By C. Belk, V. Maier

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In other words, the result is statistically significant. A statistical measure of the amount of variability in a sample is often expressed as the standard error. 14).

The use of model systems, especially animals, allows experimental testing on potential drugs and other therapies before these methods are employed on people. Research on model organisms such as lab rats has contributed to a better understanding of nearly every serious human health threat, including cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). However, ethical concerns about the use of animals in research persist and can complicate such studies. In addition, the results of animal studies are not always directly applicable to humans—despite a shared evolutionary history, animals still can have important differences from humans.

Hypotheses cannot be proven absolutely true; it is always possible that the true cause of a phenomenon may be found in a hypothesis that has not yet been tested. However, in a practical sense, a hypothesis can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. That is, when one hypothesis has not been disproven through repeated testing and all reasonable alternative hypotheses have been eliminated, scientists accept that the well-supported hypothesis is, in a practical sense, true. “Truth” in science can therefore be defined as what we know and understand based on all currently available information.

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Biology - Science for Life - With Physiology by C. Belk, V. Maier
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