Ig Nobel award winners announced

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Ig Nobel award winners announced

This year's Ig Nobel Award winners have been announced, revealing a series of weird and wonderful scientific research from around the world.

Brian Witcombe, from Gloucester, scooped the Medicine award for his research paper entitled Sword Swallowing and Its Side Effects. The side-effects apparently include 'sore throats'.

Witcombe was the only British winner, but Juan Manuel Toro, Josep B Trobalon and Nuria Sebastian-Galles of the Universitat de Barcelona, won the Linguistics award for showing that rats sometimes cannot tell the difference between a person speaking Japanese backwards and a person speaking Dutch backwards.

The Ig Nobel Peace prize went to the Air Force Wright Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio for its US$7.5 million research into a gay bomb which would cause enemy soldiers to become "irresistibly attracted to one another" and lose the will to fight.

The researchers described the proposed device as "distasteful but completely non-lethal".

Some of the research was more serious and has real potential benefits. Professor Dr Johanna van Bronswijk, of the Eindhoven University of Technology, surveyed the full range of life found in the average mattress and was awarded the Biology prize.

The Economics prize went to Kuo Cheng Hsieh, of Taichung in Taiwan, for a device that fires a net over bank robbers, ensnaring them until the police arrive.

The Ig Nobels, now in their 17th year, are presented by actual Nobel prize winners. The 10 categories are Medicine, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Linguistics, Literature, Peace, Nutrition, Economics and Aviation.
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