This course covers the theory and practice of current biological/biochemical separation methods. A systematic introduction and discussion of separation principles and strategies for the purification of biomolecules will be given in the lectures. The major part of this course is the laboratory. Groups of two students will carry out experiments together. The experiments will normally start on Wednesday morning in the tutorial time and continue in the afternoon. Emphasis is placed on hands-on experience of contemporary techniques. We will focus on three biological separation problems which collectively use many important techniques. The scientific background of the experiments and the laboratory exercises are described in detail in this extensive, web-based laboratory manual. Many illustrations and photographs are included to allow you to carry out the exercises competently.
Each set of experiments will take 3 weeks to complete. Due to the specialized equipment needed for this course, only 3 groups of 2 students can carry out each experiment simultaneously; thus, the order in which the experiments are carried out varies.
One full laboratory report per group, structured like a scientific paper, is required for the first three of these experiments. The reports should be written cooperatively between the two students working together; both students will receive the same grade. These reports should contain a brief introduction, detailed data analysis, and a discussion that highlights the significance of the experiments and critically discusses potential problems that were encountered.
In order to give you more time to study for your final exams, we will not require a formal report for the last experiment; however, you still must analyze and evaluate your data.
As part of the lectures, we will cover the essence of writing such papers, both in terms of style and substance. Each report will contribute 20 % of the overall course grade. BISC 429 has been approved as a writing-intensive (W) course.
Classes start Monday January 7, and the tutorials and laboratories on January 10.