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About this book
Practical Skills in Biology is an indispensable book for undergraduate students in the life sciences. The book provides useful support at all stages of a degree course and underpins any practical course in biology. It is also a valuable resource for teachers of biology in colleges and secondary schools. Laboratory and field studies are essential components of undergraduate training in biology. Practical work must be fully understood and effectively presented, but many students under-perform because they lack basic laboratory skills.
This book, now in its fourth edition, continues to provide students with easy-to-use guidance for laboratory and field studies, but in addition it now covers broader transferable skills. As a result the new edition provides guidance and support over the entire range of a typical undergraduate course in biology.
List of boxes Preface to the 4th edition Guided tour For the student Acknowledgements 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