BIOL 2275 Microorganisms & Disease
Lab Objectives

Laboratory Skills
A student successfully completing basic microbiology will demonstrate ability to:

1. Use a bright field light microscope to view and interpret slides, including:
a. correctly setting up and focusing the microscope
b. proper handling, cleaning, and storage of the microscope
c. correct use of all lenses
d. recording microscopic observations
2. Properly prepare slides for microbiological examination, including:
a. cleaning and disposing of slides
b. preparing smears from solid and liquid cultures
c. performing wet mount and/or hanging drop preparations
d. performing Gram stains
3. Properly use aseptic techniques, including:
a. sterilizing and maintaining sterility of transfer instruments
b. performing aseptic transfer
c. obtaining microbial samples
4. Use appropriate microbiological media and test systems, including:
a. isolating colonies and/or plaques
b. maintaining pure cultures
c. using biochemical test media
d. accurately recording macroscopic observations
5. Estimate microbial sample number using serial dilution techniques, including:
a. correctly choosing and using pipettes and pipetting devices
b. correctly spreading diluted samples for counting
c. estimating appropriate dilutions
d. extrapolating plate counts to obtain the correct CFU or PFU in the starting sample
6. Use standard microbiology laboratory equipment correctly, including
a. using the standard metric system for weights, lengths, diameters, and volumes
b. lighting and adjusting a laboratory burner
c. using an incubator
Laboratory Thinking Skills

A student will also demonstrate an increased skill level in:
1. Cognitive processes, including
a. formulating a clear, answerable question
b. developing a testable hypothesis
c. predicting expected results
d. following an experimental protocol
2. Analysis skills, including:
a. collecting and organizing data in a systematic fashion
b. presenting various data types in an appropriate form
c. assessing the validity of the data (including integrity and significance)
d. drawing appropriate conclusions based on the results
3. Communication skills, including:
a. discussing and presenting lab results or findings in the laboratory
4. Interpersonal and citizenry skills, including
a. working effectively in teams or groups
b. effectively managing time and tasks by individuals and within a group
c. integrating knowledge and making informed judgments about microbiology

Laboratory Safety

A student successfully completing basic microbiology will demonstrate ability to explain and practice safe

1. Microbiological procedures, including
a. reporting all spills and broken glassware to the instructor
b. methods for aseptic transfer
c. minimizing or containing the production of aerosols
d. describing the hazards associated with aerosols
e. washing hands prior to and following labs and when contamination is suspected
f. using universal precautions with blood and other body fluids
g. following the requirements of the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Standard
h. disinfecting lab benches and equipment before and after each lab session,
i. using an appropriate disinfectant and allowing a suitable contact time
j. identification and proper disposal of different types of waste
k. reading and signing a laboratory safety agreement
2. Good lab practice, including:
a. returning materials to proper locations,
b. proper care and handling of equipment,
c. keeping the bench top clear of extraneous materials
3. Protective procedures, including:
a. tying long hair back,
b. wearing personal protective equipment
c. using such equipment in appropriate situations
d. always using appropriate pipetting devices
e. understanding that mouth pipetting is forbidden
f. never eating or drinking in the laboratory
g. never applying cosmetics, handling contact lenses, or placing objects in the mouth
h. avoid touching the face
4. Emergency procedures, including:
a. locating and properly using emergency equipment
b. reporting all injuries immediately to the instructor
c. following proper steps in the event of an emergency


1. Beneson, Adam S. (ed). 1995. Control of communicable diseases in man,
16th ed. American Public Health Association, Washington, D.C.
2. Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health
(CDC/NIH). 1993. Biosafety in microbiological and biomedical research
laboratories, p. 177. Government Printing Office (#017-040-00523-7),
Washington, D.C.
3. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health.
1997. Guidelines for research involving recombinant DNA molecules. Federal
Register, February 1997.
4. Fleming et al (ed.). 1994. Laboratory safety: principles and practices, 2nd
ed. ASM Press,Washington, D.C.
5. World Health Organization. 1993. Laboratory biosafety manual, 2nd ed.
World Health Organization, Albany, N.Y.
6. Lennox, John E. Sites related to laboratory safety:

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