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BIO 205L Laboratory Experiments in Cell & Molecular Biology Presentation slides are placed on the web as a PDF document on the Friday prior to lectures. This document may be slightly modified during the following week if an error is detected.

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BIO 205L

Laboratory Experiments in Cell & Molecular Biology


Presentation slides are placed on the web as a PDF document on the Friday prior to lectures. This document may be slightly modified during the following week if an error is detected.

The presentation slides will not always be comprehensive so be sure to know what is stated in the lectures.

If you wish to print the presentation slides, then you can save paper by printing the contents of multiple PDF pages on a single page.

(for example)

6 pages per sheet



Page scaling


Instructors of Record

(in order of appearance)

Drs. Jerry Brand, Bill Allen, Enamul Huq

  • The Instructors of Record are responsible for:
  • - the overall operation of the course,
  • - providing the Monday lectures,
  • - preparing questions for the laboratory entrance quizzes and the practical exams at the end of the course,
  • assigning your final course grade at the end of the semester after all course records have been assembled and assessed.
  • The Course Administrator for this year is Dr. Allen

Laboratory Coordinator:

Dr. Delia Brownson

The Laboratory Coordinator:

- heads a team that prepares and organizes the equipment and materials for laboratory exercises,

- supervises the overall operation of the laboratory,

- supervises various administrative issues,

- handles authorization of valid laboratory switches,

- assembles and organizes student attendance records, performance evaluations and exam grades.


Laboratory Instructor (teaching assistant)

He/she is your principal teacher and point of contact.

Your Laboratory Instructor will:

- be available every week during office hours and by appointment to assist you in completing the assignments for the course,

- provide instructions and guidance during your work in the laboratory,

- evaluate your performance every week on written assignments and in laboratory work,

- assist the Instructors of Record in determining your final grade for the course.

An experienced undergraduate student will assist the laboratory instructor during your performance of the exercises.


Required Laboratory Manual for BIO 205L

Laboratory Experiments

in Cellular and Molecular Biology

The Manual may be purchased in the Univ. Co-Op on Guadalupe Street.

You must take your laboratory manual to the laboratory every week. You will not need to take it to the Monday lectures.


Where to Obtain Information Pertaining to the Requirements and the Mechanics of BIO 205L

Announcements and a digital version of hand-outs are provided during the laboratory or lecture period.

This same information is accessible at the BIO 205L web site:

Secure information on the BIO 205L website can be accessed using:

Username < biosci\bio205L >

Password < 205L=cell >

The same username and password access the laboratory computers.

Course announcements will be posted on the BIO 205L website.

They will NOT be posted in Blackboard.

Extra copies of all BIO 205L student hand-outs will be kept in a holder just outside of PAI 1.22.


Monday Lectures

Monday lectures are a required component of the course. They are not a review or a discussion section.

Topics presented in the lecture each week are listed on the Course Schedule.

The subject matter presented each week will complement, but not necessarily repeat, the chapter reading assignments in the Laboratory Manual.

Attendance will be taken and there will be a QUIZ during each Monday lecture starting today, Aug 31st.


Required For this course:

  • - CPS (Class Participation System) remote controller (available in the Univ. Co-op on Guadalupe Street)
  • - CPS registration (completed on line via Blackboard)

You should have TWO pad numbers

        • one for Monday lectures
        • one for your laboratory section
  • Read and understand the special instructions of the “CPS Use and Rules” (a BIO 205L hand-out provided during your laboratory period) that pertain to use of the CPS as well as where and how your CPS scores will be recorded (eGradebook).
    • You must sign the CPS agreement that you will abide by the Bio205L “CPS Use and Rules” and UT’s academic integrity policy.

Use of CPS for Recording Class Attendance and Assessing Knowledge of the Subject Matter

Each Monday, starting today, CPS will be used during the lecture to:

- attain a record of attendance, and

- allow you to assess your knowledge of the lectures, reading assignments and laboratory exercise.

During the J. Brand lectures one question will be asked near the beginning of the class period, pertaining to the previous week's lecture. One or more additional questions will be asked later in the period, generally pertaining to the current week's reading assignment and/or written instructions for the exercise.

You should leave your CPS remote turned on during the entire lecture so you are ready to answer a question when it appears.


Quiz Questions during Lectures

Quiz questions for each Monday lecture period will be different from the questions asked during other lecture periods that same day.

Quiz questions must be answered electronically, which will record your presence in the lecture.

You must not use a calculator, a laptop computer, notes, or your laboratory manual when answering quiz questions.

Ten percent of your course grade is based on your lecture attendance and answers to quiz questions, as determined by your use of CPS during lectures.

There are no make up lecture quizzes. However, your lowest two CPS scores will be dropped at the end of the semester.


Question 1:

Which one of the following reflects your current status at the University?

A. Freshman

B. Sophomore

C. Junior

D. Senior


Question 2:

Which of the following most closely reflects your experience in high school biology classes?

A. My biology classes did not have laboratories.

B. We primarily made observations and/or filled out worksheets in most of my biology laboratory classes.

C. We primarily did dissections in most of my biology laboratory classes.

D. My biology laboratory classes had laboratories in which we performed experiments (involving making measurements or gathering data) and drew conclusions based upon our results.


Laboratory Entrance Quizzes

Nearly every week of this course, starting this week, when the laboratory period starts you will use your CPS remote to answer several questions. So be sure to take your CPS remote to the laboratory every week.

Questions for each week's Laboratory Entrance Quiz will relate to one or more of the following:

a. The subject matter of the Monday lecture,

b. The text reading assignment for the current week's exercise,

c. Information provided in the exercise for the current week's exercise.

Your answers to Laboratory Entrance Quiz questions will count 15% of your course grade in BIO 205L.


Laboratory Entrance Quiz Questions

The number of questions on Laboratory Entrance Quizzes may vary from week to week, but quizzes questions will all be multiple-choice and will generally not require more than 10 minutes to complete.

The practice questions provided in today's lecture are similar in format to the format of many of the quiz questions.

Quiz questions during this week's exercise will cover information given in:

- today's lecture

- lab manual Chapters 1 and 2

- lab manual Introduction to the Exercises (pp. 185 – 188)

- lab manual Exercise 1 (starting on pg. 189)


Safety Film

A short video on safety in the laboratory was shown during last week's laboratory period.

All BIO 205L students are required to have viewed the safety video before participating in laboratory exercises.

You will not be allowed to participate in next week’s laboratory exercise, unless you have seen the safety video this semester.

The video is less than 20 minutes long.


Where to obtain BIO 205L course content information:

- your laboratory instructor during laboratory period

- the BIO 205L Laboratory Manual

- the Monday lectures

- the BIO 205L web site


Username < biosci\bio205L >

Password < 205L=cell >

- hand-outs pertaining to specific exercises (Digital copies online and extra copies outside PAI 1.22)

Your Laboratory Instructor (TA) is your primary point of contact regarding course content and your responsibilities in BIO 205L.


Finally we are ready to start the subject matter of the course.

- Today we will introduce the topics of this week and next week exercises.

- There will be no lecture next Monday, Sept 7 (Labor Day)

- The following Monday (Sept. 14) we will consider some techniques that enhance the quality of microscopic images.

click on “Lab Exercise Info” button

Then click on the exercise number to see more information for each.

From the Bio205L website

for exercise 1 watch the instructional videos prior to attending lab
For Exercise 1, watch the Instructional Videos PRIOR to attending lab.

It is highly recommended that you examine the information for each exercise every week, PRIOR to attending your laboratory section.


Optical Microscopes

A microscope is an instrument for viewing objects that are too small to be seen by the unaided eye.

An optical microscope (also called a light microscope) uses light to project a magnified view of the object.

Some examples of light microscopes


Illustration of a Simple Microscope

(a hand lens)

Although light is shown here passing through the specimen, hand lenses are more typically used to focus light is reflected from the surface of an opaque specimen.

specimen (object)

A hand lens

Image (magnified view of the object)


Illustration of a Compound Microscope

(of the type typically used to observe living cells)

Compound light microscopes that are used to observe cells project light through the specimen.

Compound light microscopes that are used in geological observations reflect light from the surface of the specimen.

A compound light microscope useful for observing cells

specimen (object)

Image (twice magnified view of the object)


Components of a Compound Light Microscope

Observe the

image here

Oculars (eyepieces)

(contain magnificatIon lenses)

Place object on

the stage here


(Contain magnification lenses)

Focus knobs

(raise and lower

the stage)


(a movable platform)



(contains lenses that

Shape the light beam)

(not shown) knobs that

move the stage laterally

Light source (in base)


Object: The actual specimen that is observed.

Image: A (usually magnified) reproduction of the object.


Light microscopes and electron microscopes appear very different, but use the same basic principles

of magnification.

A light microscope

An electron microscope


Four Important Properties of Microscopes

- Magnification

- Resolving Power

- Aberrations

- Contrast

The qualities of these four properties, taken together, define the quality of any microscope.

They apply, for example, to light and electron microscopes.


Magnification of a lens:

length of image


length of object

2 mm

2 mm





(2 mm)

0.1 mm


100 μm

object (100 μm)

no units

recall that 1 mm = 1,000 µm


Total magnification of a compound light microscope

Magtotal = Magocularlens X Magobjective lens


Calculations for Determining Sizes of Objects Viewed Through a Compound Light Microscope


length of viewed image



length of object

Rearrange equation:

length of viewed image

length of object =