Practical Skills in Biology / Edition 3

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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: 9780130451415
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 7/3/2003
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 488
  • Product dimensions: 8.62 (w) x 10.87 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Table of Contents


1. Basic Principles.
2. Health and Safety.
3. Working with Liquids.
4. Basic Laboratory Procedures.
5. Principles of Solution Chemistry.
6. pH and Buffer Solutions.


7. The Principles of Measurement.
8. SI Units and their Use.
9. Making Observations.
10. Drawings and Diagrams.
11. Samples and Sampling.
12. Scientific Method and Design of Experiments.
13. Making Notes of Practical Work.
14. Project Work.


15. Collating Animals and Plants.
16. Fixing and Preserving Animals and Plants.
17. Collating and Isolating Microbes.
18. Naming and Classifying Organisms.
19. Identifying Plants and Animals.
20. Identifying Microbes.


21. The Purpose and Practice of Dissection.
22. Introduction to Microscopy.
23. Preparing Slides for Light Microscopy.
24. Setting Up and Using a Light Microscope.
25. Interpreting Microscope Images.
26. Sterile Technique.
27. Cell Culture.
28. Working with Animal and Plant Tissues and Cells.
29. Photography and Imaging.
30. Measuring Growth and Response.


31. Immunological Methods.
32. Enzyme Studies.
33. Mendelian Genetics.
34. Genetic Engineering Techniques.
35. Light Measurement.
36. Radioactive Isotopes and their Uses.
37. Measuring Oxygen Content.
38. Centrifugation.
39. Spectroscopy Techniques.
40. Chromatography.


41. Manipulating and Transforming Raw Data.
42. Using Graphs.
43. Presenting Data inTables.
44. Hints for Solving Numerical Problems.
45. Descriptive Statistics.
46. Choosing and Using Statistical Tests.


47. The Internet and the World Wide Web.
48. Using Spreadsheets.
49. Word Processors, Databases, and Other Packages.
50. Finding and Citing Published Information.


51. General Aspects of Scientific Writing.
52. Writing Essays.
53. Reporting Practical and Project Work.
54. Writing Literature Surveys and Reviews.
55. Organizing a Poster Display.
56. Giving an Oral Presentation.

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