While the 7.02 Laboratory Manual is not provided, guidelines for laboratory performance and keeping a laboratory notebook is included, as well as a series of interpretation questions and a virtual appendix for each laboratory module.

Laboratory Performance

Your laboratory performance score will be assessed based on your written record of experimental procedures (laboratory notebook) (55%) and your in-lab skill (45%).

Laboratory Notebook (55%)

One important goal of 7.02 / 10.702 is to teach students how to keep a complete and accurate laboratory notebook. Keeping a complete and accurate laboratory notebook - while sometimes time-consuming - is important for the following reasons:

  1. It allows you to go back and see what worked and did not work in a particular experiment
  2. It allows other laboratory members to have a reference if they need to repeat your work; and
  3. It serves as a written record to support data that is published in the scientific literature

A handout describing how to prepare your laboratory notebook each day and how it will be graded. (PDF)

In Lab Skill (45%)

Your in-lab skill score will be based on the following three areas (described in more detail below):

  1. Technique (25%)
  2. Safety (10%)
  3. Professional demeanor (10%)


Each day in the laboratory, your TAs and the instructors will be looking at how you perform your experiments. Don't worry - we will not expect you to perform a new technique perfectly the first time! However, we do expect you to pay close attention to the demonstrations provided by the staff, and make an honest attempt to perform a task correctly.

During the course of each laboratory day, the teaching staff will watch as students perform (or attempt to perform) a few tasks or techniques. These tasks are ones that should be performed by any student who has prepared for laboratory (by reading the protocol carefully and completing his or her laboratory notebook). For example, "labels his/her flask before placing in water bath" is a task that everyone should complete in Genetics session 4. Additionally, over the course of the module, the staff will observe your organization, efficiency (that is, the ability to work steadily through a protocol), and teamwork at the bench.

We have found that most people start out doing fairly well in technique, and generally improve over the course of the semester. Those who continually score poorly in this section are generally not preparing adequately for lab or are not careful at the bench.


Points will be deducted from a student's safety score for blatant violations of laboratory safety protocols, such as wearing open-toed shoes, eating/drinking/disposing of food trash in lab, horseplay, or improper disposal of hazardous chemicals. We take safety very seriously in the teaching laboratories, and expect you to do the same.

Professional Demeanor

Part of being a professional is being responsible for yourself and others that depend on you, and treating others with respect. Consistently coming late or not showing up to recitation or laboratory shows a lack of professionalism, as does speaking disrespectfully to your laboratory partner, lab mates, or members of the teaching staff.

Laboratory Performance Grades

To help you gauge your progress in the laboratory, we will provide you a qualitative assessment of your laboratory performance after the first module (Genetics), and a quantitative assessment at approximately midterm (after the Protein Biochemistry module).

Interpretation Questions

The Interpretation section of the lab notebook should relate student's findings to the specific objectives noted in the aims of the lab, and include their analysis of data. In addition, students may want to describe any problems encountered, how they were dealt with, and suggestions on how the experiment may be executed differently. Students must also include the answers to the interpretation questions.

Module 1: Microbial Genetics
Genetics Day 1 Interpretation Questions (PDF) (PDF)
Genetics Day 2 Interpretation Questions (PDF) (PDF)
Genetics Day 3 Interpretation Questions (PDF) (PDF)
Genetics Day 4 Interpretation Questions (PDF) (PDF)
Genetics Day 5 Interpretation Questions (PDF) (PDF)
Genetics Day 6 Interpretation Questions (PDF) (PDF)
Genetics Day 7 / Protein Biochemistry Day 1 Interpretation Questions (PDF) (PDF)
Module 2: Protein Biochemistry
Genetics Day 7 / Protein Biochemistry Day 1 Interpretation Questions (PDF) (PDF)
Protein Biochemistry Day 2 Interpretation Questions (PDF) (PDF)
Protein Biochemistry Day 3 Interpretation Questions (PDF) (PDF)
Protein Biochemistry Day 4 Interpretation Questions (PDF) (PDF)
Protein Biochemistry Day 5 Interpretation Questions (PDF) (PDF)
Protein Biochemistry Day 6 Interpretation Questions (PDF) (PDF)
Module 3: Recombinant DNA Methods
Recombinant DNA Methods Day 1 Interpretation Questions (PDF) (PDF)
Recombinant DNA Methods Day 2 Interpretation Questions (PDF) (PDF)
Recombinant DNA Methods Day 3 Interpretation Questions (PDF) (PDF)
Recombinant DNA Methods Day 4 Interpretation Questions (PDF) (PDF)
Recombinant DNA Methods Day 5 Interpretation Questions (PDF) (PDF)
Recombinant DNA Methods Day 6/7 Interpretation Questions (PDF)  
Module 4: Development
Development Day 1 Interpretation Questions (PDF) (PDF)
Development Day 2 Interpretation Questions (PDF) (PDF)
Development Day 3 Interpretation Questions (PDF) (PDF)
Development Day 4 Interpretation Questions (PDF) (PDF)
Development Day 5 Interpretation Questions (PDF) (PDF)