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'Beer goggles,' opera-loving mice win Ig Nobel prizes for silly science (VIDEO)

The Annals of Improbable Research hand out the prizes for strange or funny scientific research.

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Research that shows the "beer goggles" effect also makes the drinker feel more attractive has won an Ig Nobel prize for silly science. (OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

Researchers have been hard at work this year making breakthroughs in cancer cures, stem cells and Mars exploration, but they've also been working on some ... well, less important things.

And that's exactly what was rewarded at the Ig Nobel Prize announcements on Thursday.

The Ig Nobels celebrate science research that is weird or funny, and this year's winners don't disappoint.

Researchers from France and the US proved that the "beer goggles" effect works so well, you can fool yourself into thinking you're more attractive while drinking.

The Joint Prize in Biology and Astronomy went to scientists who proved that lost dung beetles can roll a perfect ball of poo and use the Milky Way to find their way home. 

Japanese scientist Masanori Niimi won the medicine prize for his finding that mice who listened to opera after heart transplants survived longer.

Verdi's La Traviata caused the mice to live 20 days longer than average, but they were only willing to cling to life for an extra four days for the singer Enya.

The awards are sponsored by the science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research, but the research itself is no joke.

It's all has all been published in prestigious, peer-reviewed academic journals.

Organizer Marc Abrahams said the point is to make people laugh, and then think about why they're laughing.

"The combination of science that is funny on its own — not because someone is making a joke, but it is funny — that's an unusual notion in the United States," he said. "It is becoming more acceptable again."

For the first time, winners get a cash prize: $10 trillion dollars. Of course, that's in Zimbabwean currency, which translates to about $4 US.

The winners of the Ig will give 60-second speeches at MIT on Saturday as they pick up their awards. 

Those who stretch that minute timeframe get booed off the stage by an eight-year-old girl.

The Nobel prize winners, should you be wondering, will be announced next month.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/science/130913/beer-goggles-opera-loving-mice-win-ig-nobel-prizes-silly-science-video