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AskReaders: What has still not been explained by science?

We asked our regular contributors through e-mail What has still not been explained by science? We got many interesting responses. Here are some of them. We have just copied and pasted their responses, not editing them in any way.

1. Placebo effect and (medical) hypnosis.

We know they are there. We know they work and are able to use them, but the research to the exact how and why they do isn’t completed.

– Paknoda

2. Dark matter, dark energy. Most of the universe. Incredible.

– Lark_ODonovan

3. Basically what triggers all sorts of different neurodegenerative or psychological diseases on a microscopic level. I.e. we know what happens in Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s (aggregation of proteins, the death of neurons, related to some genes etc.), but we do not know what changes occur on a chemicophysiological level to trigger all this, and therefore we don’t know how to counteract it.

– Rocketgirl333

4. How Tylenol works.

Studies show that when taking Tylenol you are less empathetic, that means you “feel other people’s painless.”

From medicinenet.com:

“The exact mechanism of action of acetaminophen is not known.”

“Acetaminophen relieves pain by elevating the pain threshold, that is, by requiring a greater amount of pain to develop before a person feels it.”

– sonofthesoupnazi

5. How consciousness works.

Lots of great idea’s, but surprisingly hard to figure out.

– squeeeeenis

6. As far as I’m aware, I don’t think we have a clear answer on the role/purpose/ function of dreaming.

– kchezum

7. The true extent of space.

Mind boggling what could be out there.

– mastrochr

8. Déjà vu – there’s a number of various theories of what triggers the feeling of one feeling as though they have experienced something previously, but no definitive explanation.

– VictorBlimpmuscle

9. Why we laugh.

Not “cause something is funny”, but what cause she reaction of opening a mouth and having a variety of non-lingual sounds be emitted.

– Victor

10. Three big things we don’t understand:

Sleep – Why does it happen and how does it work?

Gravity – Its effects are understood but its nature is not.

Oceans – What all is down there and how the various ecosystems work.

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