BME100 f2014:Group8 L1
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LAB 1 WRITE-UP
This experiment seeks to find the lowest dose of lipopolysacharide that would increase the amount of the protein inflammotin in elderly patients. This is to cut the costs of the lab work as well as help manage costs of the drug should it go into production. This drug could be used to help elderly person's immune systems by helping them respond to diseases.
Independent and Dependent Variables
In this lab there are two different variables which affect the results of the lab. The independent variable in this lab is the doses of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The doses of LPS will be given in doses of 3mg, 6mg,and 9mg. The dependent variable of this lab is the amount of inflammation that occurs in the lab subjects throughout the course of the investigation.
The experiment will consist of four groups of 15 test subjects. The experimenters will diversify the groups to the best of their ability. All members of an individual group will receive the same dose of lipopolysacharide and no two groups will receive equal doses. One group will receive 0mg of the drug. In place, this control group will receive sugar pills identical to the lipopolysacharide. The other three groups will receive either a three, six or nine mg dose. Neither the subjects nor the distributors of the experiment will know which group will receive which dose.
To test our drug effectively, we need to use subjects within our target population. First off, the subjects must be between the ages of 65 and 80. They cannot have a history of arthritis or other inflammatory diseases that could be worsened by the drug or skew the test results. No blood diseases such as anemia or leukemia may be present as they would also prevent an accurate reading of the drug’s effects on the inflammatory response due to abnormal blood cell count and blood cell shape.
Sources of Error and Bias
Sources of Error:
As in every lab experiment, there are multiple sources of error that need to be watched. One possible source of error within this particular experiment would be involved in screening possible participants. One major error that would skew our data would be if a subject had a pre-existing condition. This would be particularly difficult to screen for if the patient's condition is unreported or undiagnosed. Another possible source of error would be if any of the subjects are taking other types of medication. Many medications may interfere with the LPS pills and alter the outcome of our data. Our goal is to perform a safe study, not harm willing participants.
In order to combat error in this experiment, it will be conducted as a double blind study. In this type of experiment, both the subjects and the personnel who are distributing the pills will be unaware of what is being dispensed. To each participant in the study, doses of three- 3mg pills will be provided for each day of the study, ranging in number of placebo versus LPS (the drug being tested) pills, from zero to three. The control group of elderly participants will be given three sugar pills each day, and no LPS pills. It will be ensured that the subjects are unaware they are taking placebos, in order to prevent any adverse subconscious reaction by the patients (aka Placebo effect).
In addition, prior to being accepted as subjects in the study, the patients must have their medical records submitted to the researchers to eliminate any potential subjects who have pre-existing conditions that might be aggravated by the LPS medication. Subjects with prior diagnoses could cause inaccurate readings to be taken, especially if they have a history of an inflammatory disease such as arthritis. This type of error would be detrimental to the project as a whole since there are very limited funds, and doses wasted on a patient who provides inaccurate results could leave the research team with a lack of data, and therefore a study that is not trustworthy.
Any potential subjects must also provide a list of medications which they are currently taking, and each list will be carefully looked over to ensure that the patients are not taking medicines which may negatively interfere with the LPS pills which they will be prescribed. The goal of the study is to assess the lowest possible dose of an inflammatory medication which would still be efficacious, not to potentially harm or cause illness to any participants. Therefore, this criteria is incredibly important, because the wrong mixtures of medication could cause illness, or even death if not controlled.