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Biology Laboratory Techniques

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Hands on training[edit | edit source]

Biology is a hands on science, and biology students are usually required to spend some time in the laboratory.

The type of activities a student will perform vary depending on the exact field they are in. Plant geneticist, for example, sometimes spend time out in fields gathering plants, while molecular biologists may use complex equipment such as DNA sequencing machines. Even so, there are some basic techniques that all beginning lab students should understand.

Basic skills[edit | edit source]

  • Laboratory safety and understanding warning signs
  • Preparation of simple solutions
  • Sampling and preparation of samples
  • Dissection of plants and animals
  • How to clean glassware
  • Use of the dissecting scope
  • Use of the light microscope
  • Making accurate drawings of organisms
  • Using a Bunsen Burner

Advanced[edit | edit source]

Specialized work places will require other skills. Some skills suggested by subject.

Anatomy, Botany, and General Biology[edit | edit source]

  • Use of a microtome to make slides
  • staining techniques

Medical[edit | edit source]

  • Cell and tissue culture
  • Patient sample handling techniques
  • Making an accurate white blood cell count
  • Antibody testing methods such as ELISA
  • Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP)

.....This may also be appropriate under Microbiology

Microbiology[edit | edit source]

Molecular Biology[edit | edit source]

  • Cell Fractionation
  • DNA Extraction
  • RNA Extraction
  • Agarose Gel Electrophoresis
  • Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis
  • Western Blot
  • Northern Blot
  • Southern Blot
  • PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction)

Although books exist to teach these techniques, experienced lab workers have special tricks and techniques that they do not write down. That is why it is best to learn by studying with an experienced lab worker.

Sample template[edit | edit source]

Feel free to add a new entry using the sample template.