Related topics: plos one · genes

It's official: Science says grannies are good for you

Scientists say they have proven what many people fortunate enough to grow up with theirs have known all along: Grandmothers have strong nurturing instincts and are hard-wired to care deeply about their grandchildren.

Answering a century-old question on the origins of life

The missing link isn't a not-yet-discovered fossil, after all. It's a tiny, self-replicating globule called a coacervate droplet, developed by two researchers in Japan to represent the evolution of chemistry into biology.

The right mixture of salts to get life started

In modern organisms, the hereditary material DNA encodes the instructions for the synthesis of proteins—the versatile nanomachines that enable modern cells to function and replicate. But how was this functional linkage ...

Locations of Riemann zeros accurately measured

The Riemann hypothesis raised in 1859 is one of the six unsolved Millennium problems, and its proof greatly facilitate the understanding of the distribution laws of prime numbers. For a long time, there has been a growing ...

Digitally driving web sales

An analysis of web sales data from the top 100 US online retailers shows that digital sales channels including direct website visits, display ads, e-mail marketing, organic search, paid search, referrals, and social media ...

Origin of fairy circles: Euphorbia hypothesis disproved

The fairy circles of the Namib are one of nature's greatest mysteries. Millions of these circular barren patches extend over vast areas along the margins of the desert in Namibia. In 1979, G.K. Theron published the first ...

Lab one step closer to understanding how life started on Earth

How did life begin on Earth and could it exist elsewhere? Researchers at Simon Fraser University have isolated a genetic clue—an enzyme known as an RNA polymerase—that provides new insights about the origins of life. ...

Shift in scientific consensus about demise of Neanderthals

It is still unclear how the Neanderthals died out. For long, one theory seemed most likely: the emergence of the highly intelligent Homo sapiens, or modern humans. This competition hypothesis is no longer the dominant theory ...

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Hypothesis

A hypothesis (from Greek ὑπόθεσις [iˈpoθesis]) consists either of a suggested explanation for an observable phenomenon or of a reasoned proposal predicting a possible causal correlation among multiple phenomena. The term derives from the Greek, hypotithenai meaning "to put under" or "to suppose." The scientific method requires that one can test a scientific hypothesis. Scientists generally base such hypotheses on previous observations or on extensions of scientific theories. Even though the words "hypothesis" and "theory" are often used synonymously in common and informal usage, a scientific hypothesis is not the same as a scientific theory. A hypothesis is never to be stated as a question, but always as a statement with an explanation following it. It is not to be a question because it states what the experimenter thinks will occur. Hypotheses are usually written in the "if-then form": If X, then Y.

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