Menu

Ig Nobels Honor Surprising Science

Studies on the sex lives of rats and the personality of rocks are among the projects celebrated this year.

Sep 26, 2016
Ben Andrew Henry

PIXABAY, EVADA

There are Nobel Prizes, and then there are Ig Nobel prizes. Few actively pursue the latter, annual awards given by the Annals of Improbable Research to “honor achievements that make people laugh, then think.”

This year’s Ig Nobel ceremony, held at Harvard University last week (September 22), bestowed recognition on research from disparate fields.

The prize in economics went to a study from researchers in the U.K. and New Zealand who examined the personality of rocks in a sly critique of a commonly used scale in marketing research for rating the personality associated with a brand.

The Ig Nobel prize in reproduction went to research by the late Ahmed Shafik of Cairo University. Among other things, Shafik studied whether underpants of different materials—polyester, cotton, or wool—affect male sexuality, both in rats and humans. (Polyester could have an “injurious” influence, he reported in 2009.)

Honors were also given to researchers who investigated whether the world looks different when you bend over and view it upside down (it does), surveyed how often liars lie (often, so the stud participants say), and reflected “on the reception and detection of pseudo-profound bullshit.”

The prize may spotlight eyebrow-raising research, but the goal is to “spur people’s interest in science, medicine, and technology,” according to the Annals of Improbable Research. “Good achievements can also be odd, funny, and even absurd.” 

September 2018

The Muscle Issue

The dynamic tissue reveals its secrets

Marketplace

Sponsored Product Updates

Horizon Discovery introduces Myeloid DNA Reference Standard to support genetic testing of leukemia

Horizon Discovery introduces Myeloid DNA Reference Standard to support genetic testing of leukemia

Horizon Discovery Group plc, a global leader in gene editing and gene modulation technologies, today announced the launch of its Myeloid DNA Reference Standard. The first-to-market large cell-line derived myeloid cancer reference standard designed enables faster, more reliable and more cost-effective assay validation, to support the market in bringing routine testing into practice.

StemExpress LeukopakâNow Available in Frozen Format

StemExpress LeukopakâNow Available in Frozen Format

StemExpress, a Folsom, California based leading supplier of human biospecimens, announces the release of frozen Peripheral Blood Leukopaks. Leukopaks provide an enriched source of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with low granulocyte and red blood cells that can be used in a variety of downstream cell-based applications.

New Antifade Mounting Media from Vector Laboratories Enhances Immunofluorescence Applications

New Antifade Mounting Media from Vector Laboratories Enhances Immunofluorescence Applications

Vector Laboratories, a leader in the development and manufacture of labeling and detection reagents for biomedical research, introduces VECTASHIELD® Vibrance™ – antifade mounting media that delivers significant improvements to the immunofluorescence workflow.

Best Practices for Sample Preparation and Lipid Extraction from Various Samples

Best Practices for Sample Preparation and Lipid Extraction from Various Samples

Download this white paper from Bertin Technologies to learn how to extract and analyze lipid samples from various models!