This high-tech bra could save lives


NEW YORK: Last year Dr Elena Bodnar won the Ig Nobel Public Health Prize for her then-prototype invention, the “Emergency Bra.”

It is a style-conscious undergarment that “can be quickly converted into a pair of protective face masks — one for the brassiere wearer and one to be given to a needy bystander” in the event of an emergency.

After one year of “safety engineering, economical design, and aesthetics,” the bra is finally ready to enhance cleavage and to save lives around the globe.

While seemingly quirky, the Emergency Bra was born out of real-world need. As a young doctor, Bodnar discovered while treating patients affected by the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident that particle inhalation was as detrimental to the human body as radiation exposure.

She will be back at the Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony in 2010 to help honour this year’s 10 new Ig Nobel Prize Winners, alongside returning Ig Nobel Prize winners Toshiyuki Nakagaki and Atsushi Tero (slime mould can solve puzzles), Dan Ariely (high-priced fake medicine is more effective than low-priced fake medicine), Dr Nakamats (who has been photographing every meal he has consumed during a period of 34 years), and Christopher Chabris (people can overlook anything — even a woman in a gorilla suit).

Ig Nobel Prizes is an events ceremony that pokes fun at the Nobel Prizes, as well as awards inventors and scientists who work on projects that fall a little outside of the mainstream.

The Ig Nobel Prizes are awarded to comical yet innovative inventions that make people laugh and think.

This event is organised by the bi-monthly scientific humour magazine Annals of Improbable Research and is co-sponsored by the Harvard-Radcliffe Society of Physics Students, the Harvard-Radcliffe Science Fiction Association, and the Harvard Computer Society.

It takes place on Sept 30 at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. The event will also be available as a live webcast via Improbable Research’s YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/improbableresearch. — Relaxnews

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