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20.109(S13): Laboratory Fundamentals of Biological Engineering

Home        Schedule Spring 2013        Assignments       
DNA Engineering        Protein Engineering        Cell Engineering              

Welcome and Details for Spring 2013

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 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.

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.


  • T/R proteoglycan and collagen data is now posted on the M3D7 Talk page. Lots of the ELISA data looks good -- a couple of groups even appear to be in the saturated region of the standard curve for their samples! AgiStachowiak 19:09, 7 May 2013 (EDT)
  • Agi will return to her default OH schedule for this week, Monday 3:30-4:30 pm, but *in 56-322* this time.
  • Reminder: the Module 2 report is now due by 5 pm Tuesday for T/R section, and 5 pm Wednesday for W/F section. AgiStachowiak 21:48, 22 April 2013 (EDT)
    • You can also gain one penalty-free late day by visiting a Writing Fellow and having them confirm that visit with your section instructor.
    • Good luck! Get some sleep before culture day :)
  • W/F pre-lab lectures + experimental design will occur at 10am and 3pm tomorrow (Monday, 4/22) in the 109 lab.
  • Agi will be on campus for her scheduled Sunday office hours, 2-4 pm in 16-336 (04/21).
  • Shannon's office hours for Saturday (4/20) have changed to Monday (4/22) from 7-10pm.
  • Dear students -- I hope that you and your loved ones are all safe today. As planned, I will have M2D6 FNTs for both T/R and W/F sections available for pick-up tomorrow (Tuesday): please knock at 56-338 (lab TC room) between 11-11:30 am, or at my office (16-319) between 4-5 pm. (M2D7 FNTs will most likely not be available until Wednesday, time TBD.) AgiStachowiak 21:25, 15 April 2013 (EDT)
  • All M2 data is now posted for W/F section! Gels are on the M2D7 Talk page, and titration files are on the M2D8 Talk page. AgiStachowiak 16:31, 11 April 2013 (EDT)
  • W/F folks -- I sent a link to a doodle poll for votes on OH before the Mod2 report is due. Please respond asap and I'll set them tomorrow in class. If any T/R 109'ers are also interested, send me an email and I'll send you the link. Thanks! Shannon
  • All M2 data is now posted for T/R section! Gels are on the M2D7 Talk page, and titration files are on the M2D8 Talk page. AgiStachowiak 15:47, 10 April 2013 (EDT)
  • Shannon's Tuesday, April 9th OH will be from 7:30-8:30pm in the lab.
  • To those who may have looked ahead: final changes to M2D7 have been made.
  • Agi's Monday, April 8th OH will be from 3-4 pm in room 16-319.
  • Hi, T/R folks -- ALL of you got at least 2 colonies on your experimental mutant plates, and some of you got many more than that! Congrats. AgiStachowiak 16:19, 20 March 2013 (EDT)

  • You can find old announcements here