Humboldt State University ® Department of Chemistry

Richard A. Paselk

Chem 431

Laboratory Records & Write-ups

Office: SA560a
Office Hours: TRF 1100-1150; W 1400-1550 other times by appointment
Phone: x 5719
Home: 822-1116


Each individual will keep a bound, accurate, and detailed lab book where records are kept of procedures, modifications of procedures, (both planned and unplanned), your observations (in such a way that you can understand and explain to me in exacting detail!) and any difficulties encountered, things that bothered you, etc. The lab book should be a record of your work so that you could repeat it in 10 years, or, more practically, explain it to me in three or four weeks.

A variety of lab texts (e.g. Ninfa & Ballaou, Fund. Lab. Appr. Bioch. and Biotech.; Boyer, Mod. Exp. Biochem.; etc.) give a good summary of what the notebook should contain as well as basic lab practices, techniques and experiment design. In addition preliminary conclusions should be included!

This instructor requires a permanent bound research notebook with numbered pages.

When tables, plots, or flow charts are required, include them.

In chromatographic experiments include Xerox copies of the chromatograms upon which the results are based. Do not include the originals—the residual solvents in them are often toxic. Gel electrophoretograms do not always copy well, so use a good hand copy or a dried gel. When copies or other materials are placed in the notebook attach them permanently!!

Notebooks will be collected at the beginning of the last class before final exam week. (For Fall 2008 the due date is December 12.)

Examples of expected Notebook contents by Experiment:






1.   Individual lab groups (generally pairs) will meet with me during scheduled lab hours to discuss their work and how to prepare and interpret their data for “publication”. All notebooks must be brought. Appointments are recommended.

2.   Each individual will write up each experiment independently, based on data gathered and conference discussions (2 above). These write-ups will follow proper journal form and will include literature references, etc. The table below tells you which journal you are going to “submit” it to. Failure to follow correct formatting or excessive grammatical errors may lead to rejection (grade of 0) of your submission (report).


Write-up Format (tentative pts)

Introduction to Biochemistry Lab  TBA
Dipeptide sequencing    Table as per Nature (15 pts)
Protein Ligand Interactions Letter in Nature format. (35 pts)
Isolation and Characterization of Lactabumin Complete article as per Biochemistry. (50 pts)
Tyrosinase Kinetics Complete article as per J. Biol. Chem (50 pts)

All members of the group will be listed as authors, but the writer will be the “first author”. Thus, from a group of two I will expect two separate and different “articles”, with the order of the authors’ names reversed in the two. These “articles” will be the only lab work turned in.

3.  Write-ups must be turned in at the completion of each experiment. You will be allowed to proceed on the following experiment, but must turn in your write-up before continuing on with the experiment subsequent to that.

Due dates have two important consequences for you: 1) the solutions for that experiment will no longer be available after that date, and 2) write-ups turned in after the due date will not be accepted unless prior arrangements have been made.



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Last modified 10 November 2008