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Essential Laboratory Skills for Biosciences

ISBN: 978-1-119-96676-0
152 pages
February 2012
Essential Laboratory Skills for Biosciences (1119966760) cover image
Essential Laboratory Skills for Biosciences is an essential companion during laboratory sessions. It is designed to be simple and give clear step by step instructions on essential techniques, supported by relevant diagrams. The book includes the use of particular equipment and how to do simple calculations that students come across regularly in laboratory practicals.

Written by experienced lecturers this handy pocket book provides:

  • Simple to follow laboratory techniques
  • Clear use of diagrams and illustrations to explain techniques, procedures and equipment
  • Step by step worked out examples of calculations including concentrations, dilutions and molarity

Suitable for all first year university students, the techniques in the book will also be useful for postgraduate and final year project students and enhance the practical and theoretical knowledge of all those studying bioscience related subjects.

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List of Figures vii

List of Tables xi

Acknowledgements xiii

Introduction xv

Health and Safety xvii

1 Measurements and Calculations 1

1.1 Units and measurements 1

1.2 Measuring the volumes of liquids 4

1.3 Pipetting 8

1.4 Weighing 15

1.5 Calculations 19

2 Preparing Solutions 23

2.1 Common terms defining solutions 23

2.2 Precautions in making solutions 23

2.3 Making solutions 24

2.4 Dilutions to prepare standard solutions 26

2.5 Molar solutions 29

2.6 Calculations involving solutions 31

3 Separation of Liquids and Solids 35

3.1 Filtration 35

3.2 Centrifugation 39

3.3 Chromatography 45

3.4 Electrophoresis 51

4 Common Techniques and Equipment 55

4.1 Titration 55

4.2 Spectrophotometry 60

4.3 Aseptic techniques 69

4.4 Disinfectants 73

5 Microscopy and Histology 75

5.1 Light microscopy 75

5.2 Slide preparation 84

5.3 Cell Counting 89

6 Cardiorespiratory Measurements 93

6.1 Techniques to investigate cardiovascular function 93

6.2 Techniques to investigate respiratory function 104

7 Recording and Presenting Data 111

7.1 Keeping a laboratory book 111

7.2 Presentation of data 112

7.3 Recording data in tables 112

7.4 Presenting data in graphs 113

7.5 Describing data statistically 117

Recommended Reading 119

Appendices

Appendix 1: Rules for Powers 121

Appendix 2: Rules for Logarithms 123

Appendix 3: Factors to Consider When Making Solutions 125

Appendix 4: Principle of Spectrophotometry 127

Appendix 5: Descriptive Statistics and Formulae 129

Appendix 6: Using Software to Draw Tables, Graphs and Calculating Descriptive Statistics 133

Index 137

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