DIY colonoscopy on display at Tokyo show

Museum celebrates weird inventions
A gadget to “translate” dog barks for humans, a “babypod” that plays music inside the mother’s vagina for unborn babies and the world’s first self-colonoscopy method were among the whacky inventions on show Friday at a new Tokyo exhibition. The museum celebrates weird and wonderful inventions created by real scientists for the Ig Nobel Prize — or “anti-Nobels” — designed to make people “laugh first and think later”. Japanese medic Akira Horiuchi, 57, was among the winners last week of the tongue-in-cheek prize, organised by the satirical science journal Annals of Improbable Research , for his do-it-yourself colonoscopy. The researcher said he had never found his method embarrassing. “I knew the importance of colonoscopy and that the number of colon cancer patients was increasing,” Mr. Horiuchi said. The latest research shows that cancer of the colon is the most prevalent form of the disease among Japan’s 8,70,000 cancer sufferers.
“Not many people took the test… so I wanted to create an examination that would be accepted by everyone,” said Mr. Horiuchi.
Interpreting barks
Another exhibit was the dog-language interpreter “Bowlingual”, which classifies barks into six emotional categories — frustration, menace, joy, sorrow, desire, and self-expression. The babypod is a speaker inserted into the vagina that creates a “concert” for unborn children, after research showed this was more effective than playing music on the belly.
Japanese researchers have won Ig Nobel prizes for 12 years in a row.
The winners include a team who developed Bowlingual and researchers who discovered female insects endowed with a penis.
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