In RIBS, you will be exposed to many procedures used in molecular biology and microbiology labs. Some procedures are simple; others are complex and use state-of-the-art equipment. During the first week, we will introduce students to safe lab practice and to some common lab procedures. Over the four-week period, students will draw on these techniques repeatedly.
We begin the course with lab safety. In a research lab, you are likely to encounter chemicals that are hazardous. You will learn where to obtain information about chemicals and how to protect yourself from injury. We stress safe lab practices in RIBS. We require the use of protective equipment (gloves, lab coats, goggles, fume hoods) for any procedure involving hazards.
Students will learn how to use common lab equipment (micropipettors, balances, autoclaves, pH meters). Also, because you eventually need to make up solutions in a research lab, students will learn how to prepare solutions – from calculating how much of a reagent is needed to adjusting pH to sterilizing solutions.
Students spend a lot of time at the microscope in RIBS. We will teach you how to use a microscope “the right way”. Students will learn how to use and adjust several different types of microscopes (bright field, phase contrast, DIC, fluorescence, dissecting).
We will teach many of the standard techniques used routinely in microbiology laboratories. For example, students will learn sterile technique, how to isolate single colonies from a mixed population of bacteria, and how to work safely with bacterial isolates.