BME100 f2014:Group6 L1

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BME 100 Fall 2014 Home
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Independent and Dependent Variables

Independent Variable: Found on the X-axis of a graph.The independent variable is the variable that will change. In other words, the variables variation does not rely on one another. For this experiment, the dose of lippolysaccharide is the Independent Variable. Doses will be the following: 2mg, 4mg, 6mg, 8mg, 10mg

Dependent Variable: Found on the Y-axis of a graph. The dependent variable value relies on that of another. For this experiment, the level of protein is the dependent variable.

Experimental Design

The base line of our procedure would be the following.

A six week trial with 7 different blood tests. It would consist of one initial test before the trial starts to measure the original level of inflammatory protein and every week thereafter.

The experiment will contain people of the elderly population (60+). There will be one control group and 5 groups that will receive the protein. Each group will receive a different dose. For example, the first group will receive 2mg, and the next group will receive 4mg and so on up to 10mg since 10mg has already shown to have some effect on the elderly population. The control group is the group of participants that don’t receive the experimental treatment(i.e. 0 mg). Only one hundred subjects will be receiving the medication. Therefore, the other remaining twenty will be the control group.

The groups will have people between the ages of 60 to 85 due to the fact that the drug will increase the inflammatory protein in the elderly.

Number of subjects per group
In each group - including the control group - there will be 20 people with 10 men and 10 women in each group. Due to monetary restrictions, the experimental groups could not be bigger; therefore, there will only be 120 participants in the experiment.

Subject Selection

Subjects will be selected based upon their compatibility with the criterion of the experiment. They will be equally divided male and female, all betwwen the ages of 60 and 85. In addition to this, all test subjects must have some form of medical issue that requires that they take an inflammatory medication daily so as to avoid unnecessarily medicating individuals.

The intent of this selection strategy is to ensure as diverse, yet controlled, a data set as possible. The principle of random selection within a set group should provide the experiment with an at least moderately accurate depiction of the demographic that LPS will be used to treat. In doing so we will save time, effort, and capital in our research, which is prudent given our access to rather limited resources.

Sources of Error and Bias

Like in any experiment or investigation, there are errors and biases that may interfere with accurate results. Though it would be stated very clearly in the experiment to take the medication at a certain time, some patients may not follow those directions. An error that could affect this investigation is the subject’s inconsistency. An individual might ingest the medication at different times or with other substances like alcohol; or they simply forget about taking it. Either way, each scenario can consequently alter the “true” results. Another error that may occur is the subject’s life style. There are certain foods that could potentially affect the potency of the pill and change the outcome of the amount of inflammatory protein produced.

In our designed experiment it is hard to control every variable since we are using human subjects; therefore, there might be some bias towards genetic make-up, social levels, and habits within our experimental groups. Because we are randomly choosing participants, we have no control over equal numbers within each group of certain ethnicities which could lead to different genetic make-ups of participants. This could lead to the drug not working as effectively in one ethnicity versus another or other diseases more common in certain ethnicities (i.e. hypertension, diabetes, etc.) playing a significant role in manipulating the data. Social class could affect the results of the experiment due to dietary characteristics of the participants; lower class participants may eat a diet with more salt or fats because of the cost effectiveness of fast food (which could increase the inflammation or cause other factors to influence the data) whereas an individual from the upper class may eat a more balanced, nutritious diet that may not skew the data as significantly. Also, the general health of the person isn’t strictly selected either due to the random selection of participants which may favor certain attributes over others.