BME100 f2013:W900 Group12 L1

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Name: Swaroon Sridhar
Name: Swathi Harikumar
Name: Nhi Nguyen
Name: Christopher Lae
Name: Courtney Van Bussum


Independent and Dependent Variables

The independent variable is the level of the inflammation inducing agent (lipopolysaccharide) used. The dependent variable is the amount of inflammatory protein (inflammotin) in the subject's blood.

Experimental Design


Six groups will be created, each taking a different dose of the same inflammation inducing drug. Starting from 0mg, each successive group will have a larger dose of the drug, in increments of 2mg, until 10mg. Each group will have ten people, making for a total of 60 people.

 0 mg pill: 10 people
 2 mg pill: 10 people
 4 mg pill: 10 people
 6 mg pill: 10 people
 8 mg pill: 10 people
10 mg pill: 10 people

Subject Selection

(Discuss considerations of how subjects are to be selected.)

Visit three different retirement homes in different cities in the same state (due to budget restraints). Survey approximately 100 people in each home asking them their medical background. Review survey responses and exclude people who have pre-existing medical conditions that affect blood or would react with lipopolysaccharide inducing agent. Of the remaining people surveyed, take a simple random sample to find 20 subjects from each of the three homes.

(Christopher Lae's contribution because his Openwetware account is not working) Of all the 60 individuals selected, randomly assign dosages to groups of ten; groups will take 0 mg, 2 mg, 4 mg, 6 mg, 8 mg, and 10 mg of the inflammation inducing agent. Talk to nurses/care takers at the nursing homes and have them remind subjects to take their pills every day. Each subject will take their dosage in the morning with their breakfast for 30 days. On day 31, we will take blood samples from the subjects and determine the change in inflammation by measuring Inflammotin. (End of Christopher Lae's contribution)

Sources of Error and Bias

The potential sources of error/bias include all of the following:

1. Pre-existing medical conditions in subjects that could have an effect on the inflammatory protein (inflammotin)

Participants who have pre-existing medical conditions will have increased chance of side effects from the inflammation inducing agent. This could cause more medical problems unrelated to inflammation. Results from the experiment could be affected by the presence of pre-existing health concerns. In accordance with this fact, we will choose subjects who do not have pre-existing medical conditions.

2. Previous medications taken by subjects that could affect inflammation inducing agent (lipopolysaccharide)

Other medications can have adverse effects on the results of the inflammation inducing agent. Other types of medication could react with the ingredients of the lipopolysaccharide and also affect inflammation in the body. The results will included both the previous medication's effect and the lipopolysaccharide. Therefore, we will ensure that our subjects do not take other medications prior to the experiment.

3. The lack of diversity in the demographic of subjects taken from retirement homes in specific areas

Because we are choosing subjects from retirement homes in specific areas of the state, we run into the issue that our sample does not represent the population well. To combat this possible source of error, we will visit three different retirement homes in different parts of the state in order to boost diversity among subjects.

4. Ability of subjects to take the proper amounts of the drug at the right times

We cannot ensure that our subjects will stick to our drug regimen. Therefore, we will trust nurses at the retirement homes to properly administer drug dosages at the right times of the day to the proper subjects.