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Wellesley College-BISC 209 Microbiology -Spring 2011

Welcome to Microbiology Spring 2011

Lecture: Room TBA
Day/Time: Tues/Fri 8:30-9:50am

Professor: Irene Newton

Laboratory Instructors: Tucker Crum and Janet McDonough
Lab Prep: Sherly Veeraragavan

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

The labs for BISC 209, Microbiology, are designed to familiarize you with how research investigation in microbiology is designed, performed, analyzed, and communicated. Over the course of the semester, you will explore the diversity of enviromental microbes and assess their impact in their community. 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 project is in your hands alone. You will learn to work as a microbiologist, to perform the experiments properly, keep good records of your results, and to articulate the findings and conclusions from 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 come into the course with extensive experience in cellular biology and research investigation, while others have had little related experience or course work. Our goal is for everyone to end the course equally comfortable and facile with the tools and techniques of investigative microbiology.


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

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

3. Accurate and detailed descriptions of your investigation and your results are to be recorded in a lab notebook. Draw or take photographs of all of your microscopic findings. In making drawings, do not attempt to draw everything in the microscopic field; simply select a few representative specimens (e.g. a few cells), highlighting whatever is relevant, such as their arrangements or sub-structures. Be sure to label everything clearly: include the total magnification, how the specimen was processed, and give the goal of the procedure. Please keep your lab notebook up to date and be prepared to show it to your instructor at any time.

4. Creating a slide collection is helpful in multi-week projects. Save a representative slide in your slide box after any staining or microscopic analysis. Make sure all your slides are properly labeled.


Make up of laboratory work in another lab section is not possible.

All late assignments, whether or not excused, must be submitted within a 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