Many biologists do not like to think about mathematics. However, mathematical modeling is essential in the biological and clinical sciences. For example, researchers rely on statistics to evaluate data, we all learned
Michaelis-Menten kinetics as students, and we generate standard curves to estimate the concentrations of unknowns in our samples. Additionally, in the vitamin A field, two other types of mathematical modeling are important. Mathematical modeling underlies the isotope dilution methods that are used to assess vitamin A status and the impact of vitamin A interventions (1, 2). Subjects are given a known amount of a nonradioactive
“tracer” of vitamin A (e.g., a stable isotope), and the dilution of the dose in plasma is mathematically related to the size of the liver vitamin A store.
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