It has been said laughter is the best medicine, but no one has proved it.  Until now….

Now a Japanese scientist is unlocking the secrets of the funny bone, which he believes can cheer up people’s genes.

Geneticist Kazuo Murakami has teamed up on the study with an unlikely research partner: stand-up comedians.

He hopes they can turn their one-liners into low-cost medical treatment.

Genes are usually regarded as immutable, but in reality more than 90 per cent of them are dormant or less active in producing protein, so some types of stimulation can wake them up.

Mr Murakami’s theory is laughter is one such stimulant, which can trigger energy inside a person’s DNA, potentially helping cure disease.

"If we prove that people can switch genes on and off by an emotion like laughter, it may be the finding of the century which should be worth the Nobel Prize," Mr Murakami, 70, said.

He is teaming up with entertainment company Yoshimoto Kogyo to prove his theory.

More here.