Science? Roller Coaster Removes Kidney Stones?

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The world is, increasingly, a rather odd place to live. While the web has obviously opened up a new means of communication and commerce never seen before, it’s also the gateway to insane stories. While many stories you read today often leave you with that dark feeling in the pit of your stomachs, often it’s easy to find yourself lifted momentarily.

A nice story can provide the same upbeat and positive impetus as a negative story can drag one down. So, with that in mind, have you heard of the roller coaster that removes kidney stones?

According to Ig Nobel Prize-winning research, certain forms of roller coasters can help to kid one of kidney stones. It’s a rather outlandish theory, but US researchers have spent some time carrying out work on this project. The recommendation is that those who suffer from kidney conditions like kidney stones should seek out their nearest theme park, and let loose.

This all sounds too good to be true, right? It’s like the doctor saying you can cure your cold with a few pints, isn’t it?

The Ig Nobel Prize, you might have wondered, is a spoof prize. It’s part of the Annals of Improbable Research, and often covers topics that, humor aside, can have a serious point to them.

Comedy turned quality

The story itself is based on a story that comes from Professor David Wartinger. Prof Wartinger had a patient at Michigan State University’ College of Osteopathic Medicine, who had just returned from a trip to Walt Disney World, Florida.

They claimed that one of their kidney stones had become dislodged during a ride on Big Thunder Mountain, one of the most popular rollercoasters of the time. The professor took this further, created a silicone model of the patients’ actual renal system, and took it with him on a variety of rides. It was to help try and replicate the kind of movement that the patient had suggested took place.

To his surprise, he found that it did make a difference. He found that rides without so much prolonged periods of dropping down worked best; the more side-to-side and up-down movements, the better. This is because it was causing more direct impact on the body.

The prize itself was handed to this and nine other different scientists. While it might sound crazy, this is actually peer-reviewed scientific content that has been produced in journals. While it’s all a bit tongue-in-cheek, the aim is to shine a light on crazy sounding and ‘mind-bending’ forms of science that might not otherwise get any kind of popular notice.

The event, held at Harvard University, Cambridge in the USA, provides the winners with a moment to give their acceptance speech. After the minute, a young girl tells them “please stop, I’m bored” until the speaker stops.

It might all be quite funny, but the actual science behind this one appears to check out. While we’d always recommend you go to speak to a medical professional before such things, it turns out that this crazy piece of science might just be true after all!

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