Some important discoveries in science, medicine and technology have been made by accident. The things they often have in common is a clinical attention to detail, tenacity and follow through to the ultimate result.
The 28th Annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony took place on Thursday 13, September, 2018, at Sanders Theatre, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA. Unlike the Nobel Prizes, Ig Nobel Prizes aim to recognise absurd, wacky, funny, improbably but useful researches. They honour works in different fields “that make people laugh and then think”. Some have described the researches as mind bending.
The award is now an every September fixture at Harvard University, USA. The fields include biology, economics, chemistry, literature, nutrition, peace, medicine, medical education, physics, science and technology. The winners get to present their work after the ceremonies and often are published in peer reviewed journals and Annals of Improbably research.
Two winners in 2018 are as expected critically wacky, funny and usefully: removal of kidney stones by riding certain types of Roller Coasters and a self-colonoscopy. The researcher, Prof David Wartinger of the College of Osteopathic Medicine, Michigan State University College of Medicine, Michigan, USA, was informed by one of his patients of how he felt his kidney stone was dislodge while riding on Big Thunder Mountain ride at Walt Disney World in Florida.
Prof Wartinger then followed up with specially designed models, which he took for Roller Coaster rides and confirmed that certain types of roller coaster at certain optimal speed actually dislodged and help removal of kidney stones. Prof Wartinger confirmed his team uses the technique as part of treatment for kidney stone patients in his clinic.
It was observed that the more the rides rattled on the journey, the more effective they are at dislodge the stones and that this type of roller coaster was better than the deep diving rides. Roller Coaster Kidney stone treatment could be one to explore by the National Health Service (NHS) and other types of healthcare settings around the world. Potentially, the roller coaster treatment will deliver fun if one enjoys the ride and may save significant cost too.
Medical Education Prize went to Dr Akira HORIUCHI for eventing a colonoscopy that could be auto-administered. Patients in Japan and probably elsewhere, tend to be afraid to undertaking a colonoscopy examination particularly due to the apparent intrusion on privacy. Dr Horiuchi self-administered his colonoscopy (see photo) in the course of the research.