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
In an international study, scientists of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) have discovered a new therapeutic option for a large group of stroke patients. The main results of the European WAKE-UP trial were presented today at the European Stroke Organisation Conference (ESOC) in Gothenburg, Sweden. At the same time, the trial results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. These results will enable effective treatment of a large group of stroke patients currently ex-cluded from intravenous thrombolysis.
Up to 20 per cent of stroke patients wake up in the morning with stroke symptoms. This means that the time when their stroke started is unknown and so they are...17.05.2018 | Read more
In an international study, scientists of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) have discovered a new therapeutic approach for Late Infantile Neu-ronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (CLN2) – a form of childhood dementia. Enzyme replace-ment therapy with cerliponase alfa can have beneficial effects.
It was possible to stop the illness from progressing for two thirds of the patients. The synthetic enzyme is introduced into the subarachnoid space of the...25.04.2018 | Read more
The alarming omnipresence of microplastics in rivers, lakes, and oceans increasingly gains the critical focus of research. So far, however, there has been no reliable knowledge as to whether microplastic particles in aquatic ecosystems promote the development of special bacterial communities or even the spread of pathogens. A recent study within the project MikrOMIK* headed by the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde (IOW) has now for the first time systematically investigated whether bacterial biofilms on microplastic particles differ from those on natural materials and how various environmental factors such as salinity or nutrients influence the community composition.
Today, microplastics – plastic particles smaller than 5 millimetres – can be detected everywhere in the environment. Many hundreds of thousands particles per...05.04.2018 | Read more
Scalable and cost-effective manufacturing of thin film devices
Engineers at Rutgers University-New Brunswick and Oregon State University are developing a new method of processing nanomaterials that could lead to faster and...14.02.2018 | Read more
Global warming affects more than just plant biodiversity - it even alters the way plants grow. A team of researchers at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) joined forces with the Leibniz Institute for Plant Biochemistry (IPB) to discover which molecular processes are involved in plant growth. In the current edition of the internationally renowned journal "Current Biology", the group presents its latest findings on the mechanism controlling growth at high temperatures. In the future this could help breed plants that are adapted to global warming.
Plants react much more sensitively to fluctuations in temperature than animals. They are also unable to seek out warmer or cooler locations. "When temperatures...12.01.2018 | Read more
Neuroscientists from Lübeck investigate spontaneous neural activity
Our brain never rests completely: Even in situations without noticeable external input thousands of neurons are firing in different parts of the brain, a...18.12.2017 | Read more
A new study by neuroscientists at the University of Chicago shows how amputees can learn to control a robotic arm through electrodes implanted in the brain
A new study by neuroscientists at the University of Chicago shows how amputees can learn to control a robotic arm through electrodes implanted in the brain.28.11.2017 | Read more
Forests fulfil numerous important functions, and do so particularly well if they are rich in different species of trees. This is the result of a new study. In addition, forest managers do not have to decide on the provision of solely one service – such as wood production or nature conservation – as a second study demonstrates: several services provided by forest ecosystems can be improved at the same time. Both studies were led by scientists from Leipzig University and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), and published in the prestigious journal Ecology Letters.
Forests are of great importance to humans: the wood grown in forests is used in our houses for furniture, roof timbers and flooring; forests store carbon from...17.11.2017 | Read more
Efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the agriculture and forestry sectors could lead to increased food prices—but new research identifies strategies that could help mitigate climate change while avoiding steep hikes in food prices.
Climate policies that target agriculture and forests could lead to increased food prices, but reducing deforestation and increasing soil carbon sequestration...02.10.2017 | Read more
The sharing of research data presents a social dilemma. Although the sharing of research data offers great potential for scientific progress, researchers rarely practise it. A study of the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics in cooperation with the Leibniz Research Alliance Science 2.0 looks at the role played by the personality of researchers within this social dilemma and which individual barriers and incentives should be taken into account.
The personality of a researcher can play an important part in his or her decision to share research data. This is the result of a national, interdisciplinary...06.09.2017 | Read more
Vaccinia viruses serve as a vaccine against human smallpox and as the basis of new cancer therapies. Two studies now provide fascinating insights into their unusual propagation strategy at the atomic level.
For viruses to multiply, they usually need the support of the cells they infect. In many cases, only in their host’s nucleus can they find the machines,...
More than one hundred and fifty years have passed since the publication of James Clerk Maxwell's "A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field" (1865). What would our lives be without this publication?
It is difficult to imagine, as this treatise revolutionized our fundamental understanding of electric fields, magnetic fields, and light. The twenty original...
In a joint experimental and theoretical work performed at the Heidelberg Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, an international team of physicists detected for the first time an orbital crossing in the highly charged ion Pr⁹⁺. Optical spectra were recorded employing an electron beam ion trap and analysed with the aid of atomic structure calculations. A proposed nHz-wide transition has been identified and its energy was determined with high precision. Theory predicts a very high sensitivity to new physics and extremely low susceptibility to external perturbations for this “clock line” making it a unique candidate for proposed precision studies.
Laser spectroscopy of neutral atoms and singly charged ions has reached astonishing precision by merit of a chain of technological advances during the past...
The ability to investigate the dynamics of single particle at the nano-scale and femtosecond level remained an unfathomed dream for years. It was not until the dawn of the 21st century that nanotechnology and femtoscience gradually merged together and the first ultrafast microscopy of individual quantum dots (QDs) and molecules was accomplished.
Ultrafast microscopy studies entirely rely on detecting nanoparticles or single molecules with luminescence techniques, which require efficient emitters to...
Graphene, a two-dimensional structure made of carbon, is a material with excellent mechanical, electronic and optical properties. However, it did not seem suitable for magnetic applications. Together with international partners, Empa researchers have now succeeded in synthesizing a unique nanographene predicted in the 1970s, which conclusively demonstrates that carbon in very specific forms has magnetic properties that could permit future spintronic applications. The results have just been published in the renowned journal Nature Nanotechnology.
Depending on the shape and orientation of their edges, graphene nanostructures (also known as nanographenes) can have very different properties – for example,...
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