Natural Science

It just doesn’t add up…

An article from New Scientist listing 13 things that science can’t explain. They mainly relate to space – Dark Matter, Dark Energy, the Universe’s thermal equilibrium, life on Mars – though I think the one I find most interesting is the Placebo effect:

Don’t try this at home. Several times a day, for several days, you induce pain in someone. You control the pain with morphine until the final day of the experiment, when you replace the morphine with saline solution. Guess what? The saline takes the pain away.

This is the placebo effect: somehow, sometimes, a whole lot of nothing can be very powerful. Except it’s not quite nothing. When Fabrizio Benedetti of the University of Turin in Italy carried out the above experiment, he added a final twist by adding naloxone, a drug that blocks the effects of morphine, to the saline. The shocking result? The pain-relieving power of saline solution disappeared.

The Belfast homeopathy trials are interesting too, or at the very least the potential consequences are:

If the results turn out to be real…we may have to rewrite physics and chemistry.

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