BME100 f2014:Group16 L1
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LAB 1 WRITE-UP
Independent and Dependent Variables
The independent variable in the study is the dosage of the inducing agent, lipopolysaccharide. This is the independent variable because the dosage of the drug is being varied in the study. The dependent variable in the study is the increase in the inflammatory protein, inflammotin. This is the dependent variable because the level of inflammation would theoretically vary depending on the dosage of the drug.
Number of subjects per group
Random selection of elderly subjects from different locations, races, between the ages of 65-95. For randomization the elderly are picked from different locations to ensure that the data is not geographically bias. A variety of races is selected to increase randomization. To control the experiment, the age selected is confined within an age group to ensure similar physiological effects. The person that picks the test subjects would not be associated with the researchers to help eliminate a potential source of bias.
Sources of Error and Bias
The first potential source of error could arise from the fact that there is an unequal distribution of healthy and ill people. If such an asymmetric aggregation occurs, it is likely that the drug’s effect will be skewed. In order to control this error, the study would need to remove potential patients from the pool if they suffer from a chronic disease or disorder. Secondly, if the elders are required to be on other medications to survive, the synergy between the lipopolysaccharide and other pharmaceuticals could aid or hinder the effectiveness of the test drug. To prevent this from affecting the study, the medical history of the patient would have to be reviewed by a pharmacist to determine that there is no interaction between any of the drugs that the test subjects are taking and the lipopolysaccharide. Thirdly, some of the elders genetic history could potentially trigger new problems for the patient that were not present until the drug is introduced into their body. To take genetic history into consideration, as well as keep the patient pool random, detailed records will be filed for each patient. When all the data has been collected, the information from the files will be used to check if there is any relationship between genetic history and the effectiveness of the drug.