BME100 s2015:Group7 12pmL1
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LAB 1 WRITE-UP
In this lab, we will be investigating the effects of inflammation. Specifically, we will be studying how an inflammation inducing agent, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), increases a newly discovered inflammatory protein, inflammotin. This protein is measured in the blood and we will primarily focus on the effect on the elderly.
Independent and Dependent Variables
Independent Variable: Dosage of LPS will be the independent variable because it is the value that we would decide for each group. It also is not affected by anything else in this experiment.
Group 1: 2 mg
Group 2: 4 mg
Group 3: 6 mg
Group 4: 8 mg
No control group necessary
We would measure each of the test subjects inflammotin levels before and after receiving their respective dosage of LPS. By doing so, there would be no need for a control group. Comparing the groups to themselves would help limit more possible sources of error. After comparing the before and after measurements, the lowest dosage amount of LPS that produces a statistically significant difference would be the preferrable dosage amount for use. However, in the case that none of the groups produce a significant difference in inflammotin levels, we would have to repeat the experiment with higher dosage amounts between eight and ten milligrams.
The age of our subjects would be ideally around 65 and clustered as much as possible around this age (+/- 2 years). Since the focus of our study is on the increase of inflammotin in the elderly, we chose this age range since most people would be retired by then. We also did not want to choose a higher age because then the experiment could face even more sources of error with the decreasing health of an even older person.
The number of subjects per group would be ten so that the sample size would be large enough to gather enough accurate and unbiased data. Ideally, more subjects per groups would be used depending on budget limits.
The subjects would have to be within the set age parameter (around 65 years). Additionally, the subjects should have no previous history of inflammation, so that no other factors from their medical history would affect their inflammotin levels. We would also prefer subjects who take as little medication as possible.
The method we would use for selecting our subjects would be to put out an ad for potential test subjects. From the responses, we would have to check for the subjects' medical history and age. We would exclude those who are not within the experimental parameters stated above, in order to try and control variables such as age and health.
Once ineligible responses have been excluded, the remaining candidates would be randomly selected and randomly placed in groups to take part in the experiment. This would limit further bias from affecting the results of our experiment.
Sources of Error and Bias
The possible sources of error and bias in this experiment include genetic differences among our subjects leading to different sensitivities to LPS. If we use a large enough sample size, then the use of randomization would take care of this issue.
Previous medical conditions that we may fail to rule out or recognize may also prove to be another source of error within the experiment. With the procedure of our subject selection, we would try to exclude any subjects who have poor medical conditions.
Any medication that the subjects have been taking prior to the experiment could also affect precision and accuracy of our results. Within our subject selection, we would try to make sure that the subjects we have chosen have not taken any medication that could potentially alter our data and analysis.
Ideally, careful subject selection and randomization should limit the affect of these biases on our data. Additionally, the ad that we would put out would also have a list of parameters needed for subjects to participate in our experiment.