Studies and analyses are vital to progress and innovation and are the only way to empirically verify theories.
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.
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.
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.
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.
innovations-report maintains a wealth of in-depth studies and analyses from a variety of subject areas including business and finance, medicine and ph
World’s largest study of deep brain stimulation in the brain’s reward system / Study with 16 participants with previously treatment-resistant depression shows excellent results over one year / Results published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology
Patients suffering from severe, treatment-resistant depression can benefit not only acutely but also the long-term from deep brain stimulation, as researchers...19.03.2019 | Read more
In combination with conventional statistical methods, artificial intelligence (AI) has now been used in a study of risk factors in type 1 diabetes. The objective was to identify the most important indicators of elevated risk for cardiovascular disease and death.
“What’s unique about this study is that we’ve included machine learning analyses — that is, algorithms for AI — to assess strength of association for...06.03.2019 | Read more
In a new study, a team of researchers around Alexander Winkler and Prof Victor Brovkin from the department “The Land in the Earth system” at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M) show that most Earth system models (ESM) underestimate the response of Arctic plant productivity to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration.
These models, which serve as the scientific basis for the IPCC Assessment Reports, likely also underestimate future carbon uptake by photosynthesis - a key...21.02.2019 | Read more
Versatile immune cells in the brain serve diverse functions / Changes in course of multiple sclerosis mapped for first time / Study in journal Nature refutes textbook opinion
A team of researchers under the direction of the Medical Center – University of Freiburg has created an entirely new map of the brain’s own immune system in...18.02.2019 | Read more
Study of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin shows birds dependency of high woody cover levels in the Gran Chaco
Only 7 percent of Argentina’s largest tropical dry forest presents woody cover levels above the threshold to host the forest bird community of the dry Chaco. A...12.02.2019 | Read more
Placebo effects do not only occur in medical treatment – placebos can also work when psychological effects are attributed to them. Researchers from the University of Basel’s Faculty of Psychology reported these findings in the journal Scientific Reports, based on three studies with over 400 participants.
Psychotherapy and placebos are both psychological interventions that not only have comparable effects, but that are also based on very similar mechanisms. Both...05.02.2019 | Read more
Extreme rainfall events in one city or region are connected to the same kind of events thousands of kilometers away, an international team of experts finds in a study now published in one of the world’s leading scientific journals, Nature. They discovered a global connection pattern of extreme rainfall – this could eventually improve weather forecasts and hence help to limit damages and protect people. Extreme rainfall events are on the rise due to human-caused climate change, which makes the study even more relevant.
The researchers developed a new method rooted in complex systems science to analyze satellite data. The revealed extreme rainfall patterns are likely linked to...31.01.2019 | Read more
If ship hulls were coated with special high-tech air trapping materials, up to one percent of global CO2 emissions could be avoided. This is the conclusion reached by scientists from the University of Bonn together with colleagues from St. Augustin and Rostock in a recent study. According to the study, ships could save up to 20 percent of fuel as a result of reduced drag. If so-called antifouling effects are also considered, such as the reduced growth of organisms on the hull, the reduction can even be doubled. The study has now been published in the journal “Philosophical Transactions A”.
Ships are among the worst fuel guzzlers in the world. Together, they burn an estimated 250 million tonnes per year and emit around one billion tonnes of carbon...24.01.2019 | Read more
According to a study recently published in the journal Nature Climate Change, in most regions of the world the effects of today’s climate changes on groundwater will only become manifest over the next 100 years, thus impacting the lives of generations that come after us.
Climate change and its immediate, already perceptible consequences, such as the melting of the polar ice caps or coral bleaching, are regularly the focus of...24.01.2019 | Read more
Each year brings new research showing that oil and natural gas wells leak significant amounts of the potent greenhouse gas methane.
A new study just published in the journal Environmental Geosciences is the first to offer a profile of which wells are the most likely culprits.21.12.2018 | Read more
DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.
The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...
Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.
The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...
Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.
Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...
The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.
A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.
"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...
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