Researchers recently investigated (see summary in New Evidence That Drinking Coffee May Reduce the Risk of Diabetes) in laboratory mice whether or not coffee prevented the development of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). The mice used in this experiment have a mutation that makes them become diabetic.
Answer the questions below based on the information given in the following paragraph.
A group of 11 mice was given water, and another group of 10 mice was supplied with diluted black coffee (coffee: water 1:1) as drinking fluids for five weeks. The composition of the diets and living conditions were similar for both groups of mice. Blood glucose was monitored weekly for all mice. After five weeks, there was no change in average body weight between groups. Results indicated that blood glucose concentrations increased significantly in the mice that drank water compared with those that were supplied with coffee. Finally, blood glucose concentration in the coffee group exhibited a 30 percent decrease compared with that in the water group. In the original paper, the investigators acknowledged that the coffee for the experiment was supplied as a gift from a corporation.
1. Identify and describe the steps of the scientific method. Which observations do you think the scientists made leading up to this research study? Given your understanding of the experimental design, formulate a specific hypothesis that is being tested in this experiment. Describe the experimental design including control and treatment group(s), and dependent and independent variables. Summarize the results and the conclusion (50 points)
2. Criticize the research described. Things to consider: Were the test subjects and treatments relevant and appropriate? Was the sample size large enough? Were the methods used appropriately? Can you think of potential bias in a research study like this? What are the limitations of the conclusions made in this research study? Address at least two of these questions in your critique of the research study (20 points).