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Wellesley College-BISC 209 Microbiology -Spring 2010

Welcome to Microbiology Spring 2010

Lecture: SC268
T/F 8:30-9:40 Irene Newton

Laboratory Instructors: Tucker Crum and Janet McDonough

Labs: L302- Tues. 12:30-4 McDonough; Wed. 2:15-5:45 Crum

The labs for BISC 209, Microbiology, are designed to familiarize you with how research investigation in microbiology is designed, performed and communicated. Over the course of the semester, you will investigate the diversity and identity of enviromental microbes and assess their impact. Your job will be to think like microbiologists when designing and executing experiments to identify and characterize bacteria from the soil. Your instructor does not know what's in the specimen you will collect; therefore, the successful outcome of the investigation is in your hands alone. You will learn to take ownership of the project, perform the experiments properly, keep good records of your results, and to communicate effectively the results and conclusions of your work, both orally and in written reports.

These are ambitious goals for an introductory microbiology course. Since this course only has one prerequisite, BISC110, we expect that some of you will have had extensive experience in cellular biology and research investigation, but that just as many of you will have had little previous investigative research experience or related course work. Our goal is to bring everyone up to a working level of expertise in the tools and techniques of microbiologists and then to build our invesgation from there.


1. Please familiarize yourself in advance with the exercise(s) to be performed. Before coming to lab each week, read thoroughly the exercise and any accompanying technical material. In your lab notebook outline or create a flow chart of any experimental procedures to be performed, leaving blank space for rethinking or reworking each.

2. Your instructor will give preliminary instructions and/or demonstrations at the beginning of each lab. Please make sure that you understand the purpose and execution of each exercise and ask any clarifying questions at that time. Do not attempt to start work before receiving instructions.

3. Accurate and detailed results are to be recorded in a lab notebook. Draw all of your microscopic findings. In making your drawings, do not attempt to draw everything in the microscopic field; simply select a few representative specimens (i.e. a few cells), their arrangements or relevant sub-structures and label everything clearly, including total magnification, how the specimen was processed, and the goal of the procedure. Please keep your lab notebook up to date and be prepared to hand it in at any time.

4. Creating a permanent slide collection is helpful. Save a representative slide in your slide box after each exercise that includes staining or microsopy. Make sure all your slides are properly labeled. This collection will prove useful in reviewing or analyzing the body of your work.


Make up of laboratory work is very difficult and must be avoided except for extreme illness or serious family emergeny.

All late work and missed examinations, whether or not excused, must be submitted within the week. All late work is subject to a penalty of 5% per day late and is not accepted for point credit after one week.
Good luck

Links to Labs

Lab 1
Lab 2
Lab 3
Lab 4
Lab 5
Lab 6
Lab 7
Lab 8
Lab 9
Lab 10
Lab 12