Violence in the genes

October 6, 2000

Who is the smartest person in the world? The organisers of the spoof Ig Nobel Prizes devised a remarkably fast way to answer the question by asking contenders to talk over each other for 30 seconds, after which the "debater" judged most successful would be declared the winner.

Sadly, attempts to persuade genome rivals Craig Venter and Francis Collins to go head-to-head foundered because a mutual friend suspected that the contest might lead to bloodshed.

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