Norovirus infections cause inflammation in the stomach and intestines leading to pain, nausea, diarrhoea and sometimes even death. Despite it affecting around 20 million people per year in the US, we don't know exactly how it is transmitted. This encouraged a team from North Carolina (NC) State University to build a vomiting machine so that they could determine to what extent the norovirus became aerosolized.
How cool to work on something like this? Who said science was boring, particularly when the research can help us prevent or contain the spread of such a widespread and painful illness. There's even a brief video that shows the vomiting machine in action (which sounds far worse than it actually is).
More on the spread of aerosolized virus infections:
Speaking of bugs, I've quickly learnt to check where I'm standing before stopping to take photos. We have some rather big ants in the neighbourhood.