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The Scicurious Brain

The Scicurious Brain

The Good, Bad, and Weird in Physiology and Neuroscience

IgNobels 2013! And the Winners Are…

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TONIGHT, the 2013 IgNobels Prizes were held in Saunders Theatre at Harvard University! Winners traveled at their own expense, and received the prize from the hands of...real Nobel Prize winners. This year the prizes were accompanied by a new Opera, "The Blonsky Device".

And the winners are...*drumroll*

MEDICINE PRIZE

"Auditory stimulation of opera music induced prolongation of murine cardiac allograft survival and maintained generation of regulatory CD4+CD25+ cells," Masateru Uchiyama, Xiangyuan Jin, Qi Zhang, Toshihito Hirai, Atsushi Amano, Hisashi Bashuda and Masanori Niimi, Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery, vol. 7, no. 26, epub. March 23, 2012.

PSYCHOLOGY PRIZE

REFERENCE: "'Beauty Is in the Eye of the Beer Holder': People Who Think They Are Drunk Also Think They Are Attractive," Laurent Bègue, Brad J. Bushman, Oulmann Zerhouni, Baptiste Subra, Medhi Ourabah, British Journal of Psychology, epub May 15, 2012.

JOINT PRIZE IN BIOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY

REFERENCE: "Dung Beetles Use the Milky Way for Orientation," Marie Dacke, Emily Baird, Marcus Byrne, Clarke H. Scholtz, Eric J. Warrant, Current Biology, epub January 24, 2013. The authors, at Lund University, Sweden, the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, and the University of Pretoria

SAFETY ENGINEERING PRIZE

The late Gustano Pizzo [USA], for inventing an electro-mechanical system to trap airplane hijackers — the system drops a hijacker through trap doors, seals him into a package, then drops the encapsulated hijacker through the airplane's specially-installed bomb bay doors, whence he parachutes to earth, where police, having been alerted by radio, await his arrival.

US Patent #3811643, Gustano A. Pizzo, "anti hijacking system for aircraft", May 21, 1972.

PHYSICS PRIZE

REFERENCE: "Humans Running in Place on Water at Simulated Reduced Gravity," Alberto E. Minetti, Yuri P. Ivanenko, Germana Cappellini, Nadia Dominici, Francesco Lacquaniti, PLoS ONE, vol. 7, no. 7, 2012, e37300.

CHEMISTRY PRIZE

REFERENCE: "Plant Biochemistry: An Onion Enzyme that Makes the Eyes Water," S. Imai, N. Tsuge, M. Tomotake, Y. Nagatome, H. Sawada, T. Nagata and H. Kumagai, Nature, vol. 419, no. 6908, October 2002, p. 685.

ARCHAEOLOGY PRIZE

REFERENCE: "Human Digestive Effects on a Micromammalian Skeleton," Peter W. Stahl and Brian D. Crandall, Journal of Archaeological Science, vol. 22, November 1995, pp. 789–97.

PEACE PRIZE

Alexander Lukashenko, president of Belarus, for making it illegal to applaud in public, AND to the Belarus State Police, for arresting a one-armed man for applauding.

PROBABILITY PRIZE

REFERENCE: "Are Cows More Likely to Lie Down the Longer They Stand?" Bert J. Tolkamp, Marie J. Haskell, Fritha M. Langford, David J. Roberts, Colin A. Morgan, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, vol. 124, nos. 1-2, 2010, pp. 1–10.

PUBLIC HEALTH PRIZE

REFERENCE: "Surgical Management of an Epidemic of Penile Amputations in Siam," by Kasian Bhanganada, Tu Chayavatana, Chumporn Pongnumkul, Anunt Tonmukayakul, Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn, Krit Komaratal, and Henry Wilde, American Journal of Surgery, 1983, no. 146, pp. 376-382.

In the words of the wonderful Marc Abrahams, master of ceremonies and editor of "Annals of Improbable Research," "If you didn't win an Ig Nobel Prize tonight — and especially if you did — better luck next year."

I will be writing individual posts for all winners over the next few days!! Look forward tomorrow to more from the IgNobel Prizes!!!

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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