CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Kyodo) A group of nine Japanese and British researchers were named among this year’s winners of the spoof Ig Nobel Prize on Thursday for using slime molds for determining the optimal routes for railroad tracks.

Toshiyuki Nakagaki, professor at Future University Hakodate, Atsushi Tero, researcher at the Japan Science and Technology Agency, and Ryo Kobayashi, professor at the Graduate School of Science, Hiroshima University, shared the prize with four other Japanese and two British scholars.

The nine were honored at the award’s 20th ceremony at Harvard University for demonstrating the ability of slime molds to form an optimal network for transmitting nutrients and the potential of applying such a network design to actual city planning.

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