Now for something a bit on the light side of science and nature: The BBC has announced the winners of fake Nobel Prizes for scientific achievements which "cannot, or should not, be reproduced". Four genuine Nobel prize winners presented the much-coveted (!) awards in a ceremony at Harvard University. We will reproduce the list of winners for each category below, but know that among the winners are the inventor of artificial dog testicles and a study called: "Pressures Produced When Penguins Pooh - Calculations on Avian Defaecation" (yes, a study on penguin poo!). Another favorite of ours is: "A University of Minnesota team who set out to prove whether people can swim faster in water or sugar syrup". Clearly these experiments will lead to a better world!
Ig Nobel winners
Medicine - Gregg Miller from the US for his invention of Neuticles - rubber replacement testicles for neutered dogs that are available in varying sizes and degrees of firmness. "Considering my parents thought I was an idiot when I was a kid, this is a great honour," said Mr Miller.
Peace - A UK team for their pioneering research into the activity of locusts' brain cells while the insects watched clips from the Star Wars films.
Physics - John Maidstone from Australia for his part in an experiment that began in 1927 in which a glob of black tar drips through a funnel every nine years. Mr Maidstone shared the prize with a late colleague who died sometime after the second drop.
Biology - The University of Adelaide for "painstakingly smelling and cataloguing the peculiar odours produced by 131 different species of frogs when the frogs were feeling stressed".
Chemistry - A University of Minnesota team who set out to prove whether people can swim faster in water or sugar syrup.
Economics - A Massachusetts inventor who designed an alarm clock that runs away and hides when it goes off.
Nutrition - A Japanese researcher who photographed and analysed every meal he had consumed during a period of 34 years.
Literature - The many Nigerians who introduced millions of e-mail users to a "cast of rich characters... each of whom requires just a small amount of expense money so as to obtain access to the great wealth to which they are entitled".
Agricultural History - A study entitled The Significance of Mr Richard Buckley's Exploding Trousers: Reflections on an Aspect of Technological Change in New Zealand Dairy-Farming between the World Wars.
Fluid Dynamics - Pressures Produced When Penguins Pooh - Calculations on Avian Defaecation.
::Penguin poo wins Ig Nobel prize, ::Ig Nobel Web Page, ::The Guardian, ::New Scientist