Balancing Equations
When doing experiments, we have two choices. We can make
"logical" assumptions about the behavior of variables or we can
avoid such assumptions altogether by simply measuring (estimating)
them. The simulator of this
exercise helps us to understand why making certain assumptions about
variables can be entirely illogical.
In a datadriven biology, experiments are designed as equations
thereby eliminating most assumptions. Moreover, those that
remain can often be checked.
A simple example often tells the best story. To compare
concentrations, for instance, we must assume that the unit of
reference volume (cm³) or weight (g, mg)
is the same for the control and experimental samples. Is this
a logical assumption? No. Want to know why? Take
the exercise.
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