GENERAL LABORATORY DIRECTIONS
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. 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.
POLICY ON LATE ASSIGNMENTS AND LAB MAKE-UP:
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.
LABORATORY SAFETY RULES
The following rules must be observed for the safety and convenience of everyone working in the laboratory.
1. No mouth pipetting.
2. Coats and sweaters must be left outside the laboratory on the clothes rack provided.
3. Pencils, labels, or other materials should never be placed in your mouth.
4. Transfer needles and loops are sterilized by heating the entire length of the wire to redness before and after using. Spattering is avoided by first holding the needle above the flame.
5. If a culture is spilled, cover the area with towels and soak them with disinfectant. Notify your lab instructor immediately. Let the towels stand for half an hour. Place the contaminated materials in a container with disinfectant or in a plastic autoclave bag which can be sealed.
6. Cultures are never to be taken from the laboratory.
7. Inoculated media placed in the incubator must be properly labeled (i.e. with your name, date, and the nature of the specimen), and put on the assigned shelf.
8. Gas burners must be turned down or off when not in use during the laboratory period. Be sure that gas burners are turned off at the end of the laboratory period.
9. Eyepiece, lenses and objectives, as well as the microscope stage, should be clean before and after use. Lenses of the microscope must be wiped off with lens paper only (NO PAPER TOWELS OR KIMWIPES). Return microscopes to lockers at the end of lab.
10. All reagents and equipment should be returned to their proper place at the end of each laboratory period.
11. All used tubes, petri dishes, pipettes, etc. should be placed in designated receptacles at the end of the lab period. Please remove all labeling tape.
12. All non-contaminated waste material should be placed in wastebaskets, not left on benchtops or on the floor.
13. The laboratory desk top should be cleaned with a disinfectant at the beginning and at the end of each laboratory period.
14. Personal accidents, such as cuts and burns, must be reported immediately to your instructor - this is for your own safety.
15. Every student must wash her hands, with disinfectant if necessary, before leaving the laboratory.
16. Please wear a protective lab coat or apron when you are working with cultures. If possible, avoid wearing clothing with long, full sleeves to the laboratory.
17. Tie long hair back or put it up. If hair hangs loose, it becomes both a contamination and a fire hazard.
18. Decontaminate work surfaces at the beginning and end of each laboratory. Use the disinfectant provided in the laboratory.
19. Mix liquid cultures gently to avoid foaming and splashing, either of which may produce an aerosol of the bacterial culture.
20. Open cuts should be covered with bandages. If cuts are on the hands, it is advisable to wear disposable gloves.
21. Students who have suppressed immunity are urged to discuss your relevant medical history with your instructor, privately, before beginning this laboratory course.