«Τα Νόμπελ του τρελού επιστήμονα» – Όλες οι περίεργες και αστείες ανακαλύψεις που κέρδισαν φέτος

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Για μια ακόμη χρονιά -29η κατά σειρά- απονεμήθηκαν σε τελετή στο Πανεπιστήμιο Χάρβαρντ των ΗΠΑ τα βραβεία Ig, αποκαλούμενα και «Νόμπελ του τρελού επιστήμονα», τα οποία επιβραβεύουν αστείες, παράδοξες και συχνά άχρηστες επιστημονικές ανακαλύψεις.

Τα εν λόγω βραβεία, που προηγούνται κατά ένα μήνα περίπου των βραβείων Νόμπελ, αναδεικνύουν έρευνες που «πρώτα κάνουν τους ανθρώπους να γελάσουν και μετά να σκεφτούν». Απονεμήθηκαν δέκα βραβεία (την απονομή έκαναν όπως πάντα πραγματικοί Νομπελίστες) και κάθε νικητής έβγαζε λόγο ενός λεπτού. Αν παράβαινε αυτό το όριο, ένα οκτάχρονο κοριτσάκι με ένα χάρακα στο χέρι τον έκοβε με τη φράση «παρακαλώ σταμάτα, βαριέμαι!». Κάθε βραβείο συνοδευόταν από ένα -προφανώς άχρηστο- χαρτονόμισμα δέκα τρισεκατομμυρίων της Ζιμπάμπουε (όταν ο πληθωρισμός της είχε φθάσει στον ουρανό).

Μεταξύ άλλων, βραβεύθηκε μια μελέτη σε Γάλλους ταχυδρόμους, στους οποίους είχε τοποθετηθεί θερμόμετρο στους όρχεις τους. Την ιδέα είχε ο ειδικός σε θέματα γονιμότητας Ροζέ Μιουσέ του Πανεπιστημίου της Τουλούζης για να διαπιστώσει κατά πόσο και οι δύο όρχεις ενός άνδρα έχουν την ίδια ακριβώς θερμοκρασία. Συμπέρασμα: ο αριστερός είναι πιο ζεστός, αλλά μόνο όταν ο άνδρας είναι ντυμένος. Ο Γάλλος επιστήμονες εφηύρε και θερμαινόμενα εσώρουχα που βοηθούν τους άνδρες με προβλήματα υπογονιμότητας.

Το βραβείο χημείας κατέληξε σε Ιάπωνες επιστήμονες που υπολόγισαν πόσο σάλιο παράγει ένα τυπικό πεντάχρονο παιδί μέσα σε μια μέρα (περίπου μισό λίτρο), το βραβείο μηχανικής σε έναν Ιρανό εφευρέτη για ένα μηχάνημα του που αλλάζει πάνες στα μωρά και το βραβείο οικονομικών δόθηκε σε Ολλανδούς ερευνητές που ανακάλυψαν ότι τα χαρτονομίσματα μπορούν να διαδώσουν επικίνδυνα μικρόβια, ιδίως το ρουμανικό λέου.

Ιταλοί επιστήμονες πήραν το βραβείο ιατρικής για την ιδέα τους ότι η πίτσα προστατεύει από πρόωρο θάνατο (σ.σ. βολική θεωρία για Ιταλούς…), αν και στην πραγματικότητα ποτέ δεν μπόρεσαν να αποδείξουν ότι αυτό όντως ισχύει. Μια διεθνής ερευνητική ομάδα πήρε βραβείο επειδή «χαρτογράφησε» ποιά ακριβώς μέρη του σώματος είναι πιο απολαυστικό να τα ξύνει κανείς (προηγούνται οι αστράγαλοι και ακολουθεί η πλάτη).

Δύο Αμερικανοί κατάφεραν να βραβευθούν ξανά: το 2015 είχαν τιμηθεί για την ανακάλυψη του «νόμου της ούρησης» (που λέει ότι όλα τα θηλαστικά αδειάζουν την ουροδόχο κύστη τους σε περίπου 21 δευτερόλεπτα), ενώ φέτος για τη μελέτη τους σχετικά με το γιατί ο φασκωλόμυς (μαρσιποφόρο φυτοφάγο ζώο της Αυστραλίας) κάνει κυβικού σχήματος κόπρανα, κάτι μοναδικό στο ζωικό βασίλειο.

Ακόμη, σύμφωνα με τη «Γκάρντιαν», Κινέζοι ερευνητές βραβεύθηκαν για την ανακάλυψη ότι οι νεκρές κατσαρίδες που έχουν μαγνητιστεί, συμπεριφέρονται διαφορετικά από τις ζωντανές κατσαρίδες που έχουν μαγνητιστεί, όταν μελετηθούν με κβαντικό αισθητήρα (οπωσδήποτε μια πολύ χρήσιμη γνώση…).

Τέλος, βραβείο ιατρικής εκπαίδευσης δόθηκε σε Αμερικανούς που ανακάλυψαν ότι οι ακουστικές συσκευές που κάνουν «κλικ» και χρησιμοποιούνται για την εκπαίδευση των σκύλων, είναι δυνατό να επίσης να βελτιώσουν τις δεξιότητες φοιτητών χειρουργικής

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