Novice unearths huge gold nugget

Updated 17 January 2013
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Novice unearths huge gold nugget

MELBOURNE: An amateur prospector has made the find of a lifetime in southern Australia, unearthing a gold nugget weighing about five kilograms (11 pounds) just outside the town of Ballarat, reports said yesterday.
The Y-shaped deposit was found with a hand-held metal detector at a depth of a little over 60 centimeters (24 inches), according to a video of the find posted on YouTube.
“The prospector said it sounded like the bonnet of a car through the headphones,” wrote TroyAurum, who uploaded the video.
“It was lying flat (broad side up) and he carefully dug it up.”
The find, made on Wednesday at a popular prospecting site outside Ballarat 110 kilometers (65 miles) from Melbourne, was confirmed by the owner of the town’s gold shop, Cordell Kent.
“A lot of people think Victoria’s goldfields are dead and that there’s none left, but he (the prospector) has worked in an area where a lot of people have worked in the past but he persisted and he’s been rewarded,” said Kent, of the Mining Exchange Gold Shop.
Kent said the 177-ounce nugget, which he was working to find a buyer for, was among the biggest he had seen in 20 years in the gold business.
“We have 800 prospectors on our books and only a couple of those have ever found a nugget over 100 ounces,” he said, adding that the sum total of his own finds was little more than 100 ounces. “There’s only been one or two big pieces and they were found a long time ago.”
Kent said the nugget was expected to fetch more than Aus$300,000 ($315,340). The prospector wished to remain anonymous.
Ballarat and its surroundings were a key site in Australia’s gold rush in the mid-1800s, which brought a flood of migrants and transformed the economy.


Japan to trial ‘world’s first urine test’ to spot cancer

Updated 17 April 2018
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Japan to trial ‘world’s first urine test’ to spot cancer

  • Previous research has shown a new blood test has potential to detect eight different kinds of tumors before they spread
  • The research starts in April and will run until September

TOKYO: A Japanese firm is poised to carry out what it hailed as the world’s first experiment to test for cancer using urine samples, which would greatly facilitate screening for the deadly disease.
Engineering and IT conglomerate Hitachi developed the basic technology to detect breast or colon cancer from urine samples two years ago.
It will now begin testing the method using some 250 urine samples, to see if samples at room temperature are suitable for analysis, Hitachi spokesman Chiharu Odaira told AFP.
“If this method is put to practical use, it will be a lot easier for people to get a cancer test, as there will be no need to go to a medical organization for a blood test,” he said.
It is also intended to be used to detect paediatric cancers.
“That will be especially beneficial in testing for small children” who are often afraid of needles, added Odaira.
Research published earlier this year demonstrated that a new blood test has shown promise toward detecting eight different kinds of tumors before they spread elsewhere in the body.
Usual diagnostic methods for breast cancer consist of a mammogram followed by a biopsy if a risk is detected.
For colon cancer, screening is generally conducted via a stool test and a colonoscopy for patients at high risk.
The Hitachi technology centers around detecting waste materials inside urine samples that act as a “biomarker” — a naturally occurring substance by which a particular disease can be identified, the company said in a statement.
The procedure aims to improve the early detection of cancer, saving lives and reducing the medical and social cost to the country, Odaira explained.
The experiment will start this month until through September in cooperation with Nagoya University in central Japan.
“We aim to put the technology in use in the 2020s, although this depends on various things such as getting approval from the authorities,” Odaira said.