The scientific method is often presented as a straightforward process. First, scientists have to form a hypothesis before testing and trying to disprove it. And if they do manage to do that through experimentation, then they need to revise their hypothesis... and start all over again!
Science evolves – and there are many fields where research is ongoing. What we know today might look totally different tomorrow as new discoveries are made. That's what makes science so fascinating, particularly to those who dedicate their lives to it.
As you can imagine, there are many questions in the scientific community that scientists would love to see tackled and answered.
They shared some of their theories with us after Redditor onarainyafternoon asked the online community:
"Scientists of Reddit, what's something you suspect is true in your field of study but you don't have enough evidence to prove it yet?"
"There's got to be a way..."
"There’s gotta be a way to make pavement more frost resistant. Civil engineering background. I always thought it was the subsoil since they check the density of the rest of the layers that make up the pavement. I live in a pothole infested state."
Whoever figures this out will be a hero. Sick of the potholes in the streets and the crumbling roads.
"That babies start crawling earlier when they have pets."
Fascinating if true! Pets can benefit children in so many different ways.
"My pet theory..."
"My pet theory is that there is something like geographical imprinting that happens during early childhood, and that the place of your birth/early years always has a disproportionately relaxing effect on your physical and mental state."
This has been studied a bit in response to soil bacteria. This has been studied a smidge in our ability to pick, by smell of soil, from where we’re from.
"During a trip to North Carolina..."
"As a former math and physics major, I took meticulous notes of my son’s epileptic seizures. At one point, I added barometric readings and current weather data to standard information of date, seizure type, and seizure length in seconds. I’m convinced that low pressure weather systems increased the frequency and intensity of his epileptic seizures."
"During a trip to North Carolina, the area had an unusually high, stable high pressure system. He didn’t have any seizures during our time there."
"My theory is that high or low pressure weather systems microscopically change the flow of fluids in the brain or other neurologically sensitive areas of the body such as the micro biome of the gut."
I really am fascinated by this one! This could be a gamechanger if proven.
"Far more neurological processes are prion influenced than previously thought and prion therapy will be the next major breakthrough sometime in the 2030s."
Would be worth having more research into prions regardless. Maybe then they'll stop terrifying me when I think about them.
"That UHT pasteurization of liquid food products leaves a barely perceptible aftertaste that only a small segment of the consumer population can detect."
Some people claim that liquid food products subject to UHT pasteurization taste like dirty water or "off" in some way, so there might be something to this.
"That there's a huge amount..."
"That’s there’s a huge amount of environmental contamination (soil, water, air) in residential areas, and rapid development is only making the problem worse. Most people in populated areas are likely very very close to known sites with dangerous contamination, and the number of unknown sites dwarfs what’s been addressed."
This wouldn't surprise me if true. Many low-income communities are already exposed to higher rates of pollution and have a much higher probability of suffering the adverse impacts of climate change!
"That our only hope..."
"I'm a microbiologist. That our only hope in being able to fight off total antibiotic resistance is to develop bacteriophages (viruses that eat/destroy bacteria) that we can use and prescribe in place of existing antibiotics."
If you're wondering why the United States has not used bacteriophage therapy as a last resort, it's because phages can go astray and it’s one of the reasons we can’t effectively treat people with them yet.
"But no one has done..."
"I’m not sure if this really fits but, intergenerational trauma."
"We know that physical and psychological stress in one generation (whether it be war, rape, genocide, alcoholism, drug use, growing up in the system, I could go on forever) can “pass on” to the next generation. But, we don’t really know how. Heritable epigenomic changes has been the first proposal."
"But no one has done this specific research. My supervisor demonstrated a change in mitochondrial DNA copy number, resulting in epigenomic changes in regions of the genome associated with disease. Epigenomic changes mean that the expression of the underlying genes can be altered. This can result in disease."
"Usually as a result of intergenerational trauma, people suffer more health repurcussions, and no one could really explain why. I want to explain why on the genetic level. I think I’m on the right path and I’m excited!"
This would be groundbreaking if proven. There has thankfully been more research and insight into intergenerational trauma in the last decade than ever before, so perhaps it's only a matter of time.
"Exposure to environmental pollutants and flame retardants increases your risk for diabetes. Also women are more affected by acute high dose exposures whereas men are more susceptible with chronic low dose exposure."
Jokingly (but maybe not) it wouldn't surprise me if the VA in the United States is hoping this doesn't become public...
"Digital communities have replicated the authority, structure, and meaning-making functions of religious communities without their physicality."
The bizarre little patterns and hierarchies that evolve out of hardcore, insular fandom spaces are so fascinating to me.
We're on the cusp of great breakthroughs every day. Keep an eye out – you never know what scientific discovery will boggle your mind next.
Have some thoughts of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
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