Today is Friday, May 17. Here’s what you need to know:

Happy summer! 

Researchers from the University of Washington have been creating a new smartphone app that can detect ear infections by using a piece of paper and the phone’s microphone and speaker. 

The app can detect fluid behind the eardrum by using a series of soft audible chirps into the ear through a small paper funnel and, depending on the way the chirps reflect back into the phone, the app detects any fluid present with a probability of 85%. 

The technique is the equivalent of specialized tools that use acoustics or a puff of air. By sending sounds into the ear and measuring how those sound waves change as they bounce off the eardrum, the sound waves travel back to the smartphone and are picked up by its microphone. If there is fluid inside, the reflected sound waves will interfere with the original chirping sound. 

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