LAB 1 WRITE-UP
Independent and Dependent Variables
Independent Variable: Dosage of the inflammation inducing agent, lipopolysaccharide
This is the independent variable because this is what is being changed in the experiment.
Dependent Variable: Effect on the amount of the protein, Inflammotin, found in the elderly
This is the dependent variable because it changes based on the independent variable. This is the variable that is being changed.
In our experiment, we are going to have five groups as follows:
1. Control group - The first group be given a placebo pill of the lipopolysaccharide. The purpose of a control group is as a comparison group so that the results of the treatment can be compared against results without the treatment.
2. 10 mg dosage - The second group will be given a dosage of 10 mg. It is given that prior work done has shown that a 10 mg dose of lipopolysaccharide has caused an increase in protein levels. This group will confirm those results.
3. 8 mg dosage - The third group will be given a dosage of of 8 mg. In order to determine the lowest possible dosage, we will decrease the the dosage by 2 mg and record whether there is a change in protein levels.
4. 6 mg dosage - The fourth group will be given a dosage of of 6 mg. In order to determine the lowest possible dosage, we will decrease the the dosage by 2 mg and record whether there is a change in protein levels.
5. 4 mg dosage - The fifth group will be given a dosage of of 4 mg. In order to determine the lowest possible dosage, we will decrease the the dosage by 2 mg and record whether there is a change in protein levels.
6. 2 mg dosage - The sixth group will be given a dosage of of 8 mg. In order to determine the lowest possible dosage, we will decrease the the dosage by 2 mg and record whether there is a change in protein levels.
"Elderly" in our experiment will be determined as those 60 years and older.
Number of subjects per group
Each group will be composed of 10 elderly, five male and five female.There is 10 individuals per group because we have a limited amount of money available for the experiment. The 5 female and 5 male ratio serves to adequately and evenly represent observations from both genders.
The subjects will be chosen based off several requirements. First, the lab is short on money, so only volunteers can be accepted in the experiment. The purpose of our experiment is to determine how lipopolysaccharide affects proteins in the elderly, so those that volunteer must be above 60 years of age in order to be considered "elderly". In order to ensure the best results from our experiment, the background of each of these volunteers will also checked. If there is any history of inflammatory diseases or the individual is currently suffering from an inflammatory disease, they will be ineligible to participate in the experiment. It's important that their health not be affected by the use of an inflammation inducing agent.
Sources of Error and Bias
In any experiment, there is potential for error. Error in this experiment would result in inaccurrate results, leading to an incorrect determination of the lowest dosage possible to increase the inflammatory protein.
One source of error would be genetics. Each person will react to treatment differently based on their genetic makeup. This is a factor that cannot be controlled.
Another source of error would be the timing of the dosage and recording of the data. Each group would need to receive their dosages at the same time in order to control any variables involving timing.
There could also be human errors in recording data. One involved in the experiment may record the wrong data leading to an incorrect conclusion. In order to prevent this, those working in the experiment but be wary of their actions and ensure that the data recorded is correct.
Lastly, previously taken medications and current medications could have an effect on how the lipopolysaccharide interacts with the body. Overall general health, weight, occupation, amount of physical activity, and one's environment can also be outlying factors. If possible, those with poor general health will be excluded from the experiment along with those that are taking medications that will interfere with the affects of the lipopolysaccharide in order for the experiment to generate the most accurate results. Physical activity may cause an increase in inflammation, so subjects will be asked to cease extraneous physical activity while the experiment is being conducted. As for the other factors, these cannot be controlled and will contribute to the randomization of the subjects in the experiment.