BME100 f2014:Group34 L1

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BME 100 Fall 2014 Home
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Independent and Dependent Variables

The independent variable is the inflammation inducing agent, lipopolysaccharide or LPS, because we are varying the amount of drug to affect the levels of Inflammotin. The dependent variable is inflammatory protein, Inflammotin, because the levels of this protein vary, or depend on, the amount of LPS in the bloodstream.

Experimental Design

There will be five groups consisting of eight test subjects each. Each of the five groups will take a 10mg, 8mg, 6mg, 4mg, or 2mg pill of lipopolysaccharide, respectively. The 10mg pill group will serve as the control group since prior data has shown that 10mg of LPS has led to increased levels of Inflammotin. In order to keep costs at a minimum, but maintain scientific integrity and achieve accurate results we have decided to keep only eight test subjects in each of the five groups.

The age is a controlled variable. Each subject will be 65 years old because the goal of the experiment is to find the lowest dose of LPS to increase inflammotin in the elderly.

Number of subjects per group
In order to keep costs at a minimum, but maintain scientific integrity we have decided to keep only eight test subjects in each of the five groups. We are assuming it is acceptable to hire these forty individuals as it is not clear how limited our financial situation really is.

Subject Selection

Subjects will be randomly selected healthy 65 year old males, this is to ensure that a gender variable will not alter the experiment in any way. We have also chosen healthy males in the sense that they either have healthy diets, exercise routinely, and are disease free. This will allow our data to have a positive correlation and ensure our results are accurate. In order to keep all but one of the variables constant, our test subjects will all need to have the same blood type. Different blood types may have different reactions to the drug and that is not the focus of this experiment. If we would have chosen subjects randomly, many outside factors including age, disease, and poor dieting could have a negative correlation on our results.

Sources of Error and Bias

A bias in this experiment is such that we are using only male subjects, thus the results could be different with women. It is also important in the design of an experiment to keep all but one variables constant, including the gender of the test subjects. A potential source error is using increments of 2mg in measuring the LPS, which could yield less accurate data. We could correct this error by using more groups and/or use increments of 1.Our options were limited, however, since we are in fact on a budget. Another source of error could be with ELISA having mechanical errors which would effect the data collected. This error however, is beyond our control and is subject to the limitations of the technology. A third source of error could include the uncontrollable variance in the strength and efficiency of each of the subject's individual bodily systems, such as the circulatory, nervous, and excretory systems. Such variance could definitely skew data.