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Knit wit

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 22 September 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c5223
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

    No, it’s not a new character from a children’s television programme but a knitted interpretation of the bacterium Clostridium perfringens, which can cause gangrene.

    Gavi Levy Haskell, a high school student planning to study physics at university, came up with the idea of knitting the bacterium in honour of the annual Ig Nobel prize awards, whose theme this year is bacteria. Gavi’s mother, Susan, and Geri Sullivan, a colleague at Improbable Research, the group behind the awards, joined in.

    The Ig Nobel award ceremony takes place at Harvard University on 30 September. The competition honours achievements that first make people laugh then make them think. The prizes are intended to celebrate the unusual, honour the imaginative, and spur people’s interest in science, medicine, and technology.

    BMJ papers on coitus in a magnetic resonance imaging machine (BMJ 1999;319:1596-600) and on sword swallowing (BMJ 2006;333:1285, doi:10.1136/bmj.39027.676690.55) have been previous winners.

    “Knitting bacteria is a lot more fun than being infected by them,” Geri said.


    Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c5223


    • The 20th annual awards will introduce 10 new winners of the Ig Nobel prize and will be covered in a news item in the first week of October.

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