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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Physical and Biological Sciences Department
Course Prefix and Number: BIOL 290L
Course Title: Principles of Cell Biology Laboratory
Number of:
Credit Hours 2
Lecture Hours 0
Lab Hours 2
Catalog Description:

Laboratory experiences to complement BIOL 290. Students majoring in Biology must earn a grade of C or higher. $40 lab fee. Prerequisites: BIOL 110L; BIOL 290 or concurrent enrollment.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): BIOL 110L; BIOL 290 concurrent enrollment.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered Fall.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Experimental procedures may be taken from texts such as the following:

Cell Biology Online Laboratory Manual
By Heidcamp (Gustavus Adolphus College)
Current Protocols in Cell Biology
By Bonifacino, et. al. (Wiley)
Category/Comments - CD-ROM
Molecular Biology: A Lab Manual
By Sambrook et. al. (Cold Spring Harbor Press)
Cell Biology: A Laboratory Handbook
By Celis (Academic Press)
Cell Biology: Essential Techniques
By Rickwood and Harris (Wiley)
Course Objectives
  • To demonstrate facility with a variety of current laboratory techniques in cell biology using exercises that complement and extend topics covered in BIOL 290 lectures.
    Measurable Learning
  • Perform all techniques using basic lab safety procedures.
  • Demonstrate proper use of equipment including micropipettors, spectrophotometers, ultracentrifuges, electrophoresis equipment, PCR thermocyclers, electroporation machines.
  • Perform subcellular fractionation and successfully isolate different types of subcellular organelles.
  • Confirm purity of organelle fractions by performing specific metabolic labeling experiments.
  • Use a cell counting chamber to determine number of cells in different samples.
  • Correctly calculate serial dilutions of cells.
  • Use light microscopes to determine cell types, presence and localization of particular subcellular organelles and/or biological molecules.
  • Analyze the cell cycle.
  • Characterize specific cellular proteins
  • Interpret data and draw conclusions using critical analytical skills.
  • Write lab reports based on the format followed in scientific journals.
    Topical Outline:
  • Basic lab safety and techniques
  • Proper use of equipment
  • Microscopy and cell staining
  • Cell counting and serial dilutions
  • Ultracentrifugation and subcellular fractionation
  • Isolation and characterization of organelles
  • Cell cycle analysis
  • Characterization of cellular proteins
  • Metabolic labeling
    Culminating Experience Statement:

    Material from this course may be tested on the Major Field Test (MFT) administered during the Culminating Experience course for the degree. 
    During this course the ETS Proficiency Profile may be administered.  This 40-minute standardized test measures learning in general education courses.  The results of the tests are used by faculty to improve the general education curriculum at the College.


    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 15

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Elizabeth Critser Date: September 4, 2007
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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