Laboratory reports serve a multitude of functions for the scientist. These include:
Ÿ Observations leading to and rational for the experiment
Ÿ Precisely how the experiment was performed
Ÿ The results of the experiment
Ÿ What the results prove or could mean
Ÿ Communicate to others what was done and why
Ÿ Allow others to repeat the experiment
The report is written in a technical manner (3rd person omniscient, do not use “I” or “we”) and in the past tense. For examples, look at some research periodicals in the library (Science, Journal of ..., etc.). These published articles follow a general format as detailed below. Your report should use this format as a guideline. However, it will differ in that your experiments are not original research. What is required in your report is also delineated below.
Your laboratory report
A clear sentence describing the main point of the report
(i.e. Probability in Pedigree analysis)
A paragraph summarizing what was done and the main results obtained
Several paragraphs acquainting the reader with previous work on the problem, the relevant hypothesis, and indicate the purpose of the experiment
Background info. leading to why you did the experiment, what the experiment hopes to prove
A section detailing the procedure used, with enough detail that others could reproduce the experiment
Most of your procedure will be given, refer to them in the reference. However, give rational for your methods here, i.e. “The cell membrane was disrupted by treatment with NaOH/SDS”; “Plasmid DNA was precipitated using potassium phosphate”.
A section containing the raw data and statements of what “is”, not what the data “might” mean. Tables, graphs are usually presented here to summarize the results
A section to affirm or refute the original hypothesis, based upon the results obtained. This section can be used to explain what the results “might” mean
Same. Explain what your results mean. If your experiment didn’t work, postulate why. What do you need to prove your conclusions further or to make the experiment work?
This section is usually not necessary unless there are a lot of ideas that need to be summarized.
A brief paragraph stating what you learned and how the lab can be improved
All literature sources used are listed here
Some of your labs may have extensive handouts that allow room for data and questions. In those cases, omit the introduction, methods, and results (rational for methods can go into the discussion). Answer ALL questions in the handouts.
Observing Bacterial Transformation by Introducing PGreen Protein
E. Coli was collected and transformed using introducing PGreen protein to the bacteria. Also a control was made by not introducing protein material to the bacteria. Results showed that the E. Coli bacteria did in fact transform and take up the PGreen protein, this was proved by introducing these bacteria to ampicillin, to which the bacteria were resistant with the PGreen protein.
Bacterial transformation is of central importance to molecular biology because it was through Oswald Avery’s experiment that led to the discovery that DNA is the genetic material. Without this experiment the central dogma of genetics would be non-existent or not entirely reflect the true central importance of molecular biology. With this experiment it is hoped to further prove that ‘DNA is the genetic material” and still the central dogma of molecular genetics by reenacting, to an extent, Oswald Avery’s famous experiment of 1944 through the transformation of E. Coli bacteria with the PGreen protein.
Source plates of E. Coli that were streaked the day before lab were obtained. Colonies were collected from the source