I have a question concerning the statistical grouping of data from in vitro cell image analysis.
The experimental setting and task: to segment and measure autophagic figure accumulation (labeled by immunofluorescence, a dedicated kit) in individual tumor cells. Segmentation and measurement are not difficult, the problem is a trivial one.
The question: there are 3 repetitions of the treatment (3 treated cultures) each accompanied by a control (3 controls); in each of these 3 couples some 100 cells were measured (about 600 overall). First, I compared each treated group to its control and these comparisons yielded identical results (increase). Then I decided to pool all treated cells and all controls for a general comparison. The question, more specifically, is: do I have the right, statistically, to do so? I would tend to say yes, inasmuch as units of measurement are individual cells. Thanks for reading!