This class was tough.
If you are intending to work in a research lab someday I feel that taking this course is a must! It teaches you all the essential techniques and materials used in a research lab. Moreover, it prepares you for all the possible obstacles researchers face, the most common being cell line contamination, and how to prevent it along with how to resolve it.
This course teaches you about all the important aspects of a laboratory like what materials are used, what kinds of tests are performed in a laboratory, and most importantly how to perform cell culture. We learned about important materials used in a laboratory like how incubators store cells, how media provide cells nutrients for cells, how hemocytometers measure the amount of living cells. The course even goes over what components make up these materials in depth giving students an understanding as to how their components allow them to carry out their function. Important laboratory experiments are also explained in detail as to and why they are used. The course went over how PCR is used for DNA sequencing or paternity testing, or how immunohistochemistry can target certain proteins, or how ELISA can detect antibodies and hormones. It even went in depth about the process of carrying out the experiments and then analyzing their results on a gel. The ultimate mission of the course is to properly teach students how to perform cell culture. Special emphasis should be put on the word properly. Right from garbing up to enter the lab students are disciplined in maintaining a hygenic environment. Even in garbing there is a certain sequence of putting on headwear, armwear, and the lab coat that need to be followed. In the lab BSCs are cleaned in a systematic manner before and after they are used and all materials get sprayed down by alcohol. The course teaches you a lot of about the laboratory but also teaches you precaution which is the most important thing in a laboratory.
Hours per week:
Advice for students:
Paying attention is the most important thing. There is a lot of information on what experiments are done in a lab, what materials are used in those experiments, and what those materials are made up of. Understanding all of this requires students to pay attention to when the professor is teaching off the powerpoint and asking questions is a must. There will be something students don't understand so they must ask questions. The more students engage the more it will all make sense. Paying attention is even more important in the lab. When I was in the lab there were so many students who had contaminated cells without an explanation as to why it happened because they weren't careful. Some students had dislodged cells, or even no media in the flask to give their cells nutrients, and the most bizarre moment came when once a student's clump of hair was found to be in their flask. In order to avoid these events, especially the last one, pay attention.