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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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Tracking Down the Causes of Alzheimer’s

Genes are not only important for regular memory performance, but also for the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers at the University of Basel now identified a specific group of genes that plays a central role in both processes. This group of molecules controls the concentration of calcium ions inside the cell. Their results appear in the current issue of the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

Intact memory capacity is crucial for everyday life. This fact becomes apparent once a memory disorder has developed. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common...

03.09.2015 | nachricht Read more

Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in Germany

Study shows how Germany can decarbonize its energy system and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80% until 2050

In order to take an important step towards limiting global warming to less than 2 °C compared to pre-industrial times, countries are expected to achieve a new...

02.09.2015 | nachricht Read more

Risk of financial crisis higher than previously estimated

The risk of a financial crisis is substantially higher than previously estimated, according to new research that accounts for multiple levels of interconnectedness in the financial system.

The study, published in the journal Financial Stability, introduces a new method that allows researchers to estimate the systemic risk that emerge from...

02.09.2015 | nachricht Read more

Brands are Perceived in the Same Way as Faces

Psychologists investigate properties of known trademarks

A recent study on the psychology of trademarks shows that they are perceived by the same psychological mechanisms as those, which enable the recognition of...

28.08.2015 | nachricht Read more

“Bank & Zukunft 2015” trend survey highlights the need for banks to reform business models

Banks and the banking business are on the edge of profound change. This is the primary finding of the newly released “Bank & Zukunft 2015” trend survey. Only a fifth of the executives and managers surveyed still anticipate business to take a positive direction in the next four years. Despite this, banks continue to drag their feet when it comes to implementing innovative business models in order to tap new areas of revenue.

The 2015 edition of Fraunhofer IAO’s annual “Bank & Zukunft” trend survey reveals uncertainty among bank directors and managers. Following years of optimism,...

21.08.2015 | nachricht Read more

Brain waves behind indecisiveness

Some people find it difficult to make decisions. In a new study, neuroeconomists from the University of Zurich now reveal that the intensity of the communication between different regions of the brain dictates whether we are indecisive or not.

It’s the same old story: You’re in a restaurant and can’t make up your mind what to order. After studying the menu for some time and many discussions, you...

20.08.2015 | nachricht Read more

Recipe Book for Colloids

New Study shows Correlation between Microscopic Structures and Macroscopic Properties

Researchers from Jülich have, together with colleagues from Austria, Italy, Colombia and the USA, developed a model system for so-called soft colloids. The...

17.08.2015 | nachricht Read more

Grammar: eventually the brain opts for the easy route

Languages are constantly evolving – and grammar is no exception. The way in which the brain processes language triggers adjustments. If the brain has to exert itself too much to cope with difficult case constructions, it usually simplifies them over time, as linguists from the Universi-ty of Zurich demonstrate in a study on languages all over the world.

The grammar of languages keeps reorganizing itself. A prime example of this is the omission of case endings in the transition from Latin to Italian. And in...

13.08.2015 | nachricht Read more

Math Boosts Brain Research

Human memory is the result of different mental processes, such as learning, remembering and forgetting. However, these distinct processes cannot be observed directly. Researchers at the University of Basel now succeeded at describing them using computational models. The scientists were thus for the first time able to identify gene sets responsible for steering specific memory processes. Their results have been published in the current issue of the journal PNAS.

Thanks to our memory we are able to learn foreign languages, solve exams and remember beautiful moments from the past. To ensure optimal memory performance,...

11.08.2015 | nachricht Read more

Viruses thrive in big families, in sickness and in health

Study suggests that big families have viral infections for 87 percent of the year. But only half cause illness.

The BIG LoVE (Utah Better Identification of Germs-Longitudinal Viral Epidemiology) study, led by scientists at the University of Utah School of Medicine, finds...

05.08.2015 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Hubble survey unlocks clues to star birth in neighboring galaxy

In a survey of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope images of 2,753 young, blue star clusters in the neighboring Andromeda galaxy (M31), astronomers have found that M31 and our own galaxy have a similar percentage of newborn stars based on mass.

By nailing down what percentage of stars have a particular mass within a cluster, or the Initial Mass Function (IMF), scientists can better interpret the light...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact Inverter for Uninterruptible Power Supplies

Silicon Carbide Components Enable Efficiency of 98.7 percent

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE have developed a highly compact and efficient inverter for use in uninterruptible power...

Im Focus: How wind sculpted Earth's largest dust deposit

China's Loess Plateau was formed by wind alternately depositing dust or removing dust over the last 2.6 million years, according to a new report from University of Arizona geoscientists. The study is the first to explain how the steep-fronted plateau formed.

China's Loess Plateau was formed by wind alternately depositing dust or removing dust over the last 2.6 million years, according to a new report from...

Im Focus: An engineered surface unsticks sticky water droplets

The leaves of the lotus flower, and other natural surfaces that repel water and dirt, have been the model for many types of engineered liquid-repelling surfaces. As slippery as these surfaces are, however, tiny water droplets still stick to them. Now, Penn State researchers have developed nano/micro-textured, highly slippery surfaces able to outperform these naturally inspired coatings, particularly when the water is a vapor or tiny droplets.

Enhancing the mobility of liquid droplets on rough surfaces could improve condensation heat transfer for power-plant heat exchangers, create more efficient...

Im Focus: Increasingly severe disturbances weaken world's temperate forests

Longer, more severe, and hotter droughts and a myriad of other threats, including diseases and more extensive and severe wildfires, are threatening to transform some of the world's temperate forests, a new study published in Science has found. Without informed management, some forests could convert to shrublands or grasslands within the coming decades.

"While we have been trying to manage for resilience of 20th century conditions, we realize now that we must prepare for transformations and attempt to ease...

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