A joint U.S. and Israeli team's study on a cure for hiccups won the IgNobel prize - a humorous counterpart to the Nobel prizes awarded this week. The joint team issued a study purporting that a finger up the rectum could halt the annoying phenomenon.
Research into stinky feet, a study on the sound of fingernails on a blackboard and a device that repels teen-agers with an annoying high-pitched hum were also among the prize-winners during Thursday's ceremony.
Another groundbreaking research piece won a prize for discovering why woodpeckers do not get headaches.
"The prizes are intended to celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative -- and spur people's interest in science, medicine and technology," said Marc Abrahams, editor of the science humor magazine "Annals of Improbable Research," which sponsors the awards with the Harvard-Radcliffe Science Fiction Association and Harvard-Radcliffe Society of Physics Students.
All the research is real and has been published in often-prestigious scientific and medical journals. However, unlike the Nobel prizes awarded this week by the Swedish Academy of Sciences, IgNobel winners receive no money, little recognition and have virtually no hope of transforming science or medicine.
Even the name of the award, a play on the word "ignoble," is meant to be deprecating.