Japan Team Wins Ig Nobel Prize for Measuring 5-Yr-Olds' Saliva

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Cambridge, Massachusetts, Sept. 12 (Jiji Press)--A team of Japanese researchers won this year's Ig Nobel Prize for Chemistry on Thursday for a multiyear study on the total volume of saliva produced per day by a typical five-year-old child.

It marked the 13th straight year that a Japanese researcher has taken home the spoof of the Nobel Prize.

Shigeru Watanabe, 68, professor at the School of Health Sciences at Meikai University in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, received the prize at a ceremony held at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Watanabe conducted the study some 30 years ago with dentists Mineko Onishi, Kaori Imai, Eiji Kawano and Seiji Igarashi when he was an assistant professor at the School of Dentistry at Health Sciences University of Hokkaido, publishing the results in an academic journal in 1995.

In the study, Watanabe measured the amount of saliva produced by 30 five-year-olds, including his own three sons. The sons also attended the award ceremony and reenacted the experiment, drawing roars of laughter from the audience.

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