Instructions

Sixteen patients in a hospital must undergo a blood test for a disease. It is known that exactly one of them has the disease. The hospital has only eight testing kits and has decided to pool blood samples of patients into eight vials for the tests. The patients are numbered 1 through 16, and the vials are labelled A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and H. The following table shows the vials into which each patient’s blood sample is distributed.

If a patient has the disease, then each vial containing his/her blood sample will test positive. If a vial tests positive, one of the patients whose blood samples were mixed in the vial has the disease. If a vial tests negative, then none of the patients whose blood samples were mixed in the vial has the disease.

Question 2

# Suppose vial A tests positive and vials D and G test negative. Which of the following vials should we test next to identify the patient with the disease?

Solution

The patients in

Vial A: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16

Vial B: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

Vial C: 5,6,7,8,13,14,15,16

Vial D:1,2,3,4,9,10,11,12

Vial E:3,4,7,8,11,12,15,16

Vial F:1,2,5,6,9,10,13,14

Vial G:2,4,6,8,10,12,14,16

Vial H:1,3,5,7,9,11,13,15

Suppose vial A tests positive and vials D and G test negative then the patient who tested positive must be one of patient 13 or 15.

Patient 13 or 15 are not present in vial B. So, A is not the answer.

Both patients present in vial C. Even if tested positive or negative we can't know who has got the disease. So, C is not the answer.

Both patients present in vial H. Even if tested positive or negative we can't know who has got the disease. So, H is not the answer.

only patient 15 is present in vial E, if tested positive then patient 15 has the disease else patient 13 as disease.

Hence Option 2 is correct.

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