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CCOG for BIT 109 archive revision 201902

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Effective Term:
Spring 2019 through Fall 2022
Course Number:
BIT 109
Course Title:
Basic Laboratory Techniques and Instruments
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Introduces fundamental principles and practices for the bioscience laboratory. Principles of quality documentation, safety, and precise communication will be emphasized throughout, in the context of technical activities that include solution preparation, instrumentation for measurements (weight, volume, temperature, pH, conductivity and spectroscopy), assay techniques and routine laboratory maintenance. Recommend prior or concurrent college level course in Chemistry, or BI 112 or 211, and MTH 65. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Work in the bioscience laboratory environment, applying principles of safety, quality and teamwork.

Carry out common laboratory measurements (weight, volume, temperature, pH and light) demonstrating understanding of the limits of detection, principles of calibration, and limits in the precision and accuracy of the instrumentation used.

Perform calculations needed to prepare solutions, make dilutions, maintain records and evaluate data in bioscience laboratory environment.

Use an understanding of microbiological principles and properties to work effectively in a standard laboratory experiments.

Communicate clearly and succinctly the purpose, procedures, results and interpretation of data collected from measuring/monitoring equipment and from laboratory experiments.

Outcome Assessment Strategies


  1. Prepare buffers and other solutions commonly used in the laboratory. Critical elements include: calculations, documentation of reagents and instrument used, pH determination (if appropriate), proper labeling of the solution, care of equipment and reagents.
  2. Measure small liquid volumes (uL range) using micro pipettes, documenting accuracy and precision. Critical elements include: calculation and documentation of procedure and results, calculation of accuracy (% error) and precision (CoV), demonstration of skillful use of the micro pipette.
  3. Determine the concentration of known substances using both direct absorbance and indirect spectrophotometric assay. Critical elements include preparation of appropriate standard curve, accurate determination of solute concentration in unknown sample; understanding of limitations of assay system; documentation of procedures, data and interpretations; care of equipment and laboratory environment.
  4. Maintain accurate and real time records of ongoing laboratory work. Critical elements include: complete and accurate documentation of materials, calculation, procedures and instruments; sensible presentation of data; rationale and interpretation included where appropriate; standard practices for entries, annotations, attachments, corrections and continuing projects followed.
  5. Carry out an unfamiliar procedure (such as small scale plasmid purification) from an established protocol, maintain records in the laboratory notebook that can be followed by anyone "skilled in the art"

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Quality in the Laboratory
Record keeping

  1. Accuracy and Precision in measurement
  2. pH measurement (theory and practical)
  3. Buffers and buffer preparation
  4. Light and UV spectroscopy
  5. Construction and use of Standard curves
  6. Protein assay


  1. Measurement of weights and volumes
  2. Solution preparation: calculations and procedures
  3. Buffer preparation
  4. Maintenance and use of pH meters
  5. Precise and accurate use of micro pipette
  6. Validation of micro pipette accuracy and precision
  7. Spectrophotometer use
  8. Preparation of a standard curve
  9. Determination of protein concentration by assay
  10. Following established protocols
  11. Documentation of materials, procedures and instruments
  12. Data collection, representation and evaluation
  13. Cooperation in the laboratory environment

Additional skills specific to assessment task #5:
Plasmid purification Restriction digest of purified plasmid
Horizontal gel electrophoresis
Interpretation of gel patterns (and plasmid maps)