Linda E. Martin-Morris
Explores the use of various cell and molecular laboratory techniques, such as PCR, cloning, gel electrophoresis, and bacterial transformation through hands-on experiments. Students produce a portfolio of techniques they have learned. Writing credit. Prerequisite: either BIOL 355 or a minimum grade of 2.5 in BIOL 200.
Laboratory techniques in cellular and molecular biology.
Student learning goals
Make reagents/ solutions from various starting points (from stocks, from dry reagents, from cell cultures).
Understanding controls and how they influence conclusions one can make.
Considering screens and selections and how one acquires the cellular material one wants to ask subsequent questions.
Be able to work cooperatively in a research lab group with consideration for resources and other personnel.
Be able to understand three units/ concepts well enough to write a results & conclusion section of formal research paper style.
Efficiently and accurately utilize several key techniques.
General method of instruction
Through laboratory experiments
Either Biology 355 or a grade that demonstrates mastery of cell biology from biology 200. No research lab experience is expected. Come with knowledge of transcription, translation, electrophoresis, plasmids, transformation, PCR, hybridization, E. coli and yeast growth requirements.
Class assignments and grading
Students will end an experimental unit by taking a unit quiz and writing a results & conclusions section of a formal research paper (three units, three quizzes, and FOUR papers). Smaller, but still significant means of assessment include a laboratory practical exam, an oral presentation, and collaborative assessment.
See assignments. There is generally no curve, and class mean is usually around 3.1 - 3.2. Even students who do all the experiments can earn a D if they are unable to understand and explain what they did.