Science Fun of the Week
(October 28th, 2016) Get ready for your weekly dose of science fun. Today: A classic paper from the IgNobel archives, featuring zucchinis, morphine and Mr Potato Head.
From the paper's introduction: “This paper describes the cloning of the zucchini opiate receptor using an expression assay. We have undertaken this project for the following reasons:
1) Opiate receptors are important.
2) Cloning things is important.
3) Therefore, cloning the opiate receptor must be very important.
Our model system involves the zucchini, which avoids many of the ethical problems associated with using small defenseless animals for research, especially for studies involving pain. Vegetables are also cheaper than laboratory animals, and they taste better as well (1). We have previously demonstrated that zucchini contain functional receptors for opiates (2), so this was the vegetable of choice.”
Read the rest of the paper here.