Welcome to Biochemistry Lab! Che51-571: General Biochemistry I laboratory Fall 2004 Instructors

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General Biochemistry I Laboratory Manual

Fall 2004

Welcome to Biochemistry Lab!

CHE51-571: General Biochemistry I Laboratory

Fall 2004

Instructors: Dr. Kerry Bruns Dr. Maha Zewail Foote

Office: FJSH 316 FJSH 317

Email: brunsk@southwestern.edu footezm@southwestern.edu

Phone: 863-1628 863-1627

Web page: www.southwestern.edu/~brunsk www.southwestern.edu/~footezm

Class time: W 2-6 OR Th 1-5; FJS 245 T 1-5, FJS 245

Objective: These laboratory procedures are designed to introduce students to the essential concepts and methods of experimental biochemistry.

Text book: Biochemical Techniques: Theory and Practice, by Robyt and White

Required material: Scientific calculator, hard-bound composition notebook, lab coat, and safety glasses.
Attendance policy: At the beginning of the laboratory session, the instructor will lecture on some background information, safety, important concepts, and answer questions. Due to safety concerns, if you miss the pre-laboratory lecture, you will not be able to perform the experiment for that day and will receive a zero for that assignment.
If you miss a laboratory period due to an emergency, notify the Office of Academic Services as soon as possible, who will in turn notify me. You must make arrangements with the instructor to make-up that work as soon as possible during a scheduled meeting of CHE51-571. However, if you miss a laboratory session because of an unexcused absence, the grade for that lab report will be a zero. If you miss more than three labs, you will be asked to drop the course, or will be given a grade of ‘F’ in the course.
Laboratory notebook: To facilitate completion of the experiment, assure your success, and optimize laboratory safety, read the assignment before the laboratory period to familiarize yourself with the techniques, experimental procedure, and theory of the experiment. Prior to attending lecture, you must have written in your notebook the date, title of the experiment, objectives, and a summary of the procedure (in your own words), and answers to pre-laboratory questions. During lab, you must record the results in tabular form, and record any important observations or deviations from the protocol. Before turning in your notebook, include any graphs, write a discussion and conclusion, and answer the questions at the end.
Grading: Your lab grade will be determined by your performance in the laboratory (from your analysis of unknowns, your observance of safety regulations, etc.) and the quality of your lab notebooks (legibility, organization, and answers to end-of-lab questions). Your reports will be made in your lab notebooks. The notebooks will be submitted for grading by the afternoon following your lab session. The write-ups will include a title, a brief introduction, a description of your procedures, the data you collect, and your conclusions. There will also be some questions given with the lab handouts that you should answer (in your own words) at the end of your reports. Each lab is worth 10 points; there are 110 points possible for the semester. Your grade will be lowered by one letter grade for each day the lab report is late.
Percentage of total points

A 90-100

B 80-89

C 70-79

D 60-69

F 59 and below

Final letter grades may be reported with a plus or minus. See SU Catalog for details.
Safety: The lab is a place for learning new analytical techniques and for reinforcing ideas you've learned through your readings and in lecture. Your learning experience here should be enjoyable, but you must keep in mind that there are some rules of safety that you must strictly obey. Biochemistry labs have some peculiar hazards of which you must be aware. Cautions concerning these special hazards will be given at the beginning of lab sessions. Even though the biochemistry lab may have some new or different hazards, the old safety rules listed here serve well to keep you from being harmed:
1. When the lab instructor or lab assistant addresses the class, your undivided attention is required. Instructions regarding your safety may be given at the beginning of the session or during the progress of the lab.
2. There is absolutely no food or drink allowed in lab.
3. You must know the contents of all bottles and test tubes at your lab work station.
4. Never dispense anything from a reagent bottle without reading its label.
5. Never perform any unapproved experiments.
6. Always clean up spills immediately and always leave your work area clean at the end of the lab period.
7. Report any injury or potentially dangerous situations to the lab instructor.

  1. Wear proper protective clothing and eye protection in the laboratory.

Accommodations for students with disabilities: Southwestern University is committed to making reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. Students with disabilities should register with the office of Academic Services. I must then be officially notified by the Academic Services Coordinator that documentation is on file at least two weeks before the accommodation is needed.

Academic Honesty: All work within this course is covered by the Southwestern University honor system as described in the Student Handbook. The lab reports in this course are individual assignments, not group assignments.

Lab Notebook Format

A bound notebook should be used for the pre-lab assignments. Results, observations, deviations from the protocol, and mistakes should be directly recorded into the lab notebook. Writing your results on scrap paper, and then recording it in your notebook later is not acceptable. In addition to your procedure and results, record your thoughts regarding the experiment. Write everything down! Your lab notebook should be a scientific diary.

Here are some guidelines to maintaining a laboratory notebook:

  1. Leave the first two pages blank and use them for a Table of Contents. Update the Table of Contents for each experiment.

  2. Start each lab session with a new page

  3. Use ink only

  4. Cross out mistakes with a single line. NEVER use white out.

  5. All measurements must include units

  6. Graphs are titled and axis labeled

  7. Tape (do not staple) pictures, graphs, etc. into your notebook.

  8. All pages in notebook are dated and numbered

  9. Pages cannot be removed from notebook

  10. Show all work for every calculation

  11. Record all data and report derived values in significant figures.

  12. Data must be in tabular form with a descriptive title.

Pre-Laboratory Assignment

For each experiment there will be a pre-laboratory assignment that will be due at the beginning of the laboratory period. Include the following:

Purpose: State the purpose or objectives of the lab.

Calculations: If any are needed.

Pre-laboratory Questions: Answer the pre-laboratory questions thoroughly and explain your answers in detail.
During the Laboratory
Data: This should be in a TABLE FORMAT ALWAYS
Graphs: Include titled and labeled graphs when necessary. When presenting your data, it is advisable to include ALL data points. ONLY remove a data point if you can justify its removal by some known error.
Observations: Record preparation of solutions, standards, etc, observations, mistakes, attempts at correcting mistakes, and all data.
Post-Laboratory Assignment

Summary of Procedures: State the steps of the lab in your own words to show an understanding of lab procedure. This can to be done as a flowchart. Make sure you include any necessary calculations.

Additional Data Analysis: Include tables, graphs, and/or any other data analysis

Discussion and Conclusion: Be sure to include error analysis here.

Post-Laboratory Questions

Lab reports are due the following day after your lab period by 5 pm.

Criteria for Grading Lab Notebooks










Pre-Laboratory Questions

Lab Performance

Ability to carry out an experiment properly and efficiently

Willingness to share responsibilities

The ability to think independently while working together effectively as a team

Respect for the safety and well-being of the other students in the laboratory






Text is error free

First pronouns are used only for special emphasis

Text is clear, concise and easy to read

Maintaining a Laboratory Notebook and Organization

Update table of contents

The data is organized in a clear manner

Follow the basic guidelines of keeping a notebook

Data and Results

Figures and tables are effective and accompanied by titles and legends

Observations and comments are included

Discussion and Conclusion

(Interprets the results and reaches a conclusion)

Data analysis is complete with sample calculations written in full

Discussion includes an appropriate error analysis

Post Laboratory questions

Basic Laboratory Techniques: Pipetting

The purpose of this lab exercise is two-fold. You will become familiar with the proper technique for using the micropipets we have in the lab, and the instructors should be able to interpret your results to see if the micropipets are properly calibrated. The procedure for this week's lab is rather simple, but taking good care of our equipment is of great importance. Knowing that our equipment is working well is essential. Your instructor will demonstrate the correct technique for measuring the volume of liquids using the micropipets. Pay close attention, and always keep in mind the proper way to use these instruments.

We will measure the mass of distilled water delivered by the micropipets. Knowing the density of water, we will be able to calculate the volume of water dispensed by the pipettes.
Procedure: Work in pairs. Each person should use the micropipets in this exercise so that everyone learns the proper technique for their use.
Each group should use two different micropipets; the two pipettes should be designed for delivering different volumes. The pipettes are designated P-20, P-200, and P-1000. The P-20 is designed to deliver volumes in the range 1.0 - 20 L. The P-200 is to be used for volumes between 10 - 200 L, and the P-1000 is used for volumes 100 - 1000 L. The P-20 and P-200 pipettes use the same yellow plastic disposable tips. The P-1000 uses a larger, blue plastic disposable tip. Make sure you have the pipette tips you will need at your table.

Record which pipettes you have chosen (by the manufacturer's designation and the number written on the tape label) so that the instructors will know which pipettes are functioning properly, and those which may need to be calibrated.

Each person should take six 1.5 mL plastic microcentrifuge tubes, number them, and then weigh them on the appropriate electronic top-loading balance (the milligram balance for tubes that will contain small volumes of water from a P-20 or P-200). Record the mass of each tube in your notebook.

Practice using a pipetman: Try depressing the plunger. As the plunger depresses, you will feel a sudden increase in resistance. This is the first “stop”. If you continue pushing, you will find a point where the plunger no longer moves downward- the second ‘stop’. When using the pipet, depress the plunger to the ‘first’ stop, place the tip into the liquid, and in a slow and controlled manner, allow the plunger to move upwards. Note: Do not simply let the plunger go; doing so will cause the liquid to splatter within the tip, resulting in inaccurate volumes and in contamination of the pipet.
Now, take the pipetman carrying the liquid in the tip to the container or tube to which you wish to add the liquid. Depress the plunger to the first and then to the second stop. Depressing to the second stop expels the liquid from the tip.

Measuring the mass of water dispensed from the pipette. Set the micropipets you have chosen to deliver a particular volume of water. Deliver this pre-determined volume of water to three of the tubes you have weighed. Your partner should then pipet the same volume of water using the same pipet into three microfuge tubes. Then, use the other pipette to measure a different volume of distilled water and deliver that volume to the other three tubes; your partner should then measure the same volume of water into three pre-weighed tubes.
Weigh the tubes containing the water, and determine the mass of water that you placed into each tube by taking the difference between the empty tube and the weight of the tube containing the water.
We recently purchased pipettes designed to deliver larger volumes of liquid. These pipettes are designated P-5000, and can measure volumes of liquid up to 5.0 mL. Your instructor will demonstrate the proper use of these instruments. Obtain a set of data for one of these larger pipettes, using pre-weighed 10.0 mL graduated cylinders to receive the measured volumes of water.

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