Theoretical prerequisites

To work in the lab you will need to be able to answer the questions below. They cover the basics of chemistry, molecular biology, and cell biology.

 

This is not an exhaustive list of topics that one needs to know to run any experiment. But it is a good starting point.

 

  1. What is the pH scale and what does it mean when something has a pH of 7? Why does pH change when an acid or a base is added to a solution?

  2. What is a pH buffer?

  3. What is a mole?

  4. What is a molar concentration?

  5. What is the major difference between DNA and RNA?

  6. What is the structure of a protein?

  7. What are enzymes?

  8. How are proteins encoded for in DNA?

  9. How is DNA transcribed into RNA? What molecules are involved and how they cooperate to perform the transcription?

  10. How is RNA translated into protein? What molecules are involved and how they cooperate to perform the transcription

  11. How is gene expression regulated?

  12. What is a plasmid?

  13. What are restriction enzymes?

  14. What is a polymerase chain reaction? What does it do and how does it work?

  15. What is a bacterial transformation and how is it done?

  16. What are mitochondria?

  17. What are the differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells?

Study materials

Khan Academy - AP Biology class

(https://www.khanacademy.org/science/biology?t=classes)  

Covers most of theoretical knowledge prerequisites for being a member. Feel free to skim over the parts that do not cover prerequisites.

 

edX - Introduction to Biology - The Secret of Life (https://www.edx.org/course/introduction-biology-secret-life-mitx-7-00x-5)

The class also covers the majority of topics. Feel free to skim over for important parts.

 

Molecular Biology of the Cell by Alberts et al.

covers the majority of topics in greater detail than online courses. Older editions (5th) are substantially cheaper and don’t differ much in description of basic topics.

 

Life on Earth, Cellular Biology, by E.O Wilson et al.

Free on iTunes. Great animations go along with easy to understand text.

 

Life on Earth, Genetics, by E.O Wilson et al.

Free on iTunes. Great animations go along with easy to understand text.

Office hours

BosLab holds periodic office hours to help those studying biology on their own. Please, check www.meetup.com/boslab to find when the next office hours event is scheduled.