Writing Problems - Home Page Next | Previous | Contents

Malt does more than Milton can
To justify God's ways to man
A.E. Housman, A Shropshire Lad


It had been a tough year. This PBL stuff was all right but it was becoming a bit of a strain. Self-direction was fine up to a point. Critical analysis was fine in theory, but to do it constantly was tiring. It would be really nice to sleep comfortably while the teachers droned on. And all that writing, the TRIPSES (what a juvenile term for something actually useful). Now the Wild One in 2J24 was demanding that they come up with a lab project. This was going a bit far. Why could he not do what others did. Have really simple cook book labs corrected by those who had little interest, less time and no knowledge of the language.

Well, if they had to show that they had learned pharmacology what better project than one dealing with man's best friend (beer, not as most think, some snivelling, panting, leg-lifting mutt). So David and Denise set out to entice their friends to sign up for a research project. Not that much inducement was needed. When the word got around that beer, wine and whiskey were being provided, the quads emptied fast. However when Denise started to talk about "a safe and ethical environment", most of them decided to baywatch. Seven (more women than men, in keeping with Bio-Pharm tradition) signed up.

The aims of the project were simple. The intrepid duo wanted to observe the effects of beverage type (beer, wine and whisky) on peak Blood Alcohol Concentrations (BACs) volume of distribution (VD) and elimination rate (Ke). The subjects drank different volumes of alcohol: beer (5% alcohol, Carling Lager), wine (11% alcohol, L'Epayrée) and whisky (40% alcohol, Seagram's Canadian) that contained equivalent amounts of ethanol. After imbibing the said drinks with gusto, the subjects were required to have their breath tested with the Alcotest 7410 breathalyser, kindly donated by Drager Canada Ltd. through the courtesy of Monica Kelly. Each subject partook of all three beverages on three separate trials.

Some of the data obtained are shown below. The Wilcoxon sign rank test was used to determine the statistical significance of the results obtained.

(A) (B) (C)


This problem served to introduce students to key concepts in pharmacokinetics. Data were provided that could have insured that crucial components such as volumes of distribution, elimination rate were not missed. Since the data had been acquired by students from a previous class, it served to provide an interesting departure point.

Writing Problems: Next | Previous | Table of Contents | Copyright