20.109(F08): Assignments

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20.109(F08): Laboratory Fundamentals of Biological Engineering

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DNA Engineering        Protein Engineering        Biomaterials Engineering              

Layout of the class

You will perform three series of experiments (called “modules”) over the course of the semester. The modules differ in length and in the ways you will be assessed. The experiments and your assignments are:

Module Topic Assignment % of Final Grade
1 DNA Engineering lab report 20
"P3" 5
2 Protein Engineering research article 25
3 Biomaterial engineering oral presentation of research idea + written text 20
Journal Club Module 2 or 3 oral presentation 10

You will be working as pairs throughout the semester, but you will submit individual lab reports and give individual oral presentations.

In addition to the assignments listed above there will be

  • Daily Lab Quizzes (5% of final grade)
    • These are intended to refresh your memory about the experiment you are performing. They will not be hard and should take no more than 5 minutes at the beginning of lab.
  • Homework Assignments (10% of final grade)
    • These will vary considerably in content and points associated with each assignment. You may be asked to perform a calculation, draw a conclusion, and/or make a figure using the data you have collected. The homeworks can be found in the "for next time" section of each lab day. You can work with your lab partner, friends and teaching assistants on these assignments but you will hand in individual assignments.
  • Laboratory Notebooks (5% of final grade)
    • You will record your data on the white pages of a bound notebook. The yellow, duplicate pages will be collected and evaluated by the teaching assistants. Guidelines for notebook keeping are here.

Late work will be penalized 1/3 of a letter grade for each day late and will not be accepted after a week.

Lab Attendance

Lab attendance is mandatory and there are no make-up labs. A family crisis or severe illness requiring attention from the infirmary and prohibiting you from all your coursework are acceptable reasons for missing lab and every effort will be made to accommodate you in these exceptional circumstances.


DNA engineering lab report guidelines
DNA engineering P3 guidelines
Protein engineering research article guidelines
Research proposal guidelines

General guidelines for writing up your research
General guidelines for giving scientific talks

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