From the journal Science:
Ice cream may never be the same now that Mayu Yamamoto of the International Medical Center of Japan has discovered how to extract vanillin, the essence of vanilla flavor, from cow dung. Don't pooh-pooh Yamamoto's accomplishment. It may not win her a Nobel Prize, but it has netted her an honor equally exclusive. At a ceremony at Harvard University last night, Yamamoto received the 2007 Ig Nobel Prize for chemistry. A local ice cream shop even whipped up a special flavor in her honor--Yum-a-Moto Vanilla Twist--although the ice cream makers avoided scatological flavoring.
Yamamoto was one of 10 new laureates crowned in the 17th annual Ig Nobel ceremony, which was sponsored by the science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research. In all, dozens of scientists, five Nobel laureates, and a paper-airplane-throwing throng gathered to celebrate the gems of funny, odd, or questionable research found amid the serious stuff....MORE