In our lab, we work with the retina which yields very little sample. Although we have a reasonable sample size of six animals in each group, I don't understand which test to be used to test for significance among groups. This is because we mix the sample (from all 6 animals) since it is too less in quantity. So, we mix the yield and then run a Western blot for it all together and then measure its intensity.
The main objective of our study translates to checking for differences in the Western blot result among different groups. Can anything be done for this, since even if I repeat the blot, it will take into consideration the variations in the western blot but not the variations in the population.
In short, we just have the mean blot intensity value for 6 animals (since we mixed the sample together - apparently that is how it is usually done with the retina. Edit - pooled is the word) but we lack any information on its standard deviation.
I don't know much of statistics but is there any test that can be used in this case? I know I can't use an ANOVA (which is generally used for such situations) because we don't have enough sample data (i.e. we lack the variance of our sample. we don't know how our sample is distributed) despite having adequate sample size.
Edit: The project we are working on has animals in different groups exposed to different experimental conditions. So I don't think predicting the variance from other studies is a good idea.