‘Vomiting device’ sounds gross but it helps study infections | Science News

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‘Vomiting device’ sounds gross but it helps study infections

Machine that simulates throwing up shows researchers how noroviruses spread

By
2:00pm, August 19, 2015

KEEP IT DOWN  The vomiting device, which mimics projectile vomiting, is equipped with a small human mask. The face provides aesthetic flair and also acts as a weight to keep the device’s “throat” curved, as a human’s throat is while vomiting. 

Vomiting device
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A mechanical system that imitates projectile vomiting.

Researchers in North Carolina use the barfing machine to study how human noroviruses, leading causes of upchucking worldwide, spread through the air.

The vomiting device’s tubes, valves, piston and pump imitate a human mouth, throat and stomach at one-quarter size. A clay face mask gives the machine an appropriate expression of misery, but it also provides weight to bend the throat down, simulating the flexed neck of a heaving human.

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