Syllabus 32004

CHEM 32004 Biochemistry Laboratory Syllabus


This class is worth 2 credits and the grade you receive will be strictly based on your work in the lab. It is not tied to the Biochemistry lecture if you are taking that class as well.


The breakdown of your grade for this class is as follows:


Grades on Lab Reports


Lab Performance




Grades on Lab Reports


There are 8 total lab reports that will be due throughout the semester.


Each one is due the week following completion of the lab. You must printout a paper copy of the lab and hand it in at the beginning of class. You are also required to e-mail an electronic copy of the report to your instructor and Prof. Calhoun.


Each lab report will be graded out of a possible 10 points with the exception of the final report which is graded out of 20 for a total of 90 points.


The requirements for each lab report will be discussed by your instructor in class and a template will be found in the manual, at the end of each lab.


There will also be one opportunity to make-up one lab report that you received a grade of less than 8 on. You will be able to re-write the repot for an improved grade.


The grading breakdown for each lab report is as follows:



Abstract           10 %

Introduction     15 %

Methods          10 %

Results             30 %

Discussion       30 %


Reference         5 %

Total                100 %



Lab Performance


10% of your grade are based on overall lab performance.


This is graded based on your preparedness, attendance, experimental techniques and adherence to the safety rules.


Points will be deducted if you fail to follow safety rules, instructions, or being uncooperative during each lab class.



Your attendance for this class is mandatory. Unexcused absence from this lab will result in a 0 grade for that lab. If you know in advance that you will not be able to attend class on a certain date, please notify your instructor as soon as this becomes apparent. We will make arrangements for you attend another lab during that week. If you are sick with a doctor’s note we will try to fit you into another lab that week if possible. If not, we discuss this on a case by case basis. You are not allow to attend lab on a different day just because you want to or your friend is in that lab. Each lab is at maximum capacity and we can only add people to a class when absolutely necessary.


Safety Agreement and Equipment Breakage


You must read and sign the safety agreement safety agreement on the first day of class. Please fill up the breakage form. You and your group member are responsible for any equipment breakage during each lab. You will be billed for any equipment breakage or damage during the semester at check out. Payment are accepted only by personal check or money order at the Chemistry Department office (MR 1024) within 10 days. If bill is not paid, your registration for next semester will be blocked and/or your degree will be withheld.

Format of Lab Reports


A written report is required for each experiment within one week after you are scheduled to have finished the experimental work according to the schedule in this manual. Use the following format for the reports.


  1. Title Page


  1. Title of experiment
  2. Your name
  3. Course name and Name of instructor
  4. Due date of experiment


  1. Abstract (10 %)


An abstract is a concise summary of the experiment. It should be a short paragraph (100-200 words) that includes background, purpose, methodology, key findings (result and significance) and conclusions of your experiment. These information should be clear for everyone and give them an idea about your lab report.


  1. Introduction (1-2 paragraphs) (15%)


Briefly describe the background and theories of the experiment (based on your literature work), what you expect to happen when you do the experiment and why. This is where you should state clearly the purpose of your experiment. (Ask yourself what you are expected to learn from each part of the experiment). Most of this information can be obtained from your textbook or search the internet by key words. It is best to write this part of the report before you start the experiment. You should document that you have studied the appropriate chapters of your textbook, and any other literature you need, in order to understand the experiment before you attempt to do it in the lab.


IV.       Experimental (10%)


  1. Materials and reagents
  2. Equipment (major)
  3. Procedures (in your own words)


  1. Results and Calculations (30%)


This section will contain all figures, tables, graphs, sample calculations and experimental results. Be sure to describe all result in words as well as graphical interpretation.


VI.       Discussion (30%)


  1. Conclusions
  2. Significance of your results


  1. Was the original objective achieved? (If not, why?)
  2. Discussion of possible errors (If it’s human error, be specific. How did this affect your results?)


This is where you attempt to convince the reader that you understand all parts of the experiment (you have done your homework), that you did the experiment properly and that your data and the conclusions you draw from that data are reliable. You should explain your data in terms of the appropriate theory. Be sure to address any differences between your results and the expected results, any errors, etc. You may also include ideas, hypothesis, opinions, etc, in this section. This is one of those times when you want to emphasize the strong points and minimize the weak points so be sure that you point out everything you did “right” and what you learned from the experiment. If anything went wrong, that also needs to be explained.


VI. Acknowledgements/References (5%)


Although you are working in pairs, and you should discuss your experiments with each other, you should write your reports individually. Thus, you should be the only author of your report. Assistance from your lab partners can be acknowledged in the acknowledgments section. Cite at least three scientific references for each lab report (you can also include your lab manual and text book). All citations should be in a proper format.

General Laboratory Rules


All of the following rules will be followed at all times you are in the laboratory.


  1. Attendance is Mandatory!! Lab sections will meet only at the scheduled times. Be on time! There will be no makeup sessions, so plan to use all of your available time effectively. If you do, you will have plenty of time to finish all of the required experiments, and to repeat some of the experiments you may not have done correctly the first time.


  1. You must have a lab notebook to record all data. Instructor will check all data you get in the experiment. You may repeat experiment if you are not sure about your results, but you must record all data in your lab notebook.



  1. Use distilled water from your wash bottle for the final rinse of glassware that has previously been washed and rinsed with tap water. Use distilled water to prepare all solutions requiring water even when the directions only specify water.


  1. Never assume glassware or other materials are clean unless they are so marked.


  1. Label all of your solutions and reagents to avoid mix up. The label should have the name or the formula of the material in the container, the date and your initials as a minimum.


  1. Keep all concentrated acids and bases in the fume hoods. When you need to use dilute acids or bases, take your clean container to the hood, pour out the amount of the concentrated reagent you need, dilute it in the hood and dilute them before disposal in the sink.


  1. The equipment, glassware and supplies you will be using in this course are very expensive. You are responsible for all breakage of glassware and for any other damages. You will need to fill out a breakage log form for any breakage.


  1. It is essential that you keep all common work areas (such as fume hoods, balance areas, etc.) and your work area clean. Anyl spills should be cleaned up and reported to your instructor immediately. You should assume that all horizontal surfaces are contaminated with a corrosive and will destroy your clothing if you sit or rest your arms on them. Do not put your personal belongings such as bags and jackets on any lab bench. Allow time to clean up at the end of each lab period.


  1. You should be THOROUGHLY FAMILIAR WITH EACH EXPERIMENT BEFORE YOU START IT in the laboratory. You should know all of the chemical reactions and why each reagent is being used. You should continuously observe each experiment for reasonable properties and consult your instructor if anything looks strange or is unexpected. You can usually obtain this knowledge by reading the appropriate chapter in your textbook, the related parts of the references in this manual, and most important by studying the experiment itself while asking yourself about each step.


  1. Your instructor will discuss the grading standards for each lab. Please discuss with your instructor with any concern about each lab report by the end of each lab session. It is non-negotiable after you receive the grade for each lab report.


Lab Schedule:







Introduction to Biochemistry Lab



Protein Assay



Titration of Amino Acids




No Lab



Purification of an Enzyme (Part 1)



Purification of an Enzyme (Part 2)



Protein Gel Electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE)



UV-Vis Spectrophotometry



Catalase Activity



Biological Catalysis



Plasmid DNA Isolation



Enzyme Digestion and PCR




No Lab



DNA Gel Electrophoresis, Check Out





Last Updated: 03/27/2018 15:38