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Scientists can beam sound waves into eggs, then listen electronically to how they vibrate. Good eggs produce a high G-sharp. Bad eggs contaminated with salmonella bacteria give the same tone plus a second, higher note, which is apparently caused by the bacteria.

The technique was developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico to check artillery shells for chemical or biological agents, and it's being adapted to eggs.It successfully detects 25 percent of infected eggs at present; researchers are fine-tuning instruments and expect to approach 100 percent accuracy, according to the Quaker Foresight newsletter.