BISC209/F13: Assignment 209 Practical

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Wellesley College- BISC209 Microbiology- Fall 2013

Lab Practical

In Lab 10 you will have a LAB PRACTICAL, an exam that tests your ability to function as a microbiologist in the lab. There will be two main categories of assessment: testing practical skills such as your ability to perform crucial techniques (aseptic transfer, streaking for isolation, performing a Gram stain, micropipetting, etc.) and testing for your understanding of the biological basis behind the work that you've done this semester. For example: we might give you a starch plate flooded with iodine and ask you which, if any, of the bacteria forming colonies on that plate are capable of digesting starch, or ask how you would calculate prevalence of starch producers, or what metabolic enzyme is produced by these bacteria that allow that digestion and/or what is the ingredient in the medium that allows this evaluation?

Wondering how to study? A lot of what we will evaluate you on, you already know how to do. (You could probably do some of these techniques,such as streaking for isolation, in your sleep!) You do not have to memorize the steps for each procedure. You will have access to the directions that are printed in the wiki for performing techniques, such as Gram staining; however, you will not have access to how to read those tests or to the theoretical background information about those tests, such as the cell structural differences that the Gram stain uses as its differentiating principle. You should know that sort of information for each test. Study the background information found in the Protocols section of the wiki and in each lab description. The protocols for which you are responsible include ALL of those that you performed this semester. You should understand how to evaluate these tests (eg. differentiate a positive test from a negative test and how the tests work).

Don't forget the theory behind the molecular tools we used, including pcr, chain termination (Sanger) and Illuminaâ„¢ 16srRNA gene sequencing methods, the Maldi-TO Bio-Typerâ„¢, etc.. Both the technical aspects and the theory behind the molecule tools we used or that you described in your homework are fair material for this practical. Your homework assignment on the theory behind that work should be a good study guide. Study ALL of the background information in the wiki in LABS 1-8 and in the general information page for our project in the main menu.

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