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20.109(F14): Laboratory Fundamentals of Biological Engineering

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Welcome and Details for Fall 2014

Lecture: T/R 11-12 (16-220)
Lab: T/R 1-5 or W/F 1-5 (56-322)
People: Instructor and student web pages may be found at the linked People page.

Welcome to 20.109! For some of you this will be the first time in a research lab and for others it will not; either way, it is our goal to make this class a useful and fun introduction to experiments and techniques in biological engineering. There is not time enough to show you everything you’ll need to know if you go on to do research, but after taking this class you should feel confident and familiar with some fundamental experimental approaches and lab protocols. You will develop good habits at the bench, ones that will increase the likelihood of success in your work and ensure the health and safety of you and those around you. By the end of the semester, you should also be aware of good scientific practice, having had some experience with report writing, notebook keeping, and publicly presenting data and your ideas. All of us involved in teaching 20.109 hope you will find it a satisfying challenge and an exciting experience that has lasting value.


  • Updated M2 research article guidelines are here and here. Please read these...
  • Note: The second Journal Club day in Module 2 (M2D8) will be held on Thu/Fri Oct 30/31 and our last day of experiments in Module 2 (M2D7) will occur on Tues/Wed Nov4/5. (SKH 100914)
  • You can find the Leslie's slides about figure construction on her People page. (SKH 091614)
  • Part 6 of the FNW due on M1D6 have been cut; we will not be reading the Takeda paper this year. (ANS 092614)
  • The quiz scheduled for M1D6 has been postponed until M1D7. (SKH 092914)

Office Hours for Fall 2014

  • Shannon:
    • Friday, 10am in 16-429b
    • Monday, 3pm in 16-429b
    • For Mod2 Journal Club: Sunday (10/19) in Simmons Rm 528, Monday (10/20) 3-5pm in 16-429b.
    • Research Proposals: Normal OH + Sunday (12/7) in 56-302 from 4-6pm
  • Agi:
    • By appointment for rest of semester in 16-319.
  • Noreen
    • Monday, 11am in 16-429b
    • Wednesday, 1pm in 16-429b
    • For Mod1 Reports: Wednesday (10/8) 1-3pm in 16-429b
    • Research Proposals: Monday (12/8) in 16-429b from 10am-noon


Data can be beautiful. Our cover image ('Protein Supernova') was created in Matlab by Dr. Joel Wagner, a former Course 20 PhD graduate student who found that sometimes innocent mistakes in coding can lead to beautiful data representation. Feel free to link your Datart here.