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Laboratory Methods in Synthetic Biology

  • Offered as BIOE 425C, CSE 488C, EE 425C
  • Winter 2012
  • Instructor: Eric Klavins
  • Teaching Assistant: Robert Egbert
  • Schedule: The first meetings of the quarter will be 1/3 or 1/4 from 3:30 - 5:00 -- you can attend either one. The second meetings will be 1/10 or 1/11 from 3:30-5:00. Starting 1/23 we will also meet with everyone on Mondays from 3:30 - 4:20 in 031 (note that we do *not* meet 1/9 or 1/16). You will also need to meet with your team and schedule your own lab work, which can be any time that works for you.
  • Meeting Room: EE 045 (basement)
  • Lab Room: EE B031 (sub-basement)

Important Links

Lab Notebooks

Please create and maintain your lab notebook on Google Docs (follow the above link to find the collection). Use the following scheme:

  • Your lab notebook should be named after your last name. Create it and add it into the LABW12/Lab Notebooks Collection. It should inherit the sharing properties of the collection, but check to make sure everyone can see it.
  • Put a title at the top of your lab notebook called SBW12 Lab Notebook and under that put your full name.
  • Each day you work in the lab should have an entry describing what you did that day. Put the date in bold followed by a colon, followed by a description of what you did. Describe what the steps you performed have to do with the overall goal of the project. Embed photos, data, etc. Describe what you did with enough detail that anyone else in the class could repeat what you did.
  • Put entries in reverse chronological order.


In this course we design and build synthetic gene regulatory circuits for bacteria that can perform simple functions. This quarter we will focus on two applications: diagnostics and biofuels. Students will learn gene regulatory network design, specification, gene synthesis, cloning, experiment design, microscopy, cytometry, and other fundamental methods in synthetic biology. The course is organized around projects, with small teams, weekly meetings to present progress, and open scheduling for lab work. Pre-requisite: Introduction to Synthetic Biology or a similar course, or permission from the instructor.