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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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Climate change and air pollution damaging health and causing millions of premature deaths

IIASA researchers have contributed to a major new report in The Lancet medical journal looking at the effects of climate change on human health, and the implications for society.

The 2018 Report of the research coalition The Lancet Countdown: Tracking Progress on Health and Climate Change shows that rising temperatures as a result of...

30.11.2018 | nachricht Read more

Reading rats’ minds

Scientists can predict where a rat will go next based on how its hippocampal neurons fire – Study published in Neuron

Place cells in the hippocampus fire when we are in a certain position – this discovery by John O’Keefe, May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser brought them the Nobel...

29.11.2018 | nachricht Read more

For ants, unity is strength – and health

Ant social networks put a brake on disease spread - Study published in Science

When a pathogen enters their colony, ants change their behavior to avoid the outbreak of disease. In this way, they protect the queen, brood and young workers...

23.11.2018 | nachricht Read more

Researchers simplify tiny structures' construction drip by drip

Popping the top on house paint usually draws people to look inside the can. But Princeton researchers have turned their gaze upward, to the underside of the lid, where it turns out that pattern of droplets could inspire new ways to make microscopically small structures.

The trick comes in controlling the droplets, which form under competing influences like gravity and surface tension. A new study, published Oct. 26 in the...

12.11.2018 | nachricht Read more

Mandibular movement monitoring may help improve oral sleep apnea devices

Tracking jaw movements is a useful tool for measuring the efficacy of oral appliances, according to a new study in the journal CHEST®

While continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) continues to be the gold standard for treatment of sleep apnea, the cumbersome machines are often not well...

06.11.2018 | nachricht Read more

Lateral inhibition keeps similar memories apart

Connectivity in the dentate gyrus supports pattern separation – Study published in Nature Communications

When you park in the office car park, you usually have no problem finding your car again at the end of the day. The next day, you might park a few spots...

02.11.2018 | nachricht Read more

Air Pollution and Noise Increase Risk for Heart Attacks

Air pollution and transportation noise are both associated with an increased risk of heart attacks. Studies on air pollution, which do not take into account traffic noise, tend to overestimate the long-term effect of air pollution on heart attacks. These are the results of a study conducted by the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, and published today in the European Heart Journal.

Where air pollution is high, the level of transportation noise is usually also elevated. Not only air pollution negatively impacts on health, but also car,...

24.10.2018 | nachricht Read more

For a lower climate footprint, vegetarian diet beats local

A new study provides a more comprehensive accounting of the greenhouse gas emissions from EU diets. It shows that meat and dairy products are responsible for the lion’s share of greenhouse emissions from the EU diet.

The average EU citizen has a food footprint of 1070 kg of CO2 equivalent per year when emissions from production, land use change and international...

23.10.2018 | nachricht Read more

Drought hits rivers first and more strongly than agriculture

A new study by researchers from Germany and Sweden has revealed the development of drought impacts, like in this summer, across Europe. The study shows that persisting and accumulating precipitation deficits cause decreased soil moisture within days and lower stream flows within weeks, while vegetation and crops can remain unaffected for several months.

The study reports that droughts develop slowly and have delayed and multi-faceted impacts. As such, the full drought phenomenon and its consequences are...

06.09.2018 | nachricht Read more

Landslides triggered by human activity on the rise

More than 50,000 people were killed by landslides around the world between 2004 and 2016, according to a new study by researchers at UK’s Sheffield University. The team, who compiled data on over 4800 fatal landslides during the 13-year period, also revealed for the first time that landslides resulting from human activity have increased over time. The research is published today in the European Geosciences Union journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences.

The team found that over 700 fatal landslides that occurred between 2004 and 2016 had a human fingerprint. Construction works, legal and illegal mining, as...

23.08.2018 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Gentle wall contact – the right scenario for a fusion power plant

Quasi-continuous power exhaust developed as a wall-friendly method on ASDEX Upgrade

A promising operating mode for the plasma of a future power plant has been developed at the ASDEX Upgrade fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma...

Im Focus: ILA Goes Digital – Automation & Production Technology for Adaptable Aircraft Production

Live event – July 1, 2020 - 11:00 to 11:45 (CET)
"Automation in Aerospace Industry @ Fraunhofer IFAM"

The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM l Stade is presenting its forward-looking R&D portfolio for the first time at...

Im Focus: AI monitoring of laser welding processes - X-ray vision and eavesdropping ensure quality

With an X-ray experiment at the European Synchrotron ESRF in Grenoble (France), Empa researchers were able to demonstrate how well their real-time acoustic monitoring of laser weld seams works. With almost 90 percent reliability, they detected the formation of unwanted pores that impair the quality of weld seams. Thanks to a special evaluation method based on artificial intelligence (AI), the detection process is completed in just 70 milliseconds.

Laser welding is a process suitable for joining metals and thermoplastics. It has become particularly well established in highly automated production, for...

Im Focus: A structural light switch for magnetism

A research team from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure of Dynamics (MPSD) and the University of Oxford has managed to drive a prototypical antiferromagnet into a new magnetic state using terahertz frequency light. Their groundbreaking method produced an effect orders of magnitude larger than previously achieved, and on ultrafast time scales. The team’s work has just been published in Nature Physics.

Magnetic materials have been a mainstay in computing technology due to their ability to permanently store information in their magnetic state. Current...

Im Focus: Virtually Captured

Biomechanical analyses and computer simulations reveal the Venus flytrap snapping mechanisms

The Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) takes only 100 milliseconds to trap its prey. Once their leaves, which have been transformed into snap traps, have...

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