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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Physical and Biological Sciences Department
Course Prefix and Number: BIOL 420L
Course Title: *Biochemistry Laboratory
Number of:
Credit Hours 2
Lecture Hours 0
Lab Hours 2
Catalog Description:

Laboratory teaching fundamental techniques in biochemistry. $40 lab fee. Cross-listed as CHEM 420L. Students majoring in Biology or Chemistry must earn a grade of C or higher. Prerequisites: BIOL 110 and CHEM 310.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):

BIOL 110 and CHEM 310.

Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered Spring.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Experimental procedures should be taken from texts such as:

Fundamental Laboratory Approaches for Biochemistry and Biotechnology
By Ninfa & Ballou (John Wiley and Sons, Inc.)
Experiments in Biochemistry: A Hands-On Approach
By S.L. Farrell & L.W. Taylor (Thompson Brooks/Cole)
Modern Experimental Biochemistry
By Boyer (Benjamin Cummings)
Course Objectives
  • To perform broadly applicable lab techniques in biochemistry.
  • To acquire facility with laboratory equipment used in modern experimental biochemistry.
  • To use the scientific method to design and conduct experiments.
  • To perform and evaluate experiments in the isolation, purification, and analysis of macromolecules.
  • To use critical analysis skills to interpret data and draw conclusions.
  • To learn scientific writing.
    Measurable Learning
  • Accomplish experimental manipulations using basic lab equipment such as micropipettrs, microcentribuges, ultracentrifuges, spectrophotometers, agarose and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis chambers.
  • Write lab reports based on the format used in scientific journals.
  • Perform calculations to determine molarity, serial dilution, and % weight/volume.
  • Use the scientific method in the design and analysis of experiments.
  • Manipulate buffers with different buffering capacity by manipulating buffers with different concentrations, pH values, pKa values.
  • Perform isoelectric focusing to determine the isoelectric point of different proteins.
  • Successfully execute methods in protein isolation and analysis such as differential centrifugation, differential solubility, dialysis, column chromatography, and gel electrophoresis to isolate and purify a specific enzyme from living cells.
  • Compare and contrast the efficiency and uses of different types of column chromatography in separation, detection, and analysis of macromolecules.
  • Determine the reaction kinetics and inhibition of specific enzymes.
  • Use spectrophotometry and colorimetric methods to determine concentrations of protein in unknown samples.
  • Determine kinetic parameters of specific enzymes for specific substrates and inhibitors.
  • Detect the presence of specific proteins in a mixed sample using Western blot techniques.
  • Isolate and analyze subcellular organelles.
  • Investigate factors that control protein-ligand binding interactions.

    Topical Outline:
  • Basic laboratory practices
  • Buffers
  • Column chromatography (affinity, gel-filtration, ion-exchange)
  • Determination of protein concentration
  • Separation and analysis of proteins using electrophoresis (isoenzymes, isoelectric focusing, etc.)
  • Isolation and purification of enzymes
  • Kinetic analysis of purified enzyme
  • Western Blot analysis
  • Isolation and analysis of usbcellular organelles

    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: 20

    Library Resources:

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

    Prepared by: Julie Estabrooks Date: November 3, 2009
    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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