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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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Study points to new gene therapy tool in preventing epileptic seizures

A new study by gene therapy scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill may lead to an effective long-term treatment for preventing seizures associated with a common form of epilepsy. The study appears this week in the Internet edition of the journal Nature Medicine and will appear in the Aug. 1 print edition of the journal. The research provides an important foundation for the development of new gene therapies to treat focal seizure disorders, the authors said. As the name 25.07.2003 | nachricht Read more

Study sheds light on critical relay in visual circuit of the brain

Scientists at Harvard Medical School have cleared up some of the mystery surrounding a key structure in the developing brain that helps form the visual circuits. Their findings, which appear in the July 25 issue of Science, could provide new insight into early brain defects that are linked to conditions like cerebral palsy and learning disabilities. During development, nerve cells in the eye send messages to the thalamus, a region located deep within the brain. The thalamus then passe 25.07.2003 | nachricht Read more

Tackling Major Risk Factors Simultaneously Key To Improving Global Health

Leading public-health scientists highlight in a study in this week’s issue of THE LANCET how confronting major risk factors that lead to poor health could have a substantial effect in reducing premature deaths and morbidity globally-especially in the poorest areas of the world. This preventive approach would also reduce the prevailing health inequalities that exist between the world’s richest and poorest nations. Majid Ezzati from the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, USA, Christophe 24.07.2003 | nachricht Read more

Researchers find way to improve musical performance

Researchers from Imperial College London and Charing Cross Hospital have discovered a way to help musicians improve their musical performances by an average of up to 17 per cent, equivalent to an improvement of one grade or class of honours. The research published in this months edition of Neuroreport, shows that using a process known as neurofeedback, students at London’s Royal College of Music were able to improve their performance across a number of areas including their music 24.07.2003 | nachricht Read more

UD scientists track freshwater flow from Arctic into the Atlantic

University of Delaware marine scientists are now working aboard the 420-foot U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Healy on a National Science Foundation project to track the fresh water flowing out of the Arctic Ocean into the Atlantic. This fresh water, from melting ice and rivers, affects the salinity and circulation of the ocean and thus has a major influence on the Earth’s climate. “Freshwater discharge from the Arctic to the North Atlantic is a crucial factor controlling global climate,” 23.07.2003 | nachricht Read more

New research shows EU how to hit Kyoto target

High temperature superconductor (HTS) devices could help the EU reduce its CO2 emissions by up to 52 million tonnes, equivalent to 65 per cent of its Kyoto Protocol commitment. Teemu Hartikainen, Jorma Lehtonen and Risto Mikkonen from Tampere University of Technology, Finland have worked out how much European GHG emissions would be reduced if these devices were introduced. Their findings are published today (23 July) in the Institute of Physics journal Superconductor Science and Techn 23.07.2003 | nachricht Read more

Teens’ Internet confidence lacking

Using the Internet at school for research can lead to teenagers losing their confidence and becoming frustrated, a new study suggests. Most teenagers lack the more complex information gathering skills necessary for internet searching, ultimately using the Internet very inefficiently, says Dr Alison Pickard of Northumbria University who has just completed a four-year research study into the subject. Her findings will be given next week at the 5th Northumbria International Conf 22.07.2003 | nachricht Read more

Happy people may have more immunities to common cold

People who are energetic, happy and relaxed are less likely to catch colds, while those who are depressed, nervous or angry are more likely to complain about cold symptoms, whether or not they get bitten by the cold bug, according to a recent study. Study participants who had a positive emotional style weren’t infected as often and experienced fewer symptoms compared to people with a negative emotional style, say Sheldon Cohen, Ph.D., of Carnegie Mellon University and colleagues 22.07.2003 | nachricht Read more

What is the answer for pain?

Individual genetic differences in drug metabolism in pain medication can lead to severe toxicity or therapeutic failure. The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) defines pain as an "unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage." The current analgesic strategies for treating chronic pain and cancer pain are based on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 1990 analgesic ladder, in 21.07.2003 | nachricht Read more

The bigger and brighter an object, the harder it is to perceive its motion

Bigger and brighter isn’t better, at least not when trying to view moving objects. That is the counter-intuitive result of a study performed by a team of Vanderbilt psychologists which sheds new light on one of the most sophisticated processes performed by the brain: identifying and tracking moving objects. “The bigger an object, the easier it is to see. But it is actually harder for people to determine the motion of objects larger than a tennis ball held at arms length than 17.07.2003 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: High-pressure scientists in Bayreuth discover promising material for information technology

Researchers at the University of Bayreuth have discovered an unusual material: When cooled down to two degrees Celsius, its crystal structure and electronic properties change abruptly and significantly. In this new state, the distances between iron atoms can be tailored with the help of light beams. This opens up intriguing possibilities for application in the field of information technology. The scientists have presented their discovery in the journal "Angewandte Chemie - International Edition". The new findings are the result of close cooperation with partnering facilities in Augsburg, Dresden, Hamburg, and Moscow.

The material is an unusual form of iron oxide with the formula Fe₅O₆. The researchers produced it at a pressure of 15 gigapascals in a high-pressure laboratory...

Im Focus: From China to the South Pole: Joining forces to solve the neutrino mass puzzle

Study by Mainz physicists indicates that the next generation of neutrino experiments may well find the answer to one of the most pressing issues in neutrino physics

Among the most exciting challenges in modern physics is the identification of the neutrino mass ordering. Physicists from the Cluster of Excellence PRISMA+ at...

Im Focus: Therapies without drugs

Fraunhofer researchers are investigating the potential of microimplants to stimulate nerve cells and treat chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes, or Parkinson’s disease. Find out what makes this form of treatment so appealing and which challenges the researchers still have to master.

A study by the Robert Koch Institute has found that one in four women will suffer from weak bladders at some point in their lives. Treatments of this condition...

Im Focus: A step towards controlling spin-dependent petahertz electronics by material defects

The operational speed of semiconductors in various electronic and optoelectronic devices is limited to several gigahertz (a billion oscillations per second). This constrains the upper limit of the operational speed of computing. Now researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg, Germany, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay have explained how these processes can be sped up through the use of light waves and defected solid materials.

Light waves perform several hundred trillion oscillations per second. Hence, it is natural to envision employing light oscillations to drive the electronic...

Im Focus: Freiburg researcher investigate the origins of surface texture

Most natural and artificial surfaces are rough: metals and even glasses that appear smooth to the naked eye can look like jagged mountain ranges under the microscope. There is currently no uniform theory about the origin of this roughness despite it being observed on all scales, from the atomic to the tectonic. Scientists suspect that the rough surface is formed by irreversible plastic deformation that occurs in many processes of mechanical machining of components such as milling.

Prof. Dr. Lars Pastewka from the Simulation group at the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg and his team have simulated such...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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