Practical Skills in Biology / Edition 4

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“This excellent book is a must for all biology departments...tells you all you ever wanted to know about practical techniques but didn’t like to ask”

Journal of Biological Education

“There is something here for everyone, including advanced level students and teachers”

The Biologist

“A well-pitched and comprehensive guide for all life science undergraduate students; in many cases this could be the most important book that they will buy.”

Dr. Chris Bax, London Metropolitan University

If you are studying Biology then this book is an indispensable companion throughout your entire degree programme. It lucidly demonstrates the laboratory and field skills that you will draw on time and again for the practical aspects of your studies, and also gives you a solid grounding in those wider transferable skills which are increasingly necessary to achieve a higher level of academic success.

This fourth edition builds on the excellent foundation of its predecessors. It contains a fully updated examination of existing topics and covers even more core skills, including:

  • ELISA assays
  • Digital imaging
  • Sterile technique for eukaroyte cell culture
  • Real-time PCR
  • Bioethics
  • Personal development planning
  • Curriculum choices
  • Learning styles
  • Avoiding plagiarism
  • E-learning
  • Thinking processes
  • Using software to enhance graph/table drawing, statistical analysis and presentations

Key Features:

  • New ‘safety note’ feature, highlighting specific hazards and appropriate practical steps to minimise risk
  • Worked examples and ‘how to’ boxes that set out the essential procedures in a step-by-step manner
  • Key points highlighting critical features of methodology
  • Study exercises in each chapter to reinforce learning
  • Use of margin tips, definitions and illustrations throughout

Allan Jones is Senior Lecturer in in Biology and Life Sciences at the University of Dundee; Rob Reed is Professor of Biomedical Sciences at Central Queensland University; Jonathan Weyers is Director of Quality Assurance at the University of Dundee.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780131755093
  • Publisher: Benjamin Cummings
  • Publication date: 1/15/2007
  • Series: Practical Skills Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 496
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

List of boxes
Preface to the 4th edition
Guided tour
For the student
List of abbreviations

Study and examination skills
1. The importance of transferable skills
2. Managing your time
3. Working with others
4. Taking notes from lectures and texts
5. Learning and revision
6. Curriculum options, assessment and exams
7. Preparing your curriculum vitae

Information technology and library resources
8. Finding and citing published information
9. Evaluating information
10. Using online resources
11. Using spreadsheets
12. Word processors, databases and other packages

Communicating information
13. Organising a poster display
14. Giving a spoken presentation
15. General aspects of scientific writing
16. Writing essays
17. Reporting practical and project work
18. Writing literature surveys and reviews

Fundamental laboratory techniques
19. Your approach to practical work
20. Health and safety
21. Working with liquids
22. Basic laboratory procedures
23. Principles of solution chemistry
24. pH and buffer solutions

The investigative approach
25. The principles of measurement
26. SI units and their use
27. Making observations
28. Drawing diagrams
29. Basic fieldwork procedures
30. Samples and sampling
31. Scientific method and design of experiments
32. Making notes of practical work
33. Project work

Obtaining and identifying specimens
34. Collecting animals and plants
35. Fixing and preserving animals and plants
36. Collecting and isolating microbes
37. Naming and classifying organisms
38. Identifying plants and animals
39. Identifying microbes

Manipulating and observing specimens
40. The purpose and practice of dissection
41. Introduction to microscopy
42. Preparing specimens for light microscopy
43. Setting up and using a light microscope
44. Interpreting microscope images
45. Sterile technique
46. Cell culture
47. Working with animal and plant tissues and cells
48. Photography and imaging
49. Measuring growth and response

Advanced laboratory techniques
50. Calibration and its application to quantitative analysis
51. Immunological methods
52. Enzyme studies
53. Mendelian genetics
54. Molecular biology techniques
55. Light measurement
56. Radioactive isotopes and their uses
57. Measuring oxygen content
58. Centrifugation
59. Spectroscopic techniques
60. Chromatography

Analysis and presentation of data
61. Manipulating and transforming raw data
62. Using graphs
63. Presenting data in tables
64. Hints for solving numerical problems
65. Descriptive statistics
66. Choosing and using statistical tests

Answers to study exercises Index

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