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BSCI 1510L Literature and Stats Guide: 5 General notes about the project

Introduction to Biological Sciences lab, first semester

5.1 Group vs. individual work

You will be conducting this project as a part of a group consisting of 7 to 8 students corresponding roughly to one side of your bay.  Your bay TA will serve as your mentor for the project.  Although you will work with your group to conduct the experiment and collect the data, you will turn in all parts of the experimental write-up as individuals.  Because of the group  aspect of the experiment, it is understood that there will be a high degree of discussion and collaboration in preparation for turning in that work.  Nevertheless, the Honor Code is in effect and its requirements, such as appropriate citation of the work of others, remain in force.

5.2 Scope of the project and limitations of materials

It is intended that this project be a redesign of the protocol of the past BSCI 111a experiment described in Section 4.1.  You should seek to address the flaws of this design and protocol, rather than coming up with a completely different experiment (e.g. swabbing bathroom doorknobs). 

The materials that each group can use in their experiment can include the following:

- standard tools for microbiological manipulations, e.g. spreaders, loops, pipettes, microfuge tubes, colony counters, incubating ovens, gloves, etc.

- sterile buffers.

- regular soap

- antibacterial soap

- solution of antibacterial agent (triclosan) at the concentration commonly used in soap

- 16 nutrient agar plates.  Because of the labor-intensive nature of pouring these plates, do not ask for more than this number.  The lab staff will be available to take plates out of the incubating oven on the following day.

The list above mentions only some of the basic materials.  A more comprehensive list of possible materials is included after the Experiment 4 problem set.  It is possible that groups may decide that there is a reason to use spectrophotometry in their protocol.  If this is the case, spectrophotometers and cuvettes would be available.  At the end of class during the week of Experiment 4 you will need to submit a materials list indicating the number and kinds of items you will need. 

The protocol should be designed to be able to be completed in one class period.  It may be necessary to meet outside of class during the following week to collect and analyze data.