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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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Research investigates whether solar events could trigger birth defects on Earth

Studies find airplane crews at high altitude are exposed to potentially harmful levels of radiation from cosmic rays.

"Neutrons which don't reach the ground do reach airline altitude," said Adrian Melott, professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Kansas. "Flight...

21.07.2015 | nachricht Read more

Accounting for short-lived forcers in carbon budgets

New IIASA research shows how measures to reduce emissions of short-lived climate forcers can impact global carbon budgets for limiting climate change to below 2°C over pre-industrial levels.

Limiting warming to any level requires CO2 emissions to be kept to within a certain limit known as a carbon budget. Can reducing shorter-lived climate forcers...

15.07.2015 | nachricht Read more

Social engagement aids disaster preparedness

Community participation and strong social networks can aid preparedness to natural disaster such as tsunamis in vulnerable regions, shows new research conducted in the south of Thailand.

People who participate in social activities in their community are more likely to plan and prepare for future disasters, such as tsunamis, according to a new...

09.07.2015 | nachricht Read more

Seahorse tails could inspire new generation of robots

Inspiration for the next big technological breakthrough in robotics, defense systems and biomedicine could come from a seahorse's tail, according to a new study reported Thursday in the journal Science.

The research centers on the curious shape of seahorse tails and was led by Clemson University's Michael M. Porter, an assistant professor of mechanical...

03.07.2015 | nachricht Read more

Is Marriage Good or Bad for the Figure?

It is generally assumed that marriage has a positive influence on health and life expectancy. But does this “marriage bonus” also apply to the health indicator of body weight? Researchers at the University of Basel and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development have investigated this question in cooperation with the market research institute GfK. Specifically, they compared the body mass index of married couples with that of singles in nine European countries. The results of their study have now been published in the journal Social Science & Medicine.

Numerous studies have shown that marriage is good for your health. As a team of researchers from Basel, Nuremberg, and Berlin have now found, however, that...

29.06.2015 | nachricht Read more

Fructose produces less rewarding sensations in the brain

Fructose not only results in a lower level of satiety, it also stimulates the reward system in the brain to a lesser degree than glucose. This may cause excessive consumption accompanied by effects that are a risk to health, report researchers from the University of Basel in a study published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE. Various diseases have been attributed to industrial fructose in sugary drinks and ready meals.

Fruit sugar, or fructose, is a carbohydrate that occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables and is generally harmless in this form. Despite their similar...

25.06.2015 | nachricht Read more

Study on monitoring Chinese industry 4.0 technology and patents – results published

Fraunhofer IAO has analyzed patents registered in China over the last three years for industry 4.0 technologies. The first study to be published on the topic shows that Chinese researchers have patented important inventions in the fields of wireless sensor networks, embedded systems, low-cost robots and big data, indicating that China will be leading the pack when it comes to production data in the future.

In terms of the number of patents filed for industry 4.0 technologies, China has far outstripped the United States and Germany. But what does patent quantity...

25.06.2015 | nachricht Read more

Superslippery islands (but then they get stuck)

A simple reversible process that changes friction in the nanoworld

(Nano)islands that slide freely on a sea of copper, but when they become too large (and too dense) they end up getting stuck: that nicely sums up the system...

23.06.2015 | nachricht Read more

Why adolescents are more impatient than adults

Study shows structural and functional differences in the brain: Would you rather have €20 now or €50 in a month? Adolescents faced with this question often yield to the impulse to take the immediate reward rather than waiting for the bigger one.

Researchers at Stanford University, the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, and the University of California, Davis, have investigated why it is so...

23.06.2015 | nachricht Read more

Why boys are performing less well at school and how to fix it

15-year-old boys are more likely than girls of the same age to be low achievers” said a recent OECD report*. This is yet more evidence of a long term, worldwide trend of some boys falling behind at school. University of Luxembourg researchers have identified two possible major causes and a potential solution in a new study published recently in the journal “Masculinities and Social Change”*. This work was conducted by gleaning evidence directly from children rather than the traditional source of seeking the opinions of teachers or parents.

“We saw a strong tendency for failing boys to be alienated from school; feeling distant and thinking it is not useful,” noted Andreas Hadjar a Professor in the...

10.06.2015 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Quantum Matter Stuck in Unrest

Using ultracold atoms trapped in light crystals, scientists from the MPQ, LMU, and the Weizmann Institute observe a novel state of matter that never thermalizes.

What happens if one mixes cold and hot water? After some initial dynamics, one is left with lukewarm water—the system has thermalized to a new thermal...

Im Focus: On the crest of the wave: Electronics on a time scale shorter than a cycle of light

Physicists from Regensburg and Marburg, Germany have succeeded in taking a slow-motion movie of speeding electrons in a solid driven by a strong light wave. In the process, they have unraveled a novel quantum phenomenon, which will be reported in the forthcoming edition of Nature.

The advent of ever faster electronics featuring clock rates up to the multiple-gigahertz range has revolutionized our day-to-day life. Researchers and...

Im Focus: Superfast fluorescence sets new speed record

Plasmonic device has speed and efficiency to serve optical computers

Researchers have developed an ultrafast light-emitting device that can flip on and off 90 billion times a second and could form the basis of optical computing.

Im Focus: Unlocking the rice immune system

Joint BioEnergy Institute study identifies bacterial protein that is key to protecting rice against bacterial blight

A bacterial signal that when recognized by rice plants enables the plants to resist a devastating blight disease has been identified by a multi-national team...

Im Focus: Smarter window materials can control light and energy

Researchers in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin are one step closer to delivering smart windows with a new level of energy efficiency, engineering materials that allow windows to reveal light without transferring heat and, conversely, to block light while allowing heat transmission, as described in two new research papers.

By allowing indoor occupants to more precisely control the energy and sunlight passing through a window, the new materials could significantly reduce costs for...

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