These are the Spaniards who have won the ‘Nobel’ for analyzing chewing gums stuck on the ground

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The Spanish-Iranian team of researchers formed by Leila Satari, Alba Guillén, Àngela Vidal-Verdú and Manuel Porcar, from the University of Valencia, have won one of the coveted ‘Nobel Fake’ winners of the year, the Ig Nobel, which recognize the most absurd and yet useful research published throughout the year. In his case, the jury recognizes his work in the field of Ecology, published in Scientific Reports of the group Nature, for “using genetic analysis to analyze the different species of bacteria found in chewing gums stuck on the streets in various countries. “

“Our results have implications for a wide variety of disciplines, including the forensic science, contagious disease control, or recycling of gum waste“, the team has argued during the virtual celebration of this year’s gala while, in keeping with the parodic and delusional spirit that inspires the Ig Nobel, they did not stop chewing gum. They have even prepared a little musical parody based on All you need is love of the Beatles to accept the award: if applicable, All the chewing gum.

Thanks to this year’s Ig Nobel we have also been able to find out what it is safer to transport a rhino on its back, and that whiskers may be an evolutionary response to protecting men’s faces from punches. These prizes, which aim to ‘make you laugh and then think’, are regularly held at Harvard University’s Sanders Theater and feature true Nobel laureates. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, they have been telematics for the second year.

The generous prize, in addition to a paper diploma to assemble at home, is a counterfeit bill worth 10 trillion Zimbabwean dollars. Among the other award-winning studies is one that has analyzed the relationship between sexuality and respiratory health, appreciating that orgasm helps clear the nose, and another who has discovered that the purr of cats can have a whole series of meanings that humans ignore.

In this latest study, carried out in Sweden, variations in all the sounds that a cat makes when communicating with a human were analyzed, and the main researcher, Susanne Schotz, was encouraged to interpret them at the request of the audience. Regarding the test on beards, carried out at the University of Utah (USA), the researchers clarified that they had not hit anyone, but emulated the jaw with fiberglass, the skin and facial hair with sheepskin, and the blow with weights.

Robin Radcliffe, one of the authors of the study who found that the safest way to transporting a rhino is by putting it on its backHe wanted to salute the “creativity” of the wildlife vets he works with. “You have to be cool and creative, and even a little crazy at times, to move a rhino like this.

Marc Abrahams, master of ceremonies and editor of the Annals of Improbable Research magazine that celebrates the gala, said goodbye in these terms: “If you have not won an Ig Nobel prize this year, but especially if you’ve won it, we wish you better luck next year“.

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These are the Spaniards who have won the ‘Nobel’ for analyzing chewing gums stuck on the ground

Hank Gilbert