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Scientific research using studies and analyses

Studies and analyses are vital to progress and innovation and are the only way to empirically verify theories.

Science and empirical studies and analyses

Not all fields of science are dependent on empirical studies and analyses to verify a thesis. Mathematics, theology, philosophy and law are examples of fields that revolve within a stand-alone world in which new findings are derived by means of logical operations consisting of axioms, postulates or articles of faith (theology) that need not be proven true or accurate through empirical studies or analyses. Although these subjects are indispensable when it comes to basic research, by themselves they don't yield technical advances.

Empirical scientific approaches are diametrically opposed to these fields however. In this case, new theories are developed based on thought processes, observations and speculation. Ensuring that this knowledge has actual scientific relevance requires that it undergo an empirical evaluation however. Researchers rely on studies and analyses to compare these theses with real observations. New scientific knowledge is considered valid only after empirical studies and analyses show that theory and reality coincide. In the process it is imperative that the studies and analyses always produce the same result under the same experiment structure. Only then it is empirically proven that the result actually behaves in line with the theory.

Using empirical studies and analyses beyond the natural sciences and engineering

The validation process for new findings based on studies and analyses as described above is in no way limited to natural and engineering sciences such as physics, biology, chemistry, medicine and health, machine engineering or aero and space engineering. In fields such as the social sciences, studies and analyses are also indispensable for empirically proving the accuracy of assumptions and conclusions. Sociology uses empirical-based statistics, studies and analyses to determine if statements about the migration behavior of specific population groups is accurate for instance. The field of psychology also relies on analyses and studies to empirically validate the assumptions of certain behavior patterns.

Progress and innovation through empirical studies and analyses

Before the Enlightenment changed our way of thinking, universities tended to postulate and speculate more than perform scientific research. Innovations therefore were apt be accidental. Once researchers were convinced that scientific results were only possible through the use of empirical studies and analysis, the groundwork was laid for the rapid advances in science that followed. Empirical studies and analyses range from simple experiments, particularly by measuring, weighing and counting, to extremely complex processes that require an enormous amount of time and money. Determining the validity of scientific theories using empirical assurances is one of the prerequisites for implementing these theories in practice. When a specific fact has been confirmed and documented based on studies and analyses, the assumption is that it will remain a fact in the future under the same premises. Only then does it make sense to develop new technologies based on this knowledge, because this provides sufficient proof of the assumption that they always function in the same manner.

Two historical examples of progress based on studies and analyses

Gregor Mendel's studies and analyses on genetics provided empirical proof of his theories of heredity, which then led to modern plant breeding and the establishment of food security for millions of people. The effectiveness of penicillin, another invaluable innovation for mankind, was empirically proven by Alexander Fleming through medical studies and analyses.

Studies and Analyses

innovations-report maintains a wealth of in-depth studies and analyses from a variety of subject areas including business and finance, medicine and ph

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Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?

Delivering packages with drones can reduce carbon dioxide emissions in certain circumstances as compared to truck deliveries, a new study from University of Washington transportation engineers finds.

In a paper to be published in an upcoming issue of Transportation Research Part D, researchers found that drones tend to have carbon dioxide emissions...

31.05.2017 | nachricht Read more

New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?

The new study "The Economic and Social Impact of Software and Services on Competitiveness and Innovation" explores how Europe’s software and IT industry should position itself in the future in order to remain globally competitive. An impact analysis was conducted for numerous fields like big data, cybersecurity or the Internet of Things (IoT) and examined what share of the international market Europe holds and how the market will evolve in the near future. Based on these findings, the study derives recommendations for how Europe can become a leading provider of software and IT services in the long term.

The future competitiveness of the European economy will be decisively influenced by the digital transformation. Globally, this process will result in many new...

03.04.2017 | nachricht Read more

Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study

Study published in Environmental Science: Water Research and Technology

A new class of carbon nanotubes could be the next-generation clean-up crew for toxic sludge and contaminated water, say researchers at Rochester Institute of...

30.03.2017 | nachricht Read more

Pan-European study on “Smart Engineering”

The EU wants to help European SMEs to catch up with smart industry. To provide specific support, the EU has initiated a pan-European survey on “Smart Engineering”. The research project’s objective is to identify the actual situation of European companies on their way towards Industry 4.0, to sum up all national funding initiatives and to determine the actual demand of SMEs. The project is jointly conducted by 15 research institutions and companies from seven countries – among them the Institut für Integrierte Produktion Hannover (IPH).

Smart engineering and networked systems revolutionize production industry. Machines learn how to intercommunicate and autonomously keep supplies coming, as...

30.03.2017 | nachricht Read more

Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas

Fertilizers, animal waste, changes to atmospheric chemistry and warming soils all tied to increased ammonia over US, Europe, China and India

The first global, long-term satellite study of airborne ammonia gas has revealed "hotspots" of the pollutant over four of the world's most productive...

17.03.2017 | nachricht Read more

Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing

A new study led by the German Institute of Human Nutrition (DIfE), a partner of the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), shows that gliptins – well known from diabetes treatment – may oppose the detrimental effects of fat cell accumulation in the bone marrow to improve bone healing in older, overweight patients. The research team led by stem cell researchers Thomas H. Ambrosi and Tim J. Schulz has now published its findings in Cell Stem Cell (Ambrosi et al. 2017; http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.stem.2017.02.009).

It is well established that aging promotes the development of obesity. The aging process is not only accompanied by larger fat depots but also by excessive...

17.03.2017 | nachricht Read more

Social phobia: indication of a genetic cause

People with social anxiety avoid situations in which they are exposed to judgment by others. Those affected also lead a withdrawn life. Around one in ten people is affected by this anxiety disorder over the course of their life.

People with social anxiety avoid situations in which they are exposed to judgment by others. Those affected also lead a withdrawn life. Around one in ten...

10.03.2017 | nachricht Read more

Real-time feedback helps save energy and water

Study by the Universities of Bonn and Bamberg: consumption when showering can be reduced by 22 percent

Those who take long showers use a great deal of water and energy. Yet people who enjoy taking long showers do not usually realize to what extent they are...

08.02.2017 | nachricht Read more

The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents

Teenagers are driven to seek new experiences: Adolescents are more likely to ignore information that could prompt them to rethink risky decisions. This may explain why information campaigns on risky behaviors such as drug abuse tend to have only limited success. These are the conclusions of a study conducted by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, which has been published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Reckless driving, binge drinking, drug taking—it is well known that adolescents are more likely than adults to engage in risky and impulsive behavior. A study...

19.01.2017 | nachricht Read more

A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections

You can pretty much put a mark in your calendar for when the annual flu epidemic begins. Using 20,000 virus samples and weather statistics, researchers have now discovered more details about how outdoor temperature and flu outbreaks are linked.

“According to our calculations, a cold week with an average temperature below zero degree Celsius precedes the start of the flu epidemic” says Nicklas Sundell,...

11.01.2017 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

Im Focus: Optoelectronic Inline Measurement – Accurate to the Nanometer

Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.

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