BME100 f2014:Group14 L1
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LAB 1 WRITE-UP
Independent and Dependent Variables
Independent: Inflammation Inducing Agent (lipopolysaccharide). Different levels of lipopolysaccharide will be tested on to see the affect on the dependent variable.
Dependent: Inflammatory Protein (inflammotin). The inflammatory protein (inflammotin) is what will be tested for in the scientific experiment.
When selecting subjects it is important to consider randomization control, and bias. To ensure that the sample is random, subjects should be both men and women (in equal numbers) ages 55 to 75. The reason for the age specifications is due to the fact that the protein being studied is found in elderly patients.
As far as control goes, subjects must be trusted to take the medicine as scheduled. Subjects must also be able to undergo routine blood sample tests in order for data to be recorded.
In order to prevent bias from interfering with the results, a double-blinded test should be conducted. Neither the subject nor doctor is aware of what is given to each patient. This ensures that the doctors in no way hints that the treatment is to work or not and the subject does not become suspicious.
Determining the sizes of samples can be done so using Power Analysis. This tests determines how many subjects are needed in each sample group as well as the entire experiment.
Sources of Error
One of the largest errors that could occur during this experiment is an error in the data due to a small sample size. A small sample size could skew the results and misrepresent the general population. One way to fix this error would obviously be to increase the sample size. Since the lab is strapped for cash the scientists could create an incentive for people to volunteer as testers that doesn't involve money. For example they could partner with another company that wants to advertise and give out their product for free.
Another source of error could stem from the volunteers themselves. If some volunteers already have elevated amounts of Inflammotin then they will not accurately demonstrate the effects of the lipopolysaccharide pill. This problem can easily be fixed and prevented by pre-screening all of the volunteers. This will set a baseline for the level of Inflammotin in the volunteers and will also give more specific data as to the effects on the individual.
A third error could result from the genders of the volunteers. Females and males could react differently to the pill and therefore have different results. If these results were compiled together and there was a different ratio of males to female in the testing body, the results would not be an accurate average for the entire population. One solution to this problem could be to run the trials on both genders in the exact same manner. For every group of men have a group of women, essential doubling the trials.