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NEXT UNIT NEXT PAGE UP CATEGORY PREVIOUS PAGE PREVIOUS UNIT Biological Imaging:
Day 3 - Setting Up and Running an Experiment
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Learning Objective:

After stating your hypothesis you will lay down a plan of action to test your hypothesis by deciding what instruments and software you will use, and how you will use them. Then you will identify variables and set controls to make your results as accurate as possible.


Scientific Methodology:

The set up procedure has four main steps:

  1. State the hypothesis you are testing (e.g., the eye will grow larger over time).

  2. Lay down a plan of action to test your hypothesis (e.g., I will measure the area of the eye on three different days using the images I obtained from the web or remote MRI to track the growth of the eye.)

  3. Identify variables (things that change), and things that remain constant.

    What things change that affect the experiment? (e.g., time, position of the eye).

    What things change that don't affect the experiment? Why don't they matter to us? (Possible Answer: The eye can be seen clearly with either T1 or T2 weighting. The gray value of the eye changes, but we are only measuring its size.)

    What things need to remain constant to accurately observe and measure the size of the eye over time? (e.g., MRI instrument, same egg)

    To measure and compare the size of the eyeball from one day to the next using the area of the eye on a cross section, you must use a slice that goes through the same part of the eye in the same direction; the easiest and most representative slice would be a section through the fullest part of the eyeball from a saggital or coronal view.

  4. Set controls: Which of these variables can you control or correct for (e.g., same egg)? How? Which of the variables can you not control (e.g., the chick moves)? How will this affect your data?

    See the illustration on the importance of setting controls.


Activities:



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