The Ig Nobel for medicine went to a team of researchers from China, Japan and the U.K. They found that mice, who on average survived seven days after a transplant sans music, survived for 27 days if they listened to Verdi's opera “La Traviata.”
Mice who heard Irish New Age chanteuse Enya survived 11 days, while listening to Mozart meant the mice survived for 20 days.
The chemistry prize was taken home by researchers from Japan, who found that the biochemical reaction that causes onions to make people cry is more complicated than previously thought, involving a newly discovered enzyme.
The scientists suggest that the discovery means it might be possible to develop tear-less onions.
Actual Nobel laureates announced the winners during the recent ceremony, which was held at Harvard University.
Editor Marc Abrahams, who organized the ceremony, says the point is to make people laugh and then think. “The combination of science that is funny on its own—not because someone is making a joke, but it is funny—that's an unusual notion in the United States,” he says. “It is becoming more acceptable again.”
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