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20.109(S12): Laboratory Fundamentals of Biological Engineering

Home        Schedule Spring 2012        Assignments       
RNA Engineering        Protein Engineering        Cell Engineering              

Welcome and Details for Spring 2012

Lecture: T/R 11-12 (4-237)
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 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 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.

Orientation and Safety Material

On the first day of 20.109, you will take an interactive tour to get up to speed on the basics of working in a lab. The lab tour is linked here. You should also carefully read the general lab policy, which broadly covers dos and don'ts specific to our class.

Later in the semester, you will want to read guidelines for working in the tissue culture facility. Stay tuned!

At any time you can refer the guidelines on using personal protective equipment developed by the Environmental Health and Safety Office (EHS) at MIT: one on eye protection (PDF download) and one on wearing lab coats (PDF download).

Finally, you can learn how to best contribute to the class wiki at the linked OWW in 20.109 page.


  • W/F ELISA data is posted now on the M3D7 Talk page. The O/N CN II data looks quite good, actually.
  • T/R ELISA data is posted now on the M3D7 Talk page, including CN II runs after overnight incubation for Red, Orange, and Blue groups. Please all see what parts of your data are usable, and do talk about at least the CN I data in your report, with caveats. AgiStachowiak 10:52, 9 May 2012 (EDT)
  • Mod 1 revisions were returned to T/R section just now and will be returned to W/F section tomorrow by mid-day. AgiStachowiak 20:52, 3 May 2012 (EDT)
  • T/R section: I peeked at your qPCR curves before leaving MIT today, and as a whole, they look good! I look forward to seeing your analyses. AgiStachowiak 20:52, 3 May 2012 (EDT)
  • Reminder: office hours will be held Tuesday and Wednesday this week in 16-336 from 12:45-4:00 pm. The Day 7 analysis protocol and code is now fully updated.
  • PAGE images are now posted on the Mod 2, Day 6 Talk page.
  • T/R folks, you all(*) got colonies after your BL21 transformation! I meant to mention this happy news sooner.
    • (*)Including the group who left their plates outside the incubator. We moved them for you in the morning and you already have nice colonies growing.
  • The Day 3 FNT is now revised. AgiStachowiak 11:01, 23 March 2012 (EDT)
  • You can find old announcements here