be “better” after three or four weeks.

Noise at basketball game can cause hearing loss

Noise generated during an exciting basketball game can damage your hearing capability, says an expert. That noise may not cause people to become deaf, but it most certainly can result in hearing loss, according to Wichita State University audiologist Ray Hull.  Hull said many gyms are equivalent to echo chambers. The sound bite is 14 seconds and the outcue is “might have otherwise.”

“From small gymnasiums to large arenas, almost inadvertently they are designed to amplify sound. They are reverberation chambers. Therefore they amplify sound more than they might have otherwise,” he explained.

Hull said the intensity level at some basketball games can permanently damage hearing. The sound bite is 22 seconds and the outcue is “seven and a half minutes.

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