Tall Tales

Bees trained to detect Covid-19

And other stories from the stranger side of life

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Researchers in the Netherlands have trained bees to identify samples infected with Covid. The scientists in the bio-veterinary research laboratory at Wageningen University gave the bees sugary water as a reward after showing them samples infected with Covid and no reward after being shown a non-infected sample. The bees would then spontaneously extend their tongues to receive a reward when presented with an infected sample.

Dracula’s castle offers Covid jabs

Bran Castle, the inspiration for the vampire’s home in Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, has become a vaccination centre. Romanian medical workers with bloody fang stickers on their scrubs are offering free shots of the Pfizer vaccine. Recipients also get free access to view the castle’s exhibit of 52 medieval torture tools. The castle’s manager, said: “The idea... was to show how people got jabbed 500 to 600 years ago.”

Spacecraft finds ‘hum’ beyond solar system

A spacecraft has picked up a “hum” beyond our solar system. Voyager 1, a NASA vessel that is currently 14 billion miles away from Earth, has detected the sound of the universe. Astrophysicist Stella Ocker said: “It’s very faint and monotone because it’s in a narrow frequency bandwidth.” The spacecraft records the “constant drone” of plasma.

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