Self Cleaning Ears

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Self Cleaning Ears

Does your mom nag you to wash your ears? Or do you occasionally have a go at them with a cotton swab? If so you might be interested in this bit of news from the world of mechanical engineering: Ears are self-cleaning.

Doctors have long advised against using cotton swabs to clean your ears—in fact they recommend not inserting anything smaller than your elbow into your ear (yes, there’s a bit of a joke there, but they are totally serious when they say, “don’t stick things in your ears”). However, according to a report on the online site of Science magazine a group of engineers at Georgia Tech University collected earwax from a bunch of animals (pigs, dogs, cows, and humans) and then measured how wax moves through the ear. They discovered that the movement of the jaw (say when you are eating or talking) causes earwax to flow through the ear and eventually fall right out. And the best part? All that wax takes dust and dirt with it. So put away the cotton swabs, your ears really are self-cleaning.

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