BME100 s2014:W Group6 L1
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LAB 1 WRITE-UP
Independent and Dependent Variables
The independent variable is the dosage of the LPS (lipopolysaccharide) because this is the variable that will change directly in order to see the effect in the dependent variable.
The dependent variable is the amount of Inflammotin in the elderly. This will be found in the blood samples using ELISA. This is the dependent variable because it changes in response to the LPS administered.
There will be 5 test groups (0mg, 10mg, 7.5mg, 5mg, 2.5mg) each containing 10 subjects. There will be 5 test groups because this will allow us to have a control group (0mg LPS)to observe the amount of inflammotin present without the LPS, the starting dosage of 10mg LPS, then progressively smaller doses of 7.5mg, 5mg, and 2.5mg of LPS. These decreasing dosages begin at 10mg because it is given that this dosage will induce inflammation and the objective is to find the smallest dosage that induces inflammation. The different groups will be measured for the average amount of inflammotin present in the subjects. The lowest dosage that gives the desired inflammation will be determined to be the optimal dosage.
Our subjects will be at least 60 years old, since the experiment is to determine the effect of the LPS on the elderly. This experiment classifies the elderly as being 60 years of age or more.
Number of subjects per group
There will be ten subjects per group. This number was obtained with the reasoning that this number will be sufficient to obtain reliable results without costing too much money (larger sample sizes are more expensive and the experiment is on a budget).
The subjects will be selected by asking for volunteers from nursing homes in the area with no preexisting conditions/medications that would interact with the LPS medication. Using random digits, fifty of the volunteers would then be randomly selected and then be randomly assigned to the each of the five groups. This randomization is important to ensure that there is no systematic difference between treatment groups, allowing the results to avoid bias. Furthermore, to control for other variables, the subjects of the experiment will be on identical diets.
Sources of Error and Bias
Potential sources of error include the fact that the subjects could be on other medications that could interfere with the LPS. This could be avoided by selecting patients that are not on medication or are on medication that would not interfere with the drug LPS. Additionally, the subjects could forget to take the LPS. Therefore the drug will be given to each subject by an assistant. Another source of error could be a placebo effect if the subjects know which dosage they are receiving, so there will be four times during the day when the subjects receive a tablet which will either be a sugar pill or the Inflammotin. The patients in the control group will get four placebo tablets (the sugar pills), the subjects in the 2.5mg group will receive one 2.5mg tablet and three placebo tablets and so forth. Additionally, the assistants giving out the pills will not know whether they are administering placebo tablets or treatment tablets. Since the administration is double blind, the experiment should be protected against placebo effects.