Biochemistry Laboratory: Modern Theory and Techniques

Prentice Hall
Rodney F. Boyer  
Total pages
December 2010
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Biochemistry Laboratory: Modern Theory and Techniques
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The biochemistry laboratory course is an essential component in training students for careers in biochemistry, molecular biology, chemistry, and related molecular life sciences such as cell biology, neurosciences, and genetics. Increasingly, many biochemistry lab instructors opt to either design their own experiments or select them from major educational journals. Biochemistry Laboratory: Modern Theory and Techniques addresses this issue by providing a flexible alternative without experimental protocols. Instead of requiring instructors to use specific experiments, the book focuses on detailed descriptions of modern techniques in experimental biochemistry and discusses the theory behind such techniques in detail. An extensive range of techniques discussed includes Internet databases, chromatography, spectroscopy, and recombinant DNA techniques such as molecular cloning and PCR. The Second Edition introduces cutting-edge topics such as membrane-based chromatography, adds new exercises and problems throughout, and offers a completely updated Companion Website.


•    An extensive range of techniques are provided, including internet databases, chromatography, electrophoresis, spectroscopy, measurements of ligand-binding interactions, and recombinant DNA techniques such as molecular cloning and PCR.

•    A flexible organization accommodates various requirements of the course, and allows students to reference detailed theory sections for clarification during labs.  Information on a variety of teaching methods for the lab is also included.

•    Use of computers and the Internet is integrated thoroughly into all sections of the book, reflecting that the computer is now applied to all aspects of the collection, analysis, and management of biochemical data.
•    Chapter 2 introduces students to the computer and to Internet Web sites that maintain directories, lab protocols, and databases for biochemistry and molecular biology.
•    All chapters have a special section on computer applications and many have tables listing Web sites pertinent to topics in the chapter.
•    In addition, Appendix I contains a complete and updated listing of Web sites and software associated with topics in each chapter.•    End-of-chapter study problems are provided for student practice at the end of each chapter. Questions deal with both theoretical and procedural aspects of the chapter, and often ask students to analyze actual laboratory data. Answers to all odd-numbered questions are provided in Appendix IX.

•    Several study exercises are incorporated into each chapter. These exercises give students the opportunity to review a topic and check their knowledge before they move on to the next section.

•    Further Reading and Study ends each chapter with an abundant list of literature references, including Web sites that provide either a more detailed theoretical background or an expanded explanation of procedures and techniques.

New to this Edition

•    NEW! Timely, cutting-edge topics introduced include membrane-based chromatography (Chapter 5), less toxic electrophoresis dyes (Chapter 6), nanodrop spectrophotometric analysis (Chapter 7), and using gene synthesis in protein expression (Chapter 11).

•    NEW! New content on how to conduct research in biochemistry and related molecular life sciences is provided (Chapter 2).

•    NEW! Each chapter now begins with a content listing of topics and page numbers, making it easier for students to locate specific topics.

•    The section on using computers and the Internet in biochemistry (Chapter 2) has been rewritten entirely.

•    More end-of-chapter study problems have been added throughout, and there is a new organization of answers in Appendix IX.

•    All references are completely updated, including books, journal articles, and especially Web sites at the end of each chapter.

•    More study exercises are provided within chapters, so students can readily check their knowledge on a topic before they move on to a new topic.

•    The completely updated website comprises three appendices on: Teaching in the Biochemistry Lab, Published Experiments and Projects in Biochemistry, and Useful Web Links for Biochemistry Students.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction to the Biochemistry/Molecular Biology Laboratory
Chapter 2: Using the Computer and Internet for Research in Biochemistry
Chapter 3: General Laboratory Procedures
Chapter 4: Centrifugation Techniques in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology
Chapter 5: Purification and Analysis of Biomolecules by Chromatography
Chapter 6: Characterization of Proteins and Nucleic Acids by Electrophoresis
Chapter 7: Spectroscopic Analysis of Biomolecules
Chapter 8: Biomolecular Interactions: Ligand Binding and Enzyme Reacations
Chapter 9: Molecular Biology I: Structures and Analysis of Nucleic Acids
Chapter 10: Molecular Biology II: Recombinant DNA, Molecular Cloning and Enzymology
Chapter 11: Protein Production, Purification, and Characterization



Rod Boyer served on the faculty at Hope College, Holland, MI, where he taught, researched, and wrote biochemistry for 26 years. He earned his B.A. in chemistry and mathematics at Westmar College (Iowa) and his Ph.D. in physical organic chemistry at Colorado State University. After three years as an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow with M. J. Coon (cytochromes P-450) in the Department of Biological Chemistry at the University of Michigan Medical School, he joined the chemistry faculty at Hope. There he directed the work of over 75 undergraduate students in research supported by the NIH, NSF, Dreyfus Foundation, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Petroleum Research Fund (ACS). With his students, he published numerous journal articles in the areas of ferritin iron storage and biochemical education. He spent a sabbatical year as an American Cancer Society Scholar in the lab of Nobel laureate, Tom Cech at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Rod is also the author of Modern Experimental Biochemistry (Third Edition, 2000, Benjamin-Cummings) and Concepts in Biochemistry (Third Edition, 2006, John Wiley & Sons) and serves as an Associate Editor for the journal Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education (BAMBED). He is a member of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) and a former member of its Education and Professional Development Committee that recently designed the undergraduate biochemistry degree recommended by the ASBMB. Rod now resides in Bozeman, Montana, where he continues to write and consult in biochemical education.