By Christina Janansky, Staff Writer


Have you ever watched someone sneeze? In a split second, thousands of tiny particles are floating everywhere, (and I mean everywhere).

Unfortunately, the same thing happens when someone vomits, which explains how the nasty norovirus wreaks havoc in BU’s dorms nearly every semester.

With a heightened breakout of the norovirus this year, scientists are now looking for ways to understand and control it.

And that’s where Larry comes in.

Larry’s not your average guy—he’s a robotic head that projectile vomits fluorescent fluids for several consecutive hours a day.

Scientists created Larry—an open-mouthed dummy at the United Kingdom Health and Safety Laboratory—in an attempt to better understand and control the norovirus, according to Discovery News.

Scientists hope that by understanding the virus better, they might minimize its spread.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, the norovirus is highly contagious and can infect anyone. It causes vomiting, diarrhea and severe stomach and abdominal pains.

There are many strains of the norovirus, with new ones emerging constantly. According to a recent USA Today article, a calculated 21 million Americans suffer from the norovirus and other stomach bugs annually.

Larry’s esophagus is attached to a cylindrical compartment filled with water and fluorescent liquid. This fluorescent concoction allows scientists to observe Larry’s puke’s trajectory with an ultraviolet light after he’s finished.

To make Larry spew, scientists use a special pump that shoots the imitation vomit out through his mouth and across the room —sometimes it extends farther than 10 feet.

But Larry’s accomplishments could go farther than that. It is suspected that nearly 800 of the 21 million Americans with norovirus die each year. If Larry’s experiments prove successful, he could be a world hero.

And yes, ladies…He’s single.

Larry in action.