BME100 f2015:Group6 8amL1
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LAB 1 WRITE-UP
Independent and Dependent Variables
The independent variable is the dose of lipopolysaccharide, as it is what is being changed from group to group. The dependent variable is the inflammotin levels in the subjects, as a change is expected depending on the independent variable, the dose of lipopolysaccharide.
We will have 10 subjects per group. This number allows us to stay in our budget, but also gives us enough data points to determine the minimum dosage of lipopolysaccharide needed.
We will select half of our subjects randomly from a database of people who are above 65-75 years old who are registered to have this medical issue, canceling out any subjects that have contraindications to inflammatories. We will select the other half randomly from another database of healthy individuals from 65-75 years of age. The age range may be a source of bias, but it is far more efficient and cost effective to test an age range that is smaller. If we were to test anybody over the age of 75, we would need far more subjects, thus far more resources.
Sources of Error and Bias
Those who have the need for this medication may produce different results than those who do not, so we’ve put these individuals into different groups (6 groups for those who need inflammatory medication, and 6 for those who do not need inflammatory medication).
The subjects who volunteer for this study may be from a certain class of individuals (more active, less active, etc.). We aim to minimize this directional error by selecting from a database and then getting consent from those selected, as opposed to announcing the experiment and asking for volunteers.
Other medications that a subject is taking may affect the results, thus it will be important to check on the medical history/ medication regimen of each subject. Randomizing the experiment will ensure that each group will have a fairly similar proportion of individuals that have a given medical history/medication regimen.
We are using a relatively small age range, 65-75, so we can only infer these results for patients in this age range.
Unforeseen extraneous variables could affect our results, so we are reducing the effect of this by using a large enough sample size such that not all subjects will be affected by the same extraneous variables. We will, though, give each patient the same instructions on the logistics of the test (time of day taken, possible dietary restrictions, etc.), and will conduct the test with multiple trials throughout a length of time, such as a month.