"In some ways, determination of sample size is like buying a home; particularly when sample size is fixed. When you decide to buy a home and you can afford only $300,000, you may be able to buy a home with two bedrooms and a large living room, or a home with three bedrooms and a small living room. Likewise,if for financial or time constraints you can collect data from only 300 patients, that is what you can afford; with that you can get a small Î± and a large Î², or a large Î± and a small Î², or a small Î± and small Î² but a large d. You need to make sacrifices somewhere"
"The large sample size allows us to see patterns with more clarity than ever before," Novembre said. "If rare variants are like distant stars, this kind of large sample size is like having the Hubble Telescope; it's allowing us to see more than before. We see a ton of rare variation, and these rare variants more often make changes to proteins than not. In that way, this study has important implications for the genetic basis of disease in humans. It's consistent with the idea that many diseases may be partly caused by rare variants."
"Intuitively, increasing sample size is like increasing the magnification of a telescope. From a distance, two dots might seem indistinguishably close: with the telescope, you realize there is space between them. Sample size puts "probability space" between the null and alternative."
"Let's draw an analogy: Sample size is like the resolution of in an image or the size of mesh in a net. If you take a close up picture of a leaf with jagged edges or a rough surface with the camera in an inexpensive cell phone, the resolution of the image may be too low to capture all the detail. We refer to pictures that fail to do this as grainy or pixelated."
"In both cases, sample size is like magnification with a microscope: the smaller the object that's being observed, the more magnification we need."
METAMIA is a free database of analogy and metaphor. Anyone can contribute or search. The subject matter can be anything. Science is popular, but poetry is encouraged. The goal is to integrate our fluid muses with the stark literalism of a relational database. Metamia is like a girdle for your muses, a cognitive girdle.