1.1. Replication of an experiment on extremely diluted thyroxine and highland amphibians (Study 1)
A key issue in science is the reproducibility of experiements. The purpose of the study was to investigate whether the initial experiment using diluted thyroxine and highland amphibians was reproducible. One particular experiment was reported as being reproducible by the initial researchers as well as independent researchers. This experiment tested fouty-eight hourly applications of Thyroxine 30X against Water 30X on the development of highland amphibians. Treatment commenced from the two-legged stage on. Parameters measured were the number of frogs that reached the 4-legged stage and the number that reached the tail-reduction stage.
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The initial study published results in 1990, the study was replicated and the results published in 2000 and after reanalysing the results, published again in 2010. All 3 studies reported that metamorphosis occurred more slowly in those treated with Thyroxine 30X compared to Water 30X.
The author replicated the study again, reanalysed and combined the results of the initial team and the independent researchers with his own results.
The methods as set out by the initial study were followed as closely as possible. 8 basins were randomly divided between each group, giving each group 4 basins, each with 20 frogs, totalling 80 frogs per group. A handling error caused cross-contamination of two basins which were subsequently excluded from the study. Therefore 60 frogs across 3 basins per group were considered.
The Thyroxine 30X frogs showed a clear trend of delayed metamorphosis into the 4-legged stage as well as for the tail-reduction stage. However, due to the small sample size, the results were not statistically significant.
The author’s conclusion was that the results of his own replication experiment, though not statistically significant, were in line with those of the initial study, as well the other independent researchers.
1.2. The effect of homoeopathically prepared thyroxine on highland frogs: influence of electromagnetic fields (Study 2)
One of the principles of homoeopathy, the law of similars, can be demonstrated by hyper-stimulating frogs by immersing them in a thyroxine solution (10â»â¸ parts by weight, unsuccussed) and then inducing the reverse reaction by subjecting them to a homoeopathically prepared solution (10â»¹³) of thyroxine.
The study used the amphibian model to investigate the effects of various electromagnetic fields on homoeopathically prepared thyroxine solution. A microwave, mobile phone, x-ray luggage inspection device and a red light barcode scanner were used. A replication of the basic experiment conducted previously was used as a control group. All experiments were performed blind.
The starting point was defined as the point at which the 2-legged stage begins. The experiment continued until the 4-legged stage. 149 basins were used, each containing 20 frogs. From this, 21 groups were formed according to treatment. 6 different experiments were performed. In each experiment one group (100-200 frogs) were treated with the control substance and the other group (100-200 frogs) were treated with standard test solution.
This part of the study serves as a pilot study to the influence of environmental factors on homoeopathic preparations.
With each experiment, the control group was compared to the standard test solution as well as to test solutions exposed to the various electromagnetic fields.
In total, 860 frogs were treated with homoeopathically prepared thyroxine and 860 frogs were treated with standard control solution. In addition, 1160 frogs were treated with the various solutions exposed to electromagnetic fields.
The findings suggest that homoeopathically prepared thyroxine 30D has an inhibitory effect on the metamorphosis of frogs while this effect is blocked when exposed to the microwave oven or the mobile phone. This is in agreement with the assumptions of manufacturers of homoeopathic preparations.
Study 1: Methods as set out by the original researcher were followed as closely as possible to replicate the study, however, there was a slight deviation in that the amphibians were stored at dimmed daylight at a temperature of eight degrees Celsius for a period of three days to prevent the tadpoles from developing beyond the designated starting stage before the experiment scheduled to start. This may have delayed the onset of the two-legged stage and in turn may have affected the sensitivity of the larvae to the thyroxine 30X.
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Even thought they have produced interesting findings, the highland amphibian Rana temporaria is not easily available for further research. This particular species is not available from breeders, permits need to be obtained and then collected from the field. Proffesional expertise and experience is required for collection, transportation and handling.
The numbers in each study are too small to be statistically significant until they are pooled together. Even though the study was replicated as closely as possible, individual factors may have influenced the findings and so pooling the results may not be as accurate as expected.
Study 2: Using water solutions exposed to electromagnetic fields could serve as an additional control group.
The natural environment of the amphibian should try and be mimicked as far as possible. It may be hypothesised that the increase in temperature in a laboratory environment compared to that of the natural biotope may be the stimulus that make the highland amphibian sensitive to the homoeopathically prepared thyroxine.
In both studies, the results are statistically significant only when the results are pooled together and an adequate number of animals are included. Special efforts should be made to increase the size of homoeopathic studies in general to make the results more reliable and credible.
- More Valid and Credible Findings
Ideally the natural habitat of the amphibians should be mimicked as far as possible to avoid influencing developmental stages. Future experiments should be conducted on a species that is more readily available. An expert on amphibians should be employed to supervise the study and offer advice on the handling and management of the animals.
Given that the study was reproducible on numerous occasions, I think the findings are valid and credible. Thyroxine 30X, a dilution beyond avogardo’s number, produced a clear trend by slowing down metamorphosis.
- Contribution Towards Evidence Based Homoeopathy
These studies do contribute towards evidence based homoeopathy. They are scientific, quantitative designs and are confirmatory of the law of similars. Thyroxine is stimulatory in crude form when exposed to an amphibian. Without thyroxine, amphibians would not undergo metamorphosis from tadpole to juvenile frog. Thyroxine in homoeopathic preparation had an inhibitory effect and was confirmed on numerous occasions by reproducing the same experiments by independent researchers.
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