BME100 f2014:Group31 L1

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Independent and Dependent Variables

Independent Variable: Dosage of lipopolysaccharide (mg)

The dosage of lipopolysaccharide is the independent variable because it is the quantity being altered in order to see what the effect of its change will be.

Dependent Variable: Amount of Inflammotin

The amount of Inflammotin protein within the blood stream of test subjects is the dependent variable because it is the quantity that is being measured after varying levels of lipopolysaccharide in order to draw conclusions from.

Experimental Design

There will be up to 7 groups, randomly selected from an elderly population, who will be given varying dosages of 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 milligrams of lipopolysachride. This way, we can determine which dosage (that is smaller than 10 mg) best increases LPS content. In addition, a control group with a placebo pill will be used in order to ensure that the only factor increasing LPS content is the drug, with another control group being given 10 mg to provide a comparison with the results from our 5 experimental groups.

The ages of the subjects will be 65 years old and older, which is defined by the United Nations as "elderly." This age group will be the target group for the actual medication, and will thus be the most practical age group to test.

Number of subjects per group

In each group we will have 10 subjects. This will help ensure that any extremes will be accounted for. The 10 subjects will help identify any variables that are yet to be discovered.

Subject Selection

The subjects will be selected randomly, which will reduce the experimental bias. The initial group of patients to be selected from will be selected from groups with relatively similar health conditions, in order to reduce the effects of external factors. Each patient will be assigned a number, then we will draw each number out of a box. The first selected round of numbers (the first ten individuals that correspond to the numbers drawn) will be assigned to the first group. Similarly, we will repeat this with all the remaining groups. This type of randomization will create an unbiased experiment because no one party will have control over which individuals go into which groups. We will have a negative and positive control group, with one group receiving a placebo, and the second group receiving a 10 mg dose with the expectation that the 10 mg will create an increase in the protein levels.

Sources of Error and Bias

The people selected for the study might not be representative of the population as a whole. We could control this by picking from a larger pool of test subjects, which would make it more likely it represents the population we want to test for as a whole.

In addition, other factors could be leading to increased LPS levels, such as possible patients having pre-existing infections or inflammation. To combat this, all participants should undergo a thorough medical exam to check against such bias.

Finally, another source of error could come from contamination or inaccurate measuring. To ensure that our results remain unbiased, we could repeat the experiment multiple times, and try to ensure our results are consistent.