Biomechanics is one of the most fascinating sciences that frequently goes under-appreciated by much ofRead more
For the past centuries, there have been countless of developments and advancements in the world. Scientists and researchers have continued to discover new things and expand our understanding and knowledge of the natural phenomena happening around us.
In the 21st century, there are thousands of scientific breakthroughs. These have helped in improving our way of living while some are the key to greater innovation in the future.
In this article, we ranked the greatest scientific discoveries and inventions of the 21st century.
Detection of Gravitational Waves
Scientists considered this as the greatest discovery of the 21st century. Let us go back to the time when Albert Einstein first predicted in his theory of relativity that time travel will be possible. Now, it has been proven by the recent findings. The LIGO project based in the United States has detected gravitational waves that could allow scientists to develop a time machine and travel to the earliest and darkest parts of the universe. This was the first time that the witnessed the “ripples in the fabric of space-time.”
Evidence of Water on Mars
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration confirmed last September 2015 that there is evidence proving the existence of liquid water in Mars. Using the imaging spectrometer of NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), scientists detected hydrated salts in different locations on Mars. During the warm season, the hydrated salts darken and flow down steep. However, they fade in cooler seasons. The detection of hydrated salts means that water plays a vital role in their formation.
Robotic Body Parts
Through the help of biomechanics and engineering, scientists have devised robotic body parts. The University of Twente has developed robotic arms that can aid those individuals affected by Duchenne muscular dystrophy. This will allow patients to amplify residual function in the arm. They also applied Darpa’s Revolutionizing Prosthetics project of creating prosthetics to wounded US military personnel, in developing robotic limbs. Today, scientists are studying on the viability of making these robotic body parts or exoskeletons controlled by the mind to help disabled individuals, survivors of stroke and elderly people.
T. Rex Tissue
Paleontologists have discovered a partially fossilized and decomposing femur of a Tyrannosaurus rex which was believed to be 70 million years old already, or a date closer to the biblical date of creation. Mary Higby Schweitzer of North Carolina State University and Montana State University found out flexible and transparent vessels. This soft tissue discovered is preserved because of the iron between the leg bones. The T.Rex tissue is very essential in determining the physiology of dinosaurs and to study its cellular and molecular structures. They have found out that dinosaurs are closely related to big birds, like the ostrich.
Advancement in HIV Cure
According to HIV.gov, there are over 36.7 million people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS, in which 1.8 million of it is children. HIV/AIDS remain to be one of the deadliest diseases in the world. On the other hand, HIV treatment has been available in Germany for more than two decades already. Antiretroviral therapy allows HIV/AIDS patients to live longer. However, no definite cure is still discovered. In 2007, Dr. GeroHütter was the first one to successfully cure an HIV/AIDS patient named Timothy Ray Brown by transplanting bone marrow from an HIV-immune patient.
Existence of Dark Matter
In 2006, a team of researchers has found an evidence that proves the existence of dark matter. They inferred the presence of dark matter by measuring the bullet clusters or the location of mass in the collision of galaxies. According to Maxim Markevitch of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, the dark matter can be proven by the bulk of visible matter in the clusters that have been disconnected to the rest of the mass. According to NASA, it is still a complete mystery. What they can prove for now is that 68% of the universe is composed of dark energy.
Sequencing Genome of Cancer Patient
In 2003, scientists completed the sequencing of the human genome or genetic blueprint that points out the mutations leading to cancer. It took three years for them to finish drafting the three billion letters that compose the human DNA. The Human Genome Project helped scientists in treating a deadly type of skin cancer and understanding the genes involved in leukemia, eczema, and diabetes. Now, cancer genome sequencing is integrated into medical care facilities. It characterizes and identifies DNA or RNA sequences of cancer cells.
Creation of Human Organs
The Stem Cell research has paved the way to greater access to organs, instead of waiting for donors or taking harsh medications. Scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School have discovered how to regenerate the function of human heart tissue through adult skin cells. Through stem cells, humans can grow another organ. This is associated with the regenerative nature of living organisms. Recently, various research all around the world enables growing fallopian tubes, heart, brain, lung, and kidney, among others through stem cells.
Water as Fuel
German Cleantech Company has developed a futuristic machine that converts water into fuel. Through Power-to-Liquid Technology, they can convert water and carbon dioxide into liquid hydrocarbons which take the form of synthetic diesel, petrol, and kerosene. This technology was based on Fischer-Tropsch process and solid oxide electrolyzer cells (SOECs) which converts electricity to steam. In 2017, Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) and Berkeley Lab’s Materials Project also devised a technology that turns sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into fuel which can be a viable source of power, replacing coal, oil and other fossil fuels.
A face transplant is a medical procedure that replaces a person’s face using the tissues of a dead person. In 2005, Isabelle Dinoire of France was the first person to have partial face transplant while the first full face transplant happened in Spain in 2010. Face transplants have been popularly carried out in the United States, Spain, France, and Turkey. This is applicable for people with birth defects or disfigures caused by burns, disease, and trauma.
Teaching students how to conduct a research is important. It introduces them how to expand their body of knowledge and seek for understanding of the natural occurrences in their environment. One of the most effective tools in engaging students to research is requiring them to produce a scientific research paper.
A scientific research paper involves the conduct of experimentation, observation, and other strategic processes to gather data and analyze them to obtain results. It helps students understand various issues that surround them. Further, it follows an organized and comprehensive structure that will guide the students on how to perform the study. Most scientific research papers adopt the standard outline and format used by researchers.
The most important part is your title. It gives your readers a clear and concise description of your research. It should be informative and specific and uses no jargon. According to St. Lawrence University, titles should be simple and direct, instead of making titles that are too witty and impressive.
Instead of writing “Measure a nerve response in a dog”, consider narrowing it down to “The Effects of Ethanol on the Compound Action Potential of a Dog Sciatic Nerve”.
Take note that the title page appears on the cover page of your published study. All nouns should be capitalized in the title.
This section includes the name of the researchers who contributed to the conduct of the study. In most research papers, authors are just listed in names. On the other hand, you may write the description of each author, including their degree of study, achievement, affiliation with science and other information. It always depends on the requirement of your instructor.
An abstract is a one paragraph consisting of 250 words that summarize the problem, investigation, methods used, summarized results and major conclusions. An abstract should be self-explanatory and shall extract the most important points from each section of the paper. According to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, readers should automatically assess your study by just reading your abstract. Abstracts are usually written after finishing everything in the research.
This section introduces the problem of the study which is the main focus of the research. This will give your readers understanding of what the study is all about. In most science papers, these are the following sections that should be included in the introduction chapter.
Background of the study
This part provides readers the background of your study. It elaborates the problem by discussing the underlying causes of the problem, its impact on the society or environment, and other essential elements involved. The background will let readers understand the need to stop the problem.
Statement of the Problem
This portion isolates the problem. It should be stated in clear and specific terms. The statement of the problem is usually in question form. These questions will be answered throughout the research.
A hypothesis a proposed explanation of the problem. It is an educated, wild guess that can answer the statement of the problems. In research, two hypotheses are compared – the null hypothesis and alternative hypothesis. Null hypothesis negates the relationship between variables in the study, whereas alternative hypothesis says otherwise, that there is some kind of relationship between variables.
Significance of the study
Apparently, this part lists down why it is important to conduct the study. This includes benefits, advantages, important results and justifications of the conduct of the study.
Scope and Limitations
The scope refers to the boundaries and limits within which the study needs to be kept. This may include reasons like historical, ideological, geographical or persons. This will help narrow the focus of the study.
Definition of Terms
This section explains the variables and key terms involved in the study. The use of the terms may be different from others. Thus, this section is used to clarify and specify the definition of each key term.
Also called as Materials and Methods, this chapter will describe the complete steps, methods, strategies, materials, and instruments used in the conduct of the study. The methods and materials of quantitative and qualitative research differ from each other. In this part, the important data will be gathered to draw results.
In this section, the researcher presents summarized for data. Include tables, graphs, figures, and numbers that represent the data. Write a narrative text that summarizes and describes the data presented in the tables and figures, among others. Do not interpret yet the data as they will be done in the discussion section.
The data will be analyzed and interpreted in the discussion section. Researchers will find the relationships or correlations among experimental variables. In discussing, theories, approaches and perspectives will be used to elaborate and clearly explain the results. The discussion will provide a detailed explanation and answer to the statement of the problem.
The conclusion includes the summary of the results and findings that answer the statement of the problem and the hypotheses. The conclusion is one of the sections that most readers go through first, along with the introduction. It gives them the totality of the study or research. This is also usually done in a numbered or bulleted list.
The acknowledgment is done after the conduct of study but usually, this section is situated before the abstract page. It provides an opportunity for the authors and researchers to thank their teachers, mentors, parents, respondents, friends and all people who take an active part in accomplishing the study.
This section cites all the sources of information used by the researchers. It cites the works mentioned in the study. This includes books, journals, online articles, related studies and other references. It follows a bibliographic style. This is important to justify the substantiality of the study and to avoid plagiarism.
Lastly, an appendix is a compilation of supplementary materials involved in the conduct of the study. This includes instruments and materials used in gathering data, supporting documents and pieces of evidence in the acquisition of results. The appendix section is placed in the past part of the research.
Biomechanics is one of the most fascinating sciences that frequently goes under-appreciated by much of the general public.
At its core, biomechanics is the study of the movement and locomotion of biological systems.
Arms, legs, tails, and wings are all within the domain of Biomechanics, and the study of these vital tools of the movement of living creatures has had surprising effects on our lives.
Every movement we make is powered by carbon-based machinery which often takes advantage of the laws of physics in breathtaking and creative ways.
Experts of biomechanics have, through careful research and reverse engineering, discovered not only the secrets of our own bodies’ functions but found incredible applications which have resulted in some of the most futuristic and exciting inventions of the modern era.
Biomechanics is truly only just beginning to pick up speed; who knows what the future may hold?
Predicting the future is nearly impossible, but an idea of where things could be in a few years’ time can be gleaned by looking backward and comparing it to the modern day.
To understand the history of biomechanics is to understand the history of the function of the living beings of this Earth, whose bodies function with such incredible diversity as to be stunning and that have led us to discover new technologies like the internet, where we now trade, communicate and play online game (the like of which can be found at Casingdom).
1. The History of Biomechanics
While the formal school of biomechanics can be traced back to the first uses of the word in 1899, the earliest revelations of biological mechanisms are rooted in the scientific traditions of ancient Greece.
Aristotle was the first known thinker to categorise animals as a form of machine, and he wrote a book known as On the Movement of Animals.
Following in his footsteps many years later, the Roman doctor Galen created a similarly titled book known as On the Function of the Parts, which focused on the human body and its functions.
The Renaissance brought with it great advancements in the understanding of organic motion, thanks to philosopher-inventors like Leonardo Da Vinci, who studied the body for the purposes of both art and science.
Thinkers who challenged the status quo of the pre-Renaissance era saw the value in understanding the intricate processes of the body and pursued the unknown by carefully studying not only the human form but its internal functions as well.
It was during the late 1800s and early 1900s, though, that the greatest strides were made (at least until the modern day.) Biomechanics was formally established as a school of science, and the advancement of photographic technology allowed for the revelation of motion via photographs taken in rapid succession.
French scientist Étienne-Jules Marey realised that photography could be used to capture images of animal and human motility. His work established the foundation for the future analysis of film to reveal otherwise unobservable motion.
2. Biomechanics in the Modern Day
In addition to the understanding of basic organic mobility (swimming, walking, climbing,) research into biomechanics revealed such valuable information as the movement of blood through the veins, the function of the valves of the heart, the growth of various organs and limbs, and the foundations of aerodynamics.
The sheer amount of information made available to biomechanic researchers thanks to modern recording technology is unprecedented, and the applications are stunning.
Perhaps the most fascinating and cutting-edge application of biomechanics is the development of artificial or prosthetic limbs. Modern prosthetics go far above simple visual facsimiles of lost or stunted limbs, instead venturing far outside of the box to provide creative solutions for those with disabilities.
One such example is the prosthetic “tentacle” invented by Taiwanese inventor Kaylene Kau. This futuristic limb is able to curl and uncurl by the use of simple controls, allowing disabled individuals to easily regain the ability to hold and lift objects.
In addition, advancements in both neurological biomechanics and 3D printing are opening the doors for prosthetics that actually connect into the nervous system of the users, granting them the ability to regain complex movements of their limbs.
By 3D printing new prosthetics, overhead costs of both research and production can be kept low, allowing for more extensive distribution and study.
Modern biomechanics has also revealed a plethora of information about our digestive systems, resulting in fascinating inventions like the LINX, a carefully-crafted, fine titanium ring that may allow for the retirement of invasive stomach surgeries for acid reflux sufferers.
The ring was developed following research into the delicate muscles around the end of the oesophagus, which can become weak if damaged by repeated exposure to stomach acid. The LINX reinforces and strengthens these muscles without adding detrimental effects to digestion that are common with more invasive surgical solutions.
Biomechanics is proving to be one of the most promising fields of research of the Information Age, and that fact is only becoming clearer as other advancements in the fields of imaging, 3D printing, and robotics reinforce or catalyse the study of biomechanics.
With the leaps and bounds made in the understanding of the function of the human body in the last century, it doesn’t seem out of the question that scientists could develop nearly identical human limbs to replace lost limbs.
The regrowth of teeth, bones, and vital organs by utilising already existing processes in the human body are being researched currently; the success of such research could change the future forever.
Biomechanics, an ancient science that has only just taken concrete form within our minds, promises to bring us some of the most-needed developments of our time.
The future of the human race relies on us coming to understand ourselves, and we can only do that through the careful study of the mechanics of our existence.
Everywhere in the world, science is being celebrated through fairs, festivals, congress, competitions, and conferences. Scientists, researchers, teachers, students, and individuals gather to celebrate the gift of knowledge and discovery.
Let us get a roundup of the 18 biggest science fairs and festivals in the world.
The World Science Festival is definitely one of the largest and the most celebrated annual science festival. It is produced by a World Science Foundation which is headquartered in New York City. Its primary mission is to promote science as an essential tool in preparing people for the future.
This festival is a multi-week event that focuses on bringing interactive science learning opportunities to different counties in North Carolina. This is initiated by Morehead Planetarium and Science Center which aims to make the understanding of science accessible to all.
Since 1989, this science festival is celebrated every April in Edinburgh, Scotland. It aims to inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to love science. This is considered one of the largest science festivals in Europe that feature talks, tours, and exhibitions. It is also the world’s first public celebration of science and technology.
This festival is one of Europe’s leading annual popular science events and is the largest science festival in Sweden. It started in April 1997. This science festival is attended by more than 100,000 visitors each year. They give researchers and experts the opportunity to meet students and the public.
Cheltenham Science Festival is one of UK’s leading science festivals. It is part of Cheltenham Festivals which also celebrates music, dance, and literature. This festival was participated by more than 2,500 musicians, writers, scientists, performers, and thinkers, among others. Cheltenham Festivals was inaugurated in 1945, but it was only in 2002 when Science was integrated into the event.
This science event is also one of Europe’s longest standing science festivals that is being celebrated in different places in the United Kingdom. It gathers hundreds of scientists, technologists, engineers and social scientists. They provide free talks, workshops and drop-in events about a wide range of science topics.
This annual fair sponsored by Intel is celebrated by more than 7 million high school students all around the world. They celebrate science, technology, math, and engineering. A total of USD 4 million in awards and scholarships is awarded to almost 2,000 winners of local, regional, state, and national competitions.
This science event was known as Westinghouse Science Talent Search for the past 57 years and Intel Science Talent Search from 1998 through 2015. It is a competition participated by high school seniors in the United States, showcasing their science research. It is considered US’ oldest and most prestigious” science competition.
Broadcom MASTERS which stands for Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering Rising Stars is a US-based science competition participated by more than 6,000 middle school students. It is a program of Society for Science & the Public and is sponsored by Broadcom Foundation.
This competition funded by Siemens Foundation started in 1999. It is one of United States’ premier science research competitions that is dedicated for high school students. They aim to promote excellence by engaging students into science research projects and future careers in these disciplines.
Wide Science Festival is an annual science fair in Canada which started in 1962. It is participated by more than 25,000 competitors from over 100 regional science fairs throughout Canada. On the actual festival, over 500 projects and students are judged. This fair provides an opportunity for students to celebrate their passion for science and technology.
AYPT is a team-oriented physics competition participated by high school students. Participants will face 17 problems covering various physical disciplines. They will present their solutions to the problems, which will be criticized and debated by other students during the tournament. The team with the best solution is determined by an expert jury.
Also known as MILSET, International Movement for Leisure Activities in Science and Technologyis a non-profit organization which aims to organize science fairs, camps, congresses and other activities that develop a scientific culture for young people.
This science event is initiated by the European Commission and is part of the European Union Framework Programmes on Research. It promotes understanding of science among young and aspiring scientists. This contest is held in different countries. The first EU contest took place in Belgium in 1989.
Jugendforscht, translated as Youth Research is one of the largest European contests in science and technology dedicated for the young minds. Every year, they organize over 110 competitions and other activities that interest children and adults in mathematics, computer science, natural sciences, and technology.
SciFest is an annual scientific festival that is conducted at the local, regional, national and international level. It is participated by almost 4,000 students and 500 teachers showcasing over 3,000 projects. This science event also partnered with International Environment and Sustainability Project Olympiad (INESPO).
Eskom Expo for Young Scientists is South Africa’s only existing science fair for students to showcase their scientific investigations and engineering projects. It is also participated by teachers, professional organizations and 35 affiliated regions in South Africa. Eskom Expo aims to increase awareness of the amazing wonders of science and engineering.
JSHS is a science symposium administered by the Academy of Applied Science. It is designed to encourage students to engage in learning science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It helps them advance their skills to prepare them for their undergraduate and graduate pursuits and future careers.
Science is indeed widely celebrated in the world. All of these events aim to showcase the body of knowledge.
A science fair is one of the unique ways of celebrating science. It also provides the opportunity for students, teachers and other people to improve their understanding in science and share their research projects and investigations. Indeed, a science fair is a good form of knowledge-building and social development.
In organizing a science fair, there are basic steps that you should do. Usually, a science fair should be prepared two to three months ahead of the actual fair for it to be successful.
Before the Science Fair
To start organizing the science fair, you have to gather a group of people who will be responsible for the conceptualization and the implementation of the science fair. It could be a group of teachers, students, and researchers, among others.
Set Goals for the Science Fair
The science fair should be celebrated for a reason. It is important that you set goals for the program. These are the objectives that you and your participants should achieve at the end of the fair. You have to make the experience positive for the participants. They should feel a sense of accomplishment. It is also your goal to give ample opportunity for students to showcase what they researched or developed.
Set the Date and Venue
Find a location that can accommodate the number of participants that you expect and the materials that are needed in the fair, including chairs and display boards. You can always make use of your library, classroom, gym or cafeteria for the science fair to too many costs. In determining the date, avoid scheduling it on a day that is full of activities.
Create Interactive Activities
Basically, one of the activities for the science fair is the showcasing of the students’ investigatory and research projects. But apart from that, you can devise other fun and interactive activities such as science-inspired games. You can also invite prominent resource speakers to have a talk about biology or anything related to science.
Plan the Schedule
Draft the schedule for the event. This will be needed for your invitation. Calculate the amount of time for each activity. Let us say the time dedicated to setting up the room will be at least six hours. So, the preparation should start the day before the fair. Judging should take 3 hours, visitation of booths shall be at least one hour, and so forth.
Recruit Staff and Volunteers
You cannot do it alone. Of course, you have to ask the help of volunteers. The number of volunteers depends on the size of the event. The volunteers will help in the room setup, registration, ushering guests, monitoring the event and others.
Decide on Awards
Consider if you want to acknowledge the participation of the students. You can create a customized certificates which will be distributed on the day of the fair. Determine the awards (first-place, second-place, third-place, minor awards, etc.) and create the criteria for judging.
Promote your event through various strategies. You can post on your bulletin boards or announce it publicly. You can also use the power of social media to spread the science fair. Of course, to be formal, you can produce invitation cards. These will be given to special guests and judges. Include in your invitation the schedule, date and location, program, awards and other benefits.
During the Science Fair
After all the preparation you have made, it is time for the science fair!
Set Up the Room
Ask the volunteers and the school custodians to help you in setting up the room. Use your layout map to help direct those involved in the fair. Make sure that the stage and podium are presentable. Setup the tables, chairs, area for judges, display boards, research projects and everything that should be showcased in the fair.
Record the attendance of the students and the participants. If they have submitted their projects for the fair, then give them a project code especially if judging has been blinded. Track any changes that may affect the fair, like students backing out of the fair. Direct the students and guests to the appropriate specific locations.
If the judges are complete, make sure that you orient them very well about the mechanics of the program and the criteria for judging. Ensure that the hold no bias in judging. Also, you can utilize blind judging to avoid favoritism.
Monitor the Fair
The fair should start by now. The hosts shall have opened the science event and welcomed the guests. Now, you have to monitor the flow of the fair. Of course, it is normal that there are unexpected circumstances along the way. You have to manage it smoothly so as not to affect the fair. Always check if the students, judges, and guests are enjoying or doing well. Stick to your schedule to avoid inconsistencies.
After the ample time given for judging, tabulate the scores carefully. Total the score on each sheet, file each score by category and collate score sheets. This is one of the most crucial stages. You have to be careful in tabulating the results as these will determine the winners. Create an official list of winners.
Distribute Certificates and Awards
It is recommended that you conduct a small awarding ceremony on the last part of the science fair. It is a unique way of acknowledging the hard work and the brilliance of the students for their entries. Distribute certificate of participation for all students who attended. Also, acknowledge the presence of special guests and judges. Lastly, announce the major awards.
After the Science Fair
After the successful implementation of the science fair, the work still continues. There are certain things that you should do after the science fair.
Evaluate Your Program
Review if the goals and objectives of the program are being met. Assess how well you and your staff achieved in the fair. You can also send evaluation forms to the students who participated so that they can rate the science fair and provide feedback and suggestions for the improvement of the science fair.
Publicize the Fair
Lastly, you have to be proud of the science fair. Publicize the event in your school paper or in your official social media page. Include photos of the highlights of the science fair, winners, awards, etc.
Biomechanics provides understanding the relationship between the human anatomy and the mechanical properties. It analyzes body movement to improve performance and decrease the risk of an individual to certain injuries.
Since the ancient period, the study of biomechanics has started to roll. Many scientists who specialize in various fields – anatomy, physiology, mathematics, biology, physics, and engineering have contributed to the understanding and knowledge of biomechanics. In the present time, more scientists have conducted their own research on how biomechanics can improve human existence. There have been various scholarly societies that unite to celebrate biomechanics and further the body of knowledge.
There are a lot of things about biomechanics that is yet to be discovered. If you are interested contributing to the knowledge of science, you should be aware of the methods of analyzing biomechanics. Further, you should utilize certain approaches and other disciplines of science to better understand what biomechanics is.
Two Methods of Research Analysis
In conducting a scientific research, there are two basic methods used in gathering data – qualitative and quantitative research. The two have different goal or aim. They also vary in usage, instruments in gathering data, approaches and the types of data, among others.
Qualitative research is a research method that is exploratory in nature. Its primary goal is to provide a complete and thorough explanation of the research topic. It is broader and more focused on the bigger picture of the topic. In conducting a qualitative research, the researcher can conduct in-depth interviews, engage in focus groups, analyze documentaries, use archival research or do participatory observation. This method is recommended for the earlier phases of the research.
According to Knudson & Morrison (2002), the qualitative analysis in biomechanics involves “systematic observation and introspective judgment” of the quality of human body movement in order for the researchers to identify and determine the appropriate approach and intervention in improving the performance. Qualitative analysis remains the most used approach by kinesiology professionals in understanding human movement problems. However, it requires that the researcher is skilled with critical thinking and wide knowledge in science.
Quantitative research aims to generate measurable data like statistical models, percentages, figures, and numbers. It also uses systematic empirical investigation and mathematical expressions. The problem studied in quantitative analysis is more narrowed and focused. In gathering data, quantitative research employs various data-gathering strategies, including survey questionnaires. This type of research is suitable for those who want to get numerical data and clearer picture of the results.
In biomechanics, qualitative research involves the measurement of biomechanical variables. It also requires a computer to perform huge numerical calculations. It needs thousands of samples of data to be gathered, scaled and analyzed. In contrast to qualitative research, quantitative generates a more accurate, consistent and precise results that are not biased and opinionated. Most quantitative biomechanical analysis utilizes devices that measure biomechanical variables. This includes timing lights, timing mats, radar and quantitative videography systems, among others.
Five Disciplinary Categories in Understanding Biomechanics
In understanding biomechanics, other disciplines and fields of sciences are used as lens or tool to strengthen research. In the journal of Anne Atwater of the University of Arizona entitled Biomechanics: An Interdisciplinary Science, she mentioned that there are five disciplinary categories that exemplify biomechanics research. These fields of sciences are specified by the American Society of Biomechanics.
Biology is relevant in studying biomechanics, as it is where biomechanics is derived. Biomechanics who specialize in biological science work in the department of biology, zoology, anthropology and veterinary sciences, among others. Their focus of the study is to know the mechanics of animal locomotion. They understand why and how land animals walk, hop, gallop and jump; snakes crawl in the ground; fishes swim; monkeys glide and hang; etc.
Apart from animal movements, they learn the animals’ morphology, physiology, and anatomy. For example, biomechanists study the essence of the backbones of the fish in making them move in the waters. Also, fishes who have different forms of backbones have different styles and techniques of swimming. Through biomechanics, they will be able to understand the relationship of body composition or structure and movement.
Ergonomic and Human Factors
Ergonomics is defined as the applied science concerned with the design and arrangement of things that people use for efficient and safe interaction. On the other hand, the field of human factors includes how humans respond to a certain stimulus or the effects of human interaction. Biomechanists who work closely with ergonomics specialize in a variety of disciplines including industrial engineering, public health, and occupational safety.
Biomechanists study how workers, especially those engaged in heavy loads can prevent injuries in performing their risky tasks. Moreover, biomechanics will teach them the proper techniques in carrying load or pushing and pulling loads that will improve their performance and promote their safety.
Engineering and Applied Physics
Engineers are among the most active in developing a better understanding of biomechanics. Basically, engineers deal with the invention, innovation, designing, building, and development of structures. In biomechanics, instead of structures and tools, they analyze the living systems and materials. They are employed in the study of biological tissues including bones, tendons, cartilage, and ligaments. With the integration of physics, they will analyze the relationship between structure and motion in the human body. Further, biomechanists engineer devices that can be helpful in human movement.
In the 20th century, biomechanists who specialize in engineering devised prosthetic limbs to help those soldiers and victims of World War I who lost their limbs, disabling them to walk.
Biomechanics is also understood through knowing the mechanisms of health sciences. Biomechanists who specialize in health sciences are found in the departments of restorative medicine, rehabilitation sciences, orthodontics, orthopedic surgery and other disciplines of science that involve human health. Biomechanics has been helpful in understanding health problems such as scoliosis, cervical spine injuries, and others.
Exercise and Sport Sciences
Lastly, biomechanics is involved in exercise and sports sciences. Biomechanists who specialize in this discipline are involved in sports medicine, exercise science, athletics, physical education, and kinesiology. Earlier, we discussed how biomechanics improve the performance of athletes and prevent them from obtaining injuries.
Biomechanics has been a popular choice of study for many researchers all around the world. Many scientists are interested in expanding the understanding of biomechanics. However, apart from scientists, other people are exploring biomechanics because of its potential in improving human life.
The study of biomechanics is important for people to know about how to improve their performance and prevent from acquiring injuries. Biomechanics has been applied in sports for many years now as it is helpful in teaching athletes techniques that will better their performance in sports.
If you are one of the people who wish to know more about biomechanics, there are a wide range of avenues and outlets where you can explore the world of biomechanics.
One of the greatest sources of knowledge about biomechanics is textbooks. There are lots of biomechanics books available in the library and even in bookstores. Students who are learning about biomechanics can review their coverage of research through textbooks. One of the advantages of learning through textbooks is its organization of topics and sub-topics. Every basic thing you need to learn about biomechanics is introduced in textbooks.
If you want more convenience in accessing these books, then you can purchase them online. If you want to have a concise explanation of biomechanics, you can read the book Basic Biomechanics (2011) by Susan Hall. Basic Biomechanics features balanced coverage of biomechanics, anatomical structure, and applications, among others.
If you are a sports enthusiast or an athlete, read the book Biomechanics of Sport and Exercise (2013) by Peter McGinnis which provides a unique approach to the presentation of sports biomechanics. Another book is the Biomechanical Basis of Human Movement (2014) by Hamill, Knutzen, and Derrick which explores the full continuum of human movement potential. Lastly, we also recommend the book of Duane Knudson entitled Fundamental of Biomechanics (2007) which elaborates the different applications of biomechanics in human life.
Another way to learn about biomechanics is the use of computer and internet. There are thousands of computerized bibliographies and online books that talk about biomechanics. For those students who are taking Kinesiology course, you may refer to SportDiscus, MEDLINE, and Embase, among the greatest electronic sources.
SportDiscus is a comprehensive collection of online resources under EBSCO databases. It has more than 660 full-text journals published from 1930 to the present. It also has almost 1,000 abstracts for journals. Moreover, it features sports-related videos and articles. Apart from sports, physical fitness, training, coaching and education, they also include subjects like kinesiology, biomechanics, health and nutrition, occupational safety, orthopedics, injury prevention rehabilitation and physical therapy, among others.
MEDLINE is the premier bibliographic database of U.S. National Library of Medicine. It contains more than 24 million references including journals, news, overviews, tutorials, training resources, and abstracts for biomedical literature. They have Literature Selection Technical Review Committee that examines the references and resources from over 5,600 worldwide journals and 69,000 citations written in more than 60 languages, for both new and old journals. Their topics include behavioral sciences, chemical sciences, life sciences and most especially, bioengineering.
Embase is one of the most trusted bibliographic databases that provides unparalleled coverage of the biomedical literature. According to their site, they have more than 32 million records from over 8,000 currently published journals. They are also proud to include more than six million records and almost 3,000 journals that are not covered by MEDLINE. Embase keeps records of conference abstracts from conferences since 2009. Currently, they have indexed more than 7,000 conferences.
In surfing the web, you have to be very careful in looking for your resources. Most journals now are optimized for search engines, so you just have to choose the right keywords. In keying in your queries, you can link keywords through Boolean (and, or) operators.
Some online resources also have a .pdf version which makes it easier for you to access. Just make sure that the author and the source of that reference are reliable and trusted.
Lastly, there are dozens of scholarly organizations in your place and all around the world that are dedicated to the study of biomechanics. Scholarly societies sponsor meetings, publications, and research for the development and better understanding of their chosen field of study. In biomechanics, there are prominent organizations that conduct international congress and assemblies to celebrate and showcase their studies.
International Society of Biomechanics (ISB)
We have discussed earlier in one of our contents the International Society of Biomechanics. It is a renowned international science organization that promotes a better understanding of biomechanics. It was founded on August 30, 1973. Its first International Congress on Biomechanics was held in Zurich, Switzerland. The United Kingdom was given the opportunity to host the 25th Congress at The Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC). The most recent congress was held in Brisbane, Australia.
ISEK is a multidisciplinary organization that specializes in health-related fields and basic science, including human movement, neuromuscular system, engineering, physical education and physical therapy. The organization was founded on August 13, 1965, during the International Congress of Anatomy in Germany. Every two year, these scientists also gather at a Congress. Their first ever congress took place in Montreal, Canada in 1968. Their 21st ISEK Congress was held in Chicago, Illinois from July 5 to 8, 2016. They are heading to their 22nd Congress at Dublin to be held on June 30 to July 2, 2018.
SHAPE America or Society of Health and Physical Educators (formerly known as American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance) is an organization that specializes in health, physical education, and dance. They promote education and leadership for more creative, healthy and active lifestyles.
American College of Sports Medicine is an organization with more than 50,000 members and certified professionals who specialize in sports medicine and exercise science. They provide access to publications, research opportunities, career development resources and online learning courses, among others.
There has been a rising demand on expanding human understanding and knowledge of biomechanics. Many scientists specializing in different fields of science – biology, kinesiology, engineering, and physics, are interested in studying biomechanics. According to Knudson (2007), biomechanics is becoming more interesting because people marvel at the ability and beauty of human and animal movement.
In the world of sports, biomechanics has been applied greatly because of its ability to analyze sports movements in order to decrease the athlete’s risk to certain injuries and improve their overall performance. But this does not apply in sports exclusively. Our understanding of biomechanics is needed for our daily activities. As humans, we are not immune to injuries and we are not at all times in our maximum performance. Biomechanics is essential to know how forces can create our movement and how this can affect our performance.
The science of improving our performance involves neuromuscular skills, physiological capabilities, cognitive abilities and anatomical factors. Of course, it is hard to go through all of these. Well, biomechanics offer a simplified understanding onto how we can improve our performance by understanding the science of our movements.
Most professionals prescribe the use of techniques and instructions of biomechanics in improving performance. According to Knudson (2007), biomechanics is most useful in improving the performance of an athlete through improving the technique rather than relying on physiological capacity and physical built. Therefore, human movement is the most important contributor to performance.
According to a study, a coach was observing a gymnast in which the coach noticed that the gymnast poorly performed the angle of takeoff from the round-off and body arch. Prior to that, the gymnast has problems with her back handspring, although, the gymnast is physically fit and has a perfect built for the sport. The coach decided to improve her techniques. The coach’s background with biomechanics helped him instruct the gymnast on working on her “arch” following the round-off which resulted in the improved performance of the gymnast.
Another example is a coach observing another gymnast completing a double somersault in the floor exercise. In order to improve the gymnast’s performance, the coach suggested jumping higher, tucking tighter and swinging her arms vigorously before takeoff. Based on the principles of biomechanics, jumping higher allows the gymnast to have access to more air in completing the somersault. Tucking tighter promotes faster rotation because the angular momentum is being conserved. Lastly, swinging the arms more vigorously generates more angular momentum.
Teachers and coaches are encouraged to learn biomechanics. It will help them to correct actions of the athletes in executing the skills and acts perfectly. According to Peter McGinnis in his book Biomechanics of Sports and Exercise, coaches can use qualitative biomechanical analysis in everyday teaching to improve the technique of the athletes, resulting in better performance. It will also allow them to discover new techniques.
Another way in which biomechanics can help in improving performance is integrating it in exercise and conditioning programs. Biomechanics was used by experts in developing exercise programs and training devices to improve performance. Strength and conditioning professionals apply the principle of biomechanics in training athletes. Biomechanics research also leads to the development of new techniques.
One popular research of biomechanics that changed the sport of swimming was the study done by Ronald Brown and James “Doc” Counsilman in 1971. They indicated that the lift forces acting on one hand as it moved through the water is the key in propelling a swimmer through the water. Thus, instead of pulling the hand in a straight line backward, the swimmer should move his or her hand back and forth to produce propulsive life and drag forces. This technique in swimming has dramatically improved the way swimmers should swim through the water.
Other examples were new techniques discovered in improving javelin throwing, high-jumping, and cross-country-skiing, among others.
Preventing and Treating Injury
Biomechanics is also useful in promoting movement safety and injury prevention. Sports injury and medicine professionals studied the cases of injuries endured by athletes to know and identify what caused the injuries and how to prevent them. They have found out that the application of biomechanics can help in reducing the risk of the athletes from getting injuries. According to Knudson (2007), biomechanics provide knowledge on the mechanical properties of tissues, muscles, and bones that will help coaches and trainers in providing preventive measures and rehabilitative therapies.
According to Boden, Griffin & Garret (2000), female athletes are more vulnerable to anterior cruciate ligament injuries than males. The primary factor that these researchers attribute to the injury is biomechanical factors. Thus, they continued integrating biomechanics in sports medicine and therapy to find out why female athletes are more at risk of this type of injury.
Moreover, occupational therapists and surgeons use biomechanics in devising equipment that will prevent the onset of injuries not just to athletes, but to everyone. Specially-designed running shoes have been developed through the principles of biomechanics. Further, the invention of helmets for motorcycle riders was based on biomechanics. Researchers studied auto accidents and applied biomechanical testing. Thus, they designed helmets to protect the important parts of the head during a collision or accident.
On the other hand, severe accidents that result to body deformities or worst the amputation of certain parts can be addressed through biomechanics. To allow humans to continue its function in walking or moving their arms, they devised prosthetics. Prosthetics followed mechanical properties which match the movement of the human body. Because of prosthetics, disabled individuals are now able to function very well.
Other applications of biomechanics in preventing and treating injury include forensic biomechanics and orthotics. Forensic biomechanics specialize in reconstructing the origin of injuries from basing it to accidental accounts and measurements. On the other hand, biomechanics aid in the development of assistive devices or orthotics. Orthotics are objects that are used to support or correct deformities in the body, including joints. Orthotics may come in braces and large assistive devices like canes or walkers. Moreover, biomechanics help therapists in performing rehabilitative exercises.
Have you heard of the word “biomechanics”? Probably, you have encountered this term from a sports injury specialist. The science of biomechanics is greatly applied in sports to improve an athlete’s performance. But above that, biomechanics offers more functions that are essential for our daily living. Let us get to know more about biomechanics.
What is Biomechanics?
Basically, biomechanics comes from the words biology and mechanics. It involves the study of the structure and function of the biological systems and the methods of mechanics. Hatze (1974) specifies the movement of the living things – humans, animals, plants, and cells, among others. In biomechanics, it studies motion and how forces affect living things.
Biomechanics is only one of the many sub-disciplines of kinesiology. Kinesiology is the whole scholarly area of human movement study – physiological, biomechanical and psychological movements.
Biomechanics has plenty of interpretation because there are many researchers who have worked in this field. Despite the differences of views, they agreed on the number of fundamental disciplines involved in the study of biomechanics. This includes biology, physiology, anatomy, mathematics, and physics.
How did Biomechanics start?
The history of biomechanics and kinesiology can be traced back to the time of Socrates. He was a classical Greek philosopher between 469 BC and 399 BC. He was notable as the first philosopher who inquired about the human nature and its relationship to the world. According to Socrates, humans could not understand the world if they cannot understand their nature. This human inquiry opened the knowledge of the mechanics within human bodies.
After the death of Socrates, his student Plato emerged and was considered as the most pivotal figure in the development of Western philosophy. He believed that mathematics is greatly involved in understanding the nature of the human world. His conceptualization of mathematics has contributed greatly to the understanding of biomechanics.
At the age of 17, Aristotle (384 – 322 BC) pursed to study at Plato’s academy. He was notable for his remarkable interest in anatomy and the structure of living things. He studied the parts of animals, its movements, and progressions. He used the animals’ actions to further the study of geometric analysis. He wrote his research on his first book called “De Motu Animalium” which translates to On the Movement of Animals. Apart from studying animals’ bodies as mechanical systems, he inquired the physiological difference between thinking about the action and actually performing the action. With all these accounts, Aristotle was considered the Father of Kinesiology. He was also noted as the first ever biomechanist. In this era, biomechanics was born.
Archimedes, another Greek studied on the hydrostatic principles of a human body floating in the water. His inquiries included the understanding of the laws of leverage, the center of gravity and the foundation of the ethical mechanics.
During the rise of the Roman Empire, technology outshone natural philosophy. The second-century anatomist Galen studied on the functions of the parts of human body. His book was used as the world’s standard for medical text. He also wrote an essay that distinguished motor from sensory nerves. Some scientists considered that his publication was the first textbook on kinesiology. He was also considered the “father of sports medicine.”
Leonardo da Vinci
After the death of Galen, the study of kinesiology was halted. There were no further studies on sciences conducted until the Renaissance era. In the 15th-century Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519) emerged. He was a famous artist, but he also dedicated his life as a scientist and engineer. Da Vinci was particularly interested in the structure of human bodies and its relationship to performance, the center of gravity, balance and the center of resistance. He analyzed the relationship between muscle forces and joint functions. Moreover, he published works on military and civil engineering projects and created imaginative inventions which contributed to the understanding of biomechanics. He studied acceleration of falling objects, components of force vectors and friction coefficients. Da Vinci was considered a biomechanist for his essential contributions to the knowledge of biomechanics.
In 1543, the Flemish physician Andreas Vesalius challenged the works of Galen’s anatomical hegemony. He published his aesthetical book On the Fabric of the Human Body. It illustrated the structure and the anatomical view of the human body, including the muscles, bones, and organs. Vesalius was considered the father of modern human anatomy.
Copernicus was famous for formulating the model of the universe that placed the Sun at the center of the universe, rather than the Earth. His desire to explain the orbits of the heavenly spheres contributed to the development of biomechanics. He also introduced mathematical reason which debunked Aristotle’s common sense physics.
Galilei was one of the most brilliant scientists in the history of mankind. He was an Italian mathematician, astronomer, physicist, philosopher, and engineer. He was noted as the “father of observational astronomy”, “father of modern physics” and “the father of science”. He was popular for his study of speed, velocity, projectile motion, relativity, inertia, and most especially, gravity and free fall.
But above that, Galileo was considered the father of mechanics because of his major contribution to biomechanics. He spent his time studying the mechanical aspects of bone structure and allometry (statistical shape analysis). His findings include why marine animals are larger than most terrestrial animals because of their water’s buoyancy that relieves their tissues of weight.
Galileo also introduced to us the scientific method which we use in examining facts critically and determining cause and effect relationships.
Giovanni Alfonso Borelli
Borelli also worked as a mathematician, physicist, and physiologist. He developed the scientific method of Galileo. His major contribution to biomechanics was his study on the mechanics of animal locomotion. He also investigated the stomatal movement of plants through microscopy.
Lastly, Malpighi who was considered the “father of embryology” and “father of microscopical anatomy” expanded the understanding of biomechanics in his approach to medicine. According to him, mechanics was the key to understanding the functioning of the human body rather than chemistry.
The International Society of Biomechanics (ISB) has been a renowned international science organization that promotes the understanding of biomechanics all around the world. The ISB has toured across continents and nations to unite the scientists and researchers to expand the knowledge of biomechanics.
When did ISB start?
In September 29, 1971, scientists gathered at the 3rd International Seminar on Biomechanics held in Rome. The assembly was organized by a group under International Council of Sport and Physical Education of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). At the meeting, the majority of the scientists and researchers voted to create the International Society of Biomechanics during the next meeting.
On August 26, 1973, the 4th International Seminar on Biomechanics took place at Penn State University. On the 29th, the creation of ISB was approved. August 30, 1973 was the official founding anniversary of the ISB. 250 of those present during the voting automatically became charter members of ISB.
Since its founding, the society has grown to more than 1,000 members.
Who governs the society?
An executive council governs the society. The council is elected every two years by mail ballot. The executive council is composed of the president, secretary-general, treasurers, newsletter editors, other officers and council members. They represent countries across the world and various scientific sub-fields and areas within biomechanics. The council meets every year to provide leadership for the continued growth and development of the ISB.
The first president of the ISB was JurgWartenweiler of Switzerland who served from 1973 to 1977. Today, the current executive council is presided by Joe Hamill of the United States. He is a Professor and Associate Dean of Research for the School of Public Health and Health Sciences of the Department of Kinesiology of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Overall, there are 21 presidents in the history of ISB.
What do the ISB work?
The International Society of Biomechanics promotes the study and understanding of all areas of biomechanics. They have established a connection with scientists across the globe who will take an active part in disseminating knowledge and conducting activities of national organizations related to the field of biomechanics.
The ISB believes that biomechanics plays a vital role in expanding the knowledge of all biological systems, from the level of humans down to the molecular size scales. In understanding the science and application of biomechanics, the society’s members also include scientists from different fields of studies. This includes anatomy, physiology, orthopedics, rehabilitation medicine, sports science, ergonomics, electrophysiological kinesiology, and engineering (biomedical, mechanical and mechatronics), among others.
They also support technical and working groups that specialize in 3-D motion analysis, computer simulation, shoulder biomechanics, hand and wrist biomechanics, footwear biomechanics and motor control group, among others. They help in enhancing knowledge of specialized facets within biomechanics.
The ISB provides for affiliate memberships of international organizations that specialize in biomechanics. This includes:
- American Society of Biomechanics
- Australia/New Zealand Society of Biomechanics
- Brazilian Society of Biomechanics
- British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences
- Bulgarian Society of Biomechanics
- Canadian Society of Biomechanics
- Chinese Society of Sports Biomechanics
- Czech Society of Biomechanics
- Danish Society of Biomechanics
- German Society of Biomechanics
- Hellenic Society of Biomechanics (Greece)
- International Society of Biomechanics in Sports
- Japanese Society of Biomechanics
- Korean Society for Orthopaedic Research, Biomechanics, and Basic Science
- Polish Society of Biomechanics
- Portuguese Society of Biomechanics
- Russian Society of Biomechanics
- Societe de Biomecanique (France)
- Taiwanese Society of Biomechanics
What is the International Congress on Biomechanics?
The International Congress on Biomechanics is one of the major activities of the society. It is a biennial congress that provides a unique opportunity for participants across the world to gain understanding about biomechanics, contribute to its knowledge, and discuss key factors. Of course, it promotes camaraderie between scientists and researchers.
The first International Congress on Biomechanics was held in Zurich, Switzerland in 1967, before the official founding of the International Society of Biomechanics. It was followed by Netherlands and Italy in 1969 and 1971, respectively. When the ISB was created in 1973, the 4th Congress was held at State College in the United States.
The most recent congress was held in Brisbane, Australia on July 23 to 27, 2017. It was the 26th International Congress on Biomechanics. The Congress assembled incredible speakers, including Professor Jaap van Dieën of the Netherlands, Associate Professor Silvia Blemker of the United States, Professor Deborah Falla of Australia and Professor Chwee Teck Lim of Singapore, among others.
The 25th Congress of the International Society of Biomechanics was held at The Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) here in Glasgow, United Kingdom. It was the first time that Glasgow and the United Kingdom hosted the said congress. The 25th Congress also took place along with the anniversary of the bio-engineering unit within the BME department at Strathclyde. During the congress, topics discussed include motor control, measurement technology, sports, hip and knee biomechanics and tissue mechanics, among others. Of course, the keynote speakers came from all around the world.
Apart from the International Congress on Biomechanics, the ISB is also active in the distribution of newsletters pertaining to biomechanics. They also sponsor scientific meetings related to biomechanics. The society encourages members to be one with the planning and the organization of scientific meetings. It also sponsors lecture tours and training in economically developing countries, including Brazil, India, Tanzania, Kenya, and Venezuela, among others. Currently, they are engaged in various scientific research in these nations.
Moreover, the society sponsors grants and scholarships to scientists and researchers through their education programs at congresses and travel grants scheme. The society is affiliated with the Journals of biomechanics, applied biomechanics, clinical biomechanics, electromyography, and kinesiology.
Lastly, the society recognizes and awards scientists and researchers who have an outstanding contribution to the fields of Biomechanics. The society honors the honorary members and ISB fellows. They also provide various awards – Muybridge Award, Wartenweiler Memorial Lecture, David Winter Young Investigator Award, Clinical Biomechanics Award, Promising Scientist Award and Carlo de Luca Emerging Scientist Award, among others.