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20.109(S11): Laboratory Fundamentals of Biological Engineering

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Spring 2010

Instructors: Jacquin Niles, Ron Weiss, and Agi Stachowiak

Writing Instructor: Neal Lerner, Linda Sutliff
Oral Presentation Instructor: Atissa Banuazizi

TAs: Carrie Thompson, Adrian Randall, Han-Hwa Hung

Lecture: T/R 11-12 (4-237)
Lab: T/R 1-5 or W/F 1-5 (56-322)

Welcome to 20.109! For many 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 your data. All of us involved in teaching 20.109 hope you will find it a satisfying challenge and an exciting experience that has lasting value.


  • The FNT (or essentially lack thereof) for Day 6 has been finalized here.
  • For the Module 2 modeling, it turns out that Figures 3 and 4 are redundant with Figures 1 and 2, and can be omitted.
  • W/F folks, your Day 7 β-gal data is posted on that Talk page. On the Day 8 Talk page, you should eventually list your results.AgiStachowiak 21:03, 6 April 2011 (EDT)
  • T/R folks, your Day 7 β-gal data is posted on that Talk page. On the Day 8 Talk page, you should eventually list your results.
  • A few important announcements:
    • On Day 8, we will meet in 16-336, not in the lab.
    • Remember that you cannot use images that are not your own unless we specify otherwise. For Module 2, there is not much to be learned by making new schematics of the genetic circuits, as you already did this (for some of them) by hand on Day 1. You may use/modify those from the Tabor lab and the wiki if you want to include them in your report.
    • Re: methods, note that a SpectraMax M3 plate reader by Molecular Devices was used for your β-gal assays.
  • Module 2, Day 7 journal article assignments are now posted within that day's Protocol section. AgiStachowiak 13:18, 3 April 2011 (EDT)
    • The rest of the Protocol will be posted most likely tonight, certainly by Monday night.
  • Recall that Monday there will be office hours from 4-5 pm.

  • You can find old announcements here