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Wellesley College

BISC110/112- Introduction to Cell Biology- Spring 2011


Spring 2011

Lecture Sections:
BISC110 Section 1 M/Th 9:50-11 Jennifer Hood-DeGrenier
BISC110 Section 2 T/F 9:50-11 Kim O'Donnell
BISC112 Section 1 T 9:50-11 Irene Newton
BISC112 Section 2 M 11:10-12:20 Michelle Labonte
BISC112 Section 3 F 9:50-11 Irene Newton

Laboratory Instructors: Jocelyne Dolce, Vachik Hacopian, Melissa Beers, Michelle LaBonte

Labs: M 1:30-5 Dolce; T 12:30-4 Hacopian; W 8:30-12:00 Labonte; W 2:15-5:45 Dolce; Th 1-4:30 Dolce; Th 6:30-10 Hacopian; F 1-4:30 Beers

Welcome to BISC 110/112 LAB
Please complete a brief exit survey DURING or AFTER the practical. The survey is found at: . The survey will be open through May 7th at noon.

The labs for BISC 110/112 are designed to familiarize you with how experimental science is designed, performed and how it is communicated. Over the course of the semester, you will be designing and performing experiments that reinforce concepts covered in the lecture portion of the class. Your job will be to think like scientists when designing experiments to answer hypothesize driven questions about basic cellular processes. You will learn to perform the experiments properly, to keep good records of your results, and to communicate the results and conclusions of your work, both orally and in written reports.

These are ambitious goals for an introductory class such as BISC 110/112. Many of you will be starting this class with a strong background in biology and in lab work, but just as many of you will have had little previous training in biology and in performing experiments. The labs for this class are designed to bring everyone in the class to a working level of expertise and then to build from there.

The laboratory part of the course can be divided into sections of several labs each.

Schedule of Experiments

Section Lab # Activities
1 1-5 Boot Camp: Metric Measurement; Using Basic Lab Equipment; Making Solutions and Dilutions; Microscopy; Scientific Investigation; Designing & Executing Experiments; Data Analysis & Display; Statistical parameters; Scientific Writing
2 6-7 Genetics: DNA extraction, Visualization by agarose gel electrophoresis; Genotype/phenotype via Taster SNP data collection and analysis
3 8-10 Photosynthesis: Extraction of photosynthetic pigments; Spectrophotometry: Beer-Lambert Law, Linear regression analysis; Hill Reaction: Self-designed investigation of factors affecting photosystems
4 11 Gene Regulation/Enzymology: Invertase enzyme assay
Lab Practical 12 Hands-on skills assessment:

Lab attendance is MANDATORY. Severe illness or serious family crisis, are the only permissible excuses for missing lab. Your lab instructor must be notified IN ADVANCE if you must miss lab and we are unable to offer a lab "make-up" in another section or on your own even if you miss lab because of illness or emergency. Do not schedule interviews, doctor appointments or other activities during lab time. Some experiments take more than one lab to complete. This makes it very disruptive to miss lab, particularly for your partner. For all wet lab work, you will be working with a partner. Your instructor may rotate partners during the semester to give you an opportunity to work with several people in the class.

There will be assignments for you to complete after most lab periods. Assignments are to be turned in at the beginning of the lab on the due date. It is your responsibility to turn in your assignment on time. “I forgot to give it to you” is not a valid excuse for handing in an assignment late. Assignments will be graded by your lab instructor, and will be penalized 5% a day for each day they are late. Work that is one week late or later will not be given any credit.

To pass BISC 110/112 you will have to pass both the lecture and the lab section of the class, so you are strongly encouraged to turn in all your lab assignments.

You are expected to keep a lab notebook in which you can keep track of your experimental procedures, record all your data, and perform calculations. These notebooks will be collected.

We sincerely hope that you will find your introduction to cell biology an interesting and rewarding experience. As always, we would appreciate your comments and suggestions as to how to improve the program. The exit survey can be found at

Welcome to the lab!

Your BISC 110/112 Instructors