Japan has had a pretty good track record with the annual Ig Nobel Prize. Scientists from all over the country have been awarded for nine years straight for their contributions to wacky and humorous research. Last year, Professor Kiyoshi Mabuchi recieved the Ig Nobel Prize in Physics for determining exactly how slippery a banana peel on the floor is.

Now, Dr. Hajime Kimata of the Osaka Prefecture Neyagawa Allergy Clinic has been given the Ig Nobel Prize in Medicine. However, rather than investigating a silly topic, Dr. Kimata’s findings were actually rather sweet: Kissing can reduce a person’s allergic reactions.

In a 2003 study, Kimata examined a group of 60 subjects with either hay fever or allergic eczema as well as a control group of 30 people with no allergic problems. The subjects all claimed to not kiss on a regular basis.

Kimata then provided them with a private room in which they were instructed to make out for 30 minutes straight with their significant other. Because he’s an old softy, Kimata arranged soft music to be piped into the room as well.

I don’t think this was where the music came from…but I’m not 100 percent sure of that.

Interestingly the allergy sufferers showed a decrease in skin reactions to dust mites and Japanese ceder pollen after their make-out session. There was also a decrease in certain neurotrophins and growth factors (proteins) found in their blood plasma. On the other hand, no change in these proteins was observed in the subjects who did not suffer from allergies after kissing.

In 2004 Kimata took things to the next level and tested the effects of sex on allergic skin rashes. The results were similar to kissing in that “sexual intercourse significantly reduced skin weal responses induced by Japanese cedar pollen or house dust mites.”

The Ig Nobel Prize in Medicine was shared with a team from Slovakia who determined that you can extract the DNA of a man from a woman’s saliva up to an hour after they kissed.

Finally, in a 2006 study, Kimata observed that kissing also triggers a reduction in immunoglobin E (IgE) production which is associated with all kinds of allergies from hay fever to asthma.

Dr. Kimata was unable to attend the awards ceremony on September 17 due to a scheduling conflict, but he sent a video message from the clinic where he works as director.

There you have it folks. You now know how to beat atopic dermatitis in certain reactions, so get out there and start sucking face. Even if you don’t have anyone to kiss at the moment, some people have developed work-arounds.

Other Ig Nobel Prize winners for 2015

Chemistry Prize
Callum Ormonde, Colin Raston, Tom Yuan, Stephan Kudlacek, Sameeran Kunche,  Joshua N. Smith, William A. Brown, Kaitlin Pugliese, Tivoli Olsen, Mariam Iftikhar, and Gregory Weiss

For almost being able to chemically “unboil” an egg

Physics Prize
Patricia Yang, David Hu, Jonathan Pham, and Jerome Choo

For determining that mammals of all shapes and sizes take about the same time to pee (21 seconds give or take 13 seconds)

Literature Prize
The Netherlands/USA/Belgium/Australia
Mark Dingemanse, Francisco Torreira, and Nick J. Enfield

For their groundbreaking work on international use of the word “Huh?”

Management Prize
Gennaro Bernile, Vineet Bhagwat, and P. Raghavendra Rau

For finding a correlation between risk-taking leaders of business and their childhood experiences of natural disasters with no negative consequences  

Physiology and Entomology Prize
USA/Canada/UK/The Netherlands
Justin Schmidt, and Michael L. Smith

To Schmidt for developing the Schmidt Sting Pain Index which measures the pain felt by various insect stings and to Smith for letting himself be stung several times on 25 different parts of his body including inside his nostrils and on the shaft of his penis

Economics Prize
The Bangkok Metropolitan Police

For giving their officers extra money if they refuse to take bribes

Mathematics Prize
Elizabeth Oberzaucher, and Karl Grammer

For mathematically finding if it was possible for Moroccan Emperor Moulay Ismael the Bloodthirsty to father 888 children in a period of 30 years, and if so how

Biology Prize
Bruno Grossi, Omar Larach, Mauricio Canals, Rodrigo A. Vásquez, and José Iriarte-Díaz

For making chicken walk like dinosaurs by attaching fake tails to them

Diagnostic Medicine Prize
Canada/UK/New Zealand/USA/Bahrain/Belgium/Dubai/India/South Africa/Syria/China
Diallah Karim, Anthony Harnden, Nigel D’Souza, Andrew Huang, Abdel Kader Allouni, Helen Ashdown, Richard J. Stevens, and Simon Kreckler

For discovering you can accurately diagnose the severity of appendicitis by putting the patient in a car, driving over speed bumps, and seeing how they react 

Congratulations to all the winners!

Source: Improbable Research , Science Direct (1, 2), Taylor and Francis Online, Nishi Nippon Shimbun
Images: YouTube/ImprobableResearch