Speed bumps can be used to diagnose acute appendicitis, shows research, giving credence to the feeling that they are a bit of a pain.

The British scientists who made the discovery have been recognised in this year’s Ig Nobel awards, presented by the spoof scientific journal Annals of Improbable Research for achievements that make people “laugh, then think”. These awards are intended to parody the Nobel prize awards.

The speed bump test picked up 97 per cent of people with the condition, but was less good at avoiding “false positive” identification of those who were free of the complaint.

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