Ig Nobel Prizes Announced: See The Winners

Posted: Sep 19 2015, 3:33pm CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

Ig Nobel Prizes Announced: See the Winners
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The Ig Nobel Prizes are awarded every year for "improbable research" and are in their 25th year. They aren't made to make fun of the research, but instead to bring awareness to other types of studies. The winners hailed from six continents. Run by the science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research, this is a jubilantly irreverent affair. It has become world famous for recognizing scientific achievements that "make people laugh, and then think". Some of the revolutionary research has led to recipes, speech pattern breakthroughs, and even new technology. The winner were as follows:

Physics Ig: Urination Research from Georgia Tech

This team used high speed video analysis to record how long it took different animals to urinate. They found that all mammals who weight more than 3kg could empty their bladders in about 21 seconds. The research included animals of all sizes, including rats, goats, cows, and elephants.

They found that rats can urinate in just a few seconds, which is why they shouldn't be used to study urinary health problems.

"We don't have a proper animal model for urinary system research," said the study's lead author Patricia Yang, a PhD student in mechanical engineering.

She told BBC there might also be physical lessons to learn, from water towers to drinking backpacks. Yang said, "every time we need a new function, we figure out a new design for it.

"But in nature, they just have one system for all different sizes. This might inspire us - we could have a scalable design that fits different purposes."

Bee Sting Analysis Ig from Cornell University

Michael Smith, who also received an Ig Award, ranked the pain that one feels when getting stung on different parts of the body. He used his own body on the four corners. Some of the places he tested include the skull, the middle toe, and the upper arm as the less painful spots - and the upper lip, nostril, and the penis shaft as the more painful parts.

Speed Bump Analysis from University of Oxford

Speed bumps can be annoying, but a team from Oxford in conjunction with Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury wanted to test if they could help diagnose appendicitis. Helen Ashdown, who was a junior doctor at the hospital, decided to test it.

"It's quite a residential area, so it's a town that does have a lot of speed bumps," said Dr Ashdown, now a GP and a lecturer at the University of Oxford. "We noticed that quite a few of the patients who had appendicitis said how bad the journey to hospital had been."

As it turned out, 33 of the 34 people in a study of 101 people who were then diagnosed with appendicitis had severe pain when travelling over speed bumps.

"It's a test that has high sensitivity, so it's a good rule-out test," Dr. Ashdown told BBC News.

Biology Ig: Walking Like a Dinosaur from the University of Childe

Dr. Rodrio Vasquez received the Ig when he made the observation that a chicken, who is raised with a weighted tail stuck to its backside would walk like a dinosaur.

He performed this research to see how the dinosaurs may have moved - as up to this point, we have only been guessing. Paleontologists have been studying for years, and are now closer than ever to knowing what it may have looked like.

"We cannot test it in a real T. rex or any theropod dinosaurs - but we can in a chicken," Dr Vasquez told the BBC.

"[The gait] is a little bit crouching and the steps are a bit longer, because the center of gravity of the animal is changed… and they have to counterbalance the weight of the tail by stretching their neck a little bit."

The full list is below:

Chemistry: Callum Ormonde from the University of Western Australia for a recipe that un-boils an egg.

Physics: Animal urination experiment detailed above.

Literature: Mark Dingemanse from the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in the Netherlands for his study on the word "huh?"

Economics: The Bangkok Metropolitan Police offered to pay policemen extra money if the police refused bribes.

Management: Gennaro Bernile from the Singapore Management University and colleagues discovered that business leaders took risks as children when they experienced natural disasters.

Medicine: Joint award to Hajime Kimata from Kimata Hajime Clinic and Japan and Jaroslava Durdiakova from Comenius University in Slovakia and her colleagues for studying the biomedical benefits of kissing.

Mathematics: Study from Elisabeth Oberzaucher and Karl Grammer from the University of Vienna for using math techniques to determine how Moulay Ismael the Bloodthirsty could father 888 children.

Biology: Bruno Grossi from the University of Chile in the chicken study mentioned above.

Diagnostic Medicine: Diallah Karim from Stoke Mandeville Hospital, UK for appendicitis study listed above.

Physiology and Entomology: Justin Schmidt and Michael Smith for studies listed above.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/46" rel="author">Noel Diem</a>
Noel passion is to write about geek culture.




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