Approved by Faculty Senate December 2, 2002
University Studies Course Approval
Department or Program: Biology
Course Number: BIOL 307
Number of Credits: 1
Course Title: Cell Biology Laboratory
Catalog Description: Cell Biology Laboratory-1 S.H. An experimental study of the cell as a biological unit. Use of histochemistry, spectrophotometry, electrophoresis, centrifugation, microscopy and statistics in the analysis of ultrastructure, macromolecular organization and function of cell components in plants and animals. Prerequisites: Biol 241, Biol 242, Biol 312, Biol 308 (or concurrent enrollment in 308), 310 (or concurrent registration in 310), and Chem 340. Offered yearly.
This is an existing course that has previously been approved by A2C2: Yes
This is a new course proposal: No.
Department contact Person for this course: Steven P. Berg
A2C2 requires 55 copies of the proposal
The proposed course is designed to satisfy the requirements in (select one area only):
Department Recommendation: Approved: ___X___ Disapproved _____ Date: 10/25/02
Dean's Recommendation: Approved Disapproved Date
USS Recommendation: Approved Disapproved Date
A2C2 Recommendation: Approved Disapproved Date
Faculty Senate Recommendation: Approved Disapproved Date
Academic Vice President's Recommendation: Approved Disapproved Date
President's Decision: Approved Disapproved Date
Material Submitted for Course Approval
Overview of BIOL 307: Cell Biology Laboratory: BIOL 307 is designed
to help second year biology majors develop their knowledge of and laboratory skills in
biology at a cellular and molecular level. This course serves as one of several foundation
courses and is a prerequisite for many other courses in the biology department. Normally
students take Biology 307 during their second year in the biology program. Virtually all
of the students taking Biology 307 have already taken Communication Studies 191. The oral
component in Cell Biology Laboratory is an important part of the class. Effective oral
communication skills are as critical to science students as there are to students of the
humanities. To that end, Biology 307 emphasizes the oral presentation of discipline
specific material as a significant portion of the required activities of the course.
Students give at least two presentations. Each presentation is evaluated both by the instructor and (annonymously) by the presenter's peers. The presenter receives copies
of the evaluation materials. The first presentation, together with the concomitant
evaluation, does not enter into the presenter's grade. Rather, the first presentation is
intended to help the presenting student improve their second presentation. The second
presentation is also evaluated both by the instructor
and by the students. The presenter receives copies of
all evaluation materials. The instructor's evaluation of the second presentation is used
to help determine the student's final grade in the class. The student evaluations will be
given to the presenter to allow improvement of oral presentations in other venues.
Syllabus for Cell Biology Laboratory 307
Spring 2003 Dr. Steven P. Berg, Instructor
Contact Dr. Steven Berg by email
|Students earning 90% or more of the points earned by the top student in the class will receive the grade of "A".|
|Students earning 80% or more of the points earned by the top student in the class will receive the grade of "B".|
|Students earning 70% or more of the points earned by the top student in the class will receive the grade of "C".|
|Students earning 60% or more of the points earned by the top student in the class will receive the grade of "D".|
|Students earning less than 60% of the points earned by the top student in the class will receive the grade of "F".|
|Instructor||Dr. Steven P. Berg|
|308 Lectures||MWF 3:00 to 3:50 p.m.|
|Laboratories||H 9-12 or H 2-5 or H 7-10 p.m.|
|Lab Manual||Individual exercises are available as MS Word documents. See the Schedule of Labs|
Back to Top of Page
Back to Top of Page
Project/Lab Report: The lab report should be written in the format and style and detailed in the handout. Since the report will be edited, it is recommended that the report be written with a word processor and that the graphs be done using a graphing program of some kind.
Lab Notebooks: In Cell Biology 307 you are expected to maintain a notebook as if you were practicing science in a research laboratory. This notebook will be of practical value to you because you will be allowed to use it when you write your laboratory exam. You will not be allowed to use any other materials. In addition, you may be modifying a number of procedures so that they are better suited to your situation and to the specific equipment at WSU. You will want to have any and all changes detailed in your notebook so that when you repeat a procedure the changes are readily available to you. Thus, it is in your interest to have as much detailed information as possible written down. Because this is a teaching situation, I will not allow any photocopied text in your notebook. In the research lab, photocopies are frequently used directly in lab notebooks. The exception to the no photocopy rule will be for the Phase Contrast Microscopy Lab. This lab should be printed and taped directly into your lab notebook as a handy reference whenever you need to use a microscope. However, be forewarned that there may be a closed book practical exam covering the proper utility of the phase contrast microscope. Photocopied images, prints of gels, printed graphs from your computer, etc. will be allowed throughout your notebook. In fact, you are encouraged to use the digital camera to capture images of your results and to place printed copies into your notebook for later reference. You are also encouraged to use the digital cameras connected to the microscope to collect images to place in your notebooks. You are further encouraged to do your graphing with a computer and place spreadsheets of data and printed graphs into your notebook.
For your notebook, I recommend that you use a cheap, spiral bound notebook, roughly 8 X 11 inches. Do not use a looseleaf notebook!
The format of your notebook should be as described below. For each laboratory exercise, you will want the following information carefully organized in your laboratory notebook:
Analysis of procedure
Answers to study questions from lab manual
Answers to additional study questions from instructor
After the lab final exam, you will turn in your notebook for evaluation. The lab notebook will be evaluated using a evaluation form something like the form detailed below. Note that only one randomly chosen lab will be evaluated in detail.
Notebook Evaluation Form
Cell Biology 307
The notebook for Cell Biology 307 is worth a maximum of 50 points. Students will be allowed to use their notebooks as tools when taking their laboratory exam. Thus, those students who put more effort into their notebooks will probably be rewarded with higher scores on their laboratory test. In addition, the notebooks will also be evaluated independently by randomly sampling and grading one or more labs as indicated below .
Notebook entry for each formal lab (3 points/lab * 8 labs = 24 points):
Study Questions answered for the randomly selected lab (10 points):
Required entries present for the randomly selected lab (1 point/item * 13 item = 13 points)
12 Analysis of procedure
13 Answers to study questions from lab manual
Overall Neatness and Organization (3 points)
Investigative Lab: Each student group will develop one or more scientific questions which can be answered using one or more of the techniques learned and practiced during the first half of the semester. The instructor may have to limit which techniques will be employed for logistical reasons. Student groups must make a scientific observation, develop a scientific question, explain the observation with an appropriate hypothesis, make an experimentally testable prediction based on the hypothesis, test the prediction by doing the experiment, record the results, interpret the results and explain the results as they relate to their hypothesis. Student groups should thoroughly discuss each aspect of the lab process. Groups should agree on the actual results collected, but they should not necessarily agree on the interpretation of the results. Differences in interpretation can be addressed in the discussion. Each group will work together to write a common lab report.
Group Size: Groups will normally be 2. Groups larger than 2 are discouraged must be approved in advance by the instructor. Groups larger than 2 will be expected to produce proportionately more data , to write proportionately longer, more detailed lab reports and to give longer, more detailed oral presentations.
Written Lab Report for the Investigative Lab: One thorough written report covering the investigative lab will be prepared by each group as a group effort. All members of the group will initially get the same credit for the report. However, the final points earned by an individual will be influenced by the evaluations submitted by peers. Because it is a group report, the report will be expected to withstand the highest level of editorial scrutiny. Reports should be carefully edited for proper English usage. Poor English usage will result in significant point deductions. See the Lab Report Grading Sheet.
The typed lab report must contain the following parts (shown in boldface
print). These parts should be clearly indicated in in the report with boldface print.
Title Page with the information below:
Title of Investigation
Names of students in the group
Course name and number
Day and Time of lab
Abstract: A succinct paragraph summarizing the major results and the discussion points of your paper. You should very briefly describe the experiments, the results and the conclusions. You should be very specific and concise. Make the abstract able to stand alone and still make sense to the reader. It is usually best to write the abstract AFTER completing the rest of your report. Do not copy any text from the lab manual or other sources and place it in your abstract. Write your own text.
Scientific Observation: Clearly state in one or two sentences the scientific observation made by your group. For example, a group might observe that a mouse dies after being bitten by a rattlesnake.
Scientific Question: Clearly state a single scientific question which arises from the scientific observation. In our rattlesnake example the group might ask, "Why did the mouse die after being bitten by the rattlesnake?"
Hypothesis: Clearly state the tentative hypothesis which could, if correct, explain the scientific observation and answer the scientific question raised by your group. The group might come up with the hypothesis that "Rattlesnakes inject toxic venom into mice during the biting process."
Prediction: Clearly state your experimental prediction in the form of "If hypothesis, then prediction of the experiment results. An example of a prediction based on the hypothesis above would be: "If rattlesnakes inject toxic venom into mice to kill them, then removal of the venom delivery apparatus (the fangs) should prevent the rattlesnake bite from delivering the venom to the mouse and causing the death of a mouse." In the prediction section, you will be actually predicting the outcome of the experiment upon which you are reporting.
Introduction: A few paragraphs which provide the background information necessary for a reader to understand what experiments were done and why they were done. The introduction should set the stage for your scientific arguments to follow. It places your work in a broad theoretical context and gives the reader enough information to appreciate your objectives. A good introduction "hooks" the readers, interesting them in the study. Usually, it is easiest to write the introduction AFTER you have completed the rest of the manuscript. Do not copy any text from the lab manual or other sources and place it in your Introduction. Write your own text.
Materials and Methods: A few paragraphs of text which provide enough information so that the experiments could be repeated by another individual. However, the Materials and Methods section should be as short as possible. Do not copy any text from the lab manual or other sources and place it in your materials and methods section. Write your own text.Materials: Give complete taxonomic information about all the organisms that you use. Specify how the organisms were obtained. Carefully, describe any laboratory equipment which you used, avoiding brand names unless absolutely necessary. Specify the composition, source and quantities of chemical substances, growth media, test solutions and so on. Because they are more widely understood, use generic rather than brand names. Methods: Describe the various procedures in detail. Do not forget crucial details such as temperature, pH, photoperiod, duration of observations, sampling dates, electrophoretic voltage, amperage and duration, electrophoretic standards used, etc. Organize the Materials and Methods section in some kind of logical order. Omit unnecessary information. Include only those procedures directly pertaining to the results which will be reported. Do not include superfluous details or asides. Do not refer the reader to any other section of the manuscript. The Materials and Methods section should stand alone. Again, do not copy any text or any procedures from the lab manual or other sources and place it in your materials and methods section. Write your own text.
Results: This is one of the most important sections of your paper and should be one of the longest parts. This section should have text specifically stating what you did and describing the results obtained in more detail. There should be explicit reference to each of your figures, tables, graphs, photographs, etc. Incorporate your Figures and Tables directly into your text whenever possible. You should summarize and illustrate your findings with appropriately labeled figures and tables. You should summarize the data, emphasizing important patterns and trends. You should illustrate and support your generalizations with explanatory details, statistic and examples of representative (or atypical) cases. Present your data in logical order. Often the best order is the order in which the experiments were done. However, this is not always the case. Use a logical order. Tell the story of your research efforts. Use the past tense. Do not do lengthy interpretation of the data. Do not compare your results with those of others in the results section. It is okay to draw conclusions immediately having stating the results, but avoid discussing the results relative to other work unless necessary. The results section should be a straightforward report of the data which you gathered. Integrate quantitative data with the text. If the results section includes tables, figures, photographs or diagrams, be sure to refer to each in the text, pointing out the most important information contained in the figure, table or photo. For example you might write, "Table 1 shows that all 13 rattlesnakes with surgically removed fangs were unable to kill a mouse with a single strike, while 7 of 10 control rattlesnakes were successful at killing a mouse with one strike." Omit peripheral information and unnecessary details. All figures and tables should be labeded and numbered. There should be a legend to help the reader understand the figure or table. Figures, such as those with several lanes or wells, should have the lanes and wells clearly identified and labeled. Do not copy any text from the lab manual or other sources and place it in your results section. Write your own text.
Discussion: Summarize and interpret all your results, supporting your conclusions with the experimental evidence. In the results section you reported your findings; now you need to tell the reader what you think your findings mean. Do the data support your original hypothesis? Why or why not? Refer to your data, citing figures and tables when necessary. If possible relate your work and findings to those of others. Do not present every conceivable explanation, just those which are most important. Recognize the importance of "negative" results. Do not expect that your hypothesis will be supported. Usually in science they are not. Make your prose convey confidence and authority, but do not overstate your findings. Remember to use coherent logical organization. Never use phrases like "Our results proved......" or " We proved our hypothesis to be true." In science, experimental results "support" or "do not support" the hypothesis. NOTHING is "proven" and NOTHING is "true". Do not copy any text from the lab manual or other sources and place it in your discussion section. Write your own text.
References: If appropriate, provide a citation in a consistent standard format. It is usually best to list the references in alphabetical order according to the last name of the first author as indicated in the example below.
ReferencesAbelson, A., Olson, S., and Smith, W., (1993) Surgical removal of fangs has little effect on the first strike killing capacity of Biggus pythonius. J. Herpetol. Res. 343:213-226.
Jefferson, P., (1993) Personal communication.
Zilchus, Zachary (1993) "Oral surgery in reptiles" in Snake Venoms (Stockton and Thornber, eds) Plenum Press, New York, pp 56-89.
Evaluations: Each member of the group MUST evaluate themselves as well as each
member of the group. Each member of the group MUST use the "Evaluation Form" and submit
their evaluation to the instructor.
Oral Presentations: The oral presentations in Cell Biology 307 are worth 50 points. Students have at least two opportunities to make oral presentations. The first presentation describes what the students plan to do for their independent investigation. This first presentation focuses on the initial parts of the scientific process including the scientific question, the testable hypothesis and the proposed experiments and/or observations that are intended test the hypothesis. Possible experimental results are discussed in the context of support for the testable hypothesis. The oral presentation and the proposed independent investigation must use all the conventions of evidence, format, usage and documentation appropriate to the discipline of cell biology. The first presentation will be evaluated, but not graded. The evaluations, both by the instructor and by the other students in the class, will be given to the presenter as a means of providing feedback that will allow the second, graded, presentation to be an improvement over the first presentation. In the second presentation, the students present their actual independent investigation. This longer, more detailed presentation reiterates the process of science components (scientific question, testable hypothesis, experimental tests) from the first presentation but then goes beyond by presenting the actual results obtained along with the analysis and discussion of the results in the context of the available literature. The second presentation will also be evaluated by both the instructor and by the other students in the class. The instructor will grade the second presentation. There will be a strict time limit on both presentations. The presentations should use appropriate supporting media such as power point or overheads.