A London-based scientist’s ingenious method of obtaining data for research into disease-causing micro-organisms has been awarded the “Ig Nobel” prize. Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse used a remote-control helicopter to get breath samples from whales as they surfaced. She hung petri dishes from the mini-choppers, collecting samples of gases and mucus exhaled by the creatures. Dr Acevedo-Whitehouse told the BBC, “My colleagues and I are actually quite proud to receive this award now. Beyond the actual results (which are actually very interesting) we certainly have had fun doing our whale-snot research!”
This year’s was the 21st Ig Nobel awards, an event organized by the science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research. The bizarre event included actual Nobel Laureates handing over the prizes. Other amusing research lauded at the Harvard Igs included proof that germs tend to cling to bearded scientists and research that proved symptoms of asthma could be treated by riding a roller-coaster.
For a full list of Ig Nobel Prize winners, click here.