Take the 2-minute tour ×
Biology Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for biology researchers, academics, and students. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm measuring binding constants my system and I appreciate the usual methods of using replicates to measure standard errors and using those errors to calculate propagation of error. I'm curious if bootstrapping is a reasonable alternative to calculate uncertainty?

share|improve this question

closed as off-topic by fileunderwater, Chris, MattDMo, T Abraham, anongoodnurse Jan 23 at 19:10

  • This question does not appear to be about biology within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

4  
This is probably more suitable for stats.stackexchange.com, or do you think biological assumptions will influence the answer (I'm not familiar with binding constants)? –  fileunderwater Jan 23 at 11:04
    
I approve this move. @fileunderwater Please let me know how to make that transition. I was under the impression that this was a fairly regular question that was relevant to the biochemistry community? –  bobthejoe Jan 28 at 21:37
    
I've flagged it asking for migration, but I don't know if it is possible. This is not my topic, so I cannot say anything about methods/problems in biochemistry. To me, it feels like a clearcut statistical issue though. –  fileunderwater Jan 28 at 23:08

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

My understanding of bootstrapping is that you may estimate variance (and thus standard error of the population mean) iff your measurements are independent and have the same population distribution, in which case a number of sampling-with-replacement calculations can be done. I suspect that this method of estimation would be less desirable with small n values because of the effect that outliers or large standard deviations may have on the calculation. If you have a large dataset then it shouldn't be an issue.

share|improve this answer
2  
What is the definition of independent in this case? Does running a dilution series maintain independence? Now I'm even more curious how legitimate this is. –  bobthejoe Mar 4 '12 at 7:29
1  
Independent really depends on the context of the experiment. If you are doing a serial dilution then I would consider those to be dependent on each other since the lower concentrations derive from the larger. This would be better analyzed as a replicate. –  leonardo Mar 4 '12 at 12:43

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.