Many investigations in biochemistry, botany, zoology, microbiology, molecular biology, genetics and ecology are quantitative, with observations and experiments consisting of numerical facts called data. As biological entities have to be counted and measured, some objective methods are necessary to aid the investigator in presenting and analysing research data. Before data can be analysed, they must be collected and often statistical considerations help in the design of experiments and hypotheses to be tested. Still too many biologists attempt the analysis of their data only to find out that too few data points were collected to enable reliable conclusions to be drawn. Alternatively, it may appear that some effort might have been put in collecting data that cannot be used in the analysis of the experiment. Hence, the knowledge of basic statistical principles and procedures is critical even before an experiment begins. This topic aims at introducing basic concepts of sampling methods and statistical analysis that can be applied to any field of research in biology.
The educational aims of the topic are for the students to get an understanding of the importance of collecting and analysing data when doing research in Biological Sciences.
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