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what lab experience do undergrad biology students in the US have?


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#1 minerva_29

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 03:19 AM

Hi Everyone,

Im wondering if someone can give me some information as to what kind of biology lab techniques (PCR, RT-PCR, ES cell culture, transformation, transfection, etc) do undergrads in Biology in the US get. Do most students get a chance to have their paper published?

#2 scolix

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 05:43 AM

In my old lab, I taught undergrads many techniques. Having a paper published depends entirely on the PI

#3 David C H

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 11:50 AM

It depends on the university, classes, the lab. Basic things like PCR are included in introductory biology labs. Cell culture, transformation, etc. are available in upper division electives.

As an undergrad you can join a lab and learn a variety of techniques. Because different labs tend to employ different techniques according to their interests, needs, and so forth, if there is something particular you want to learn, you need to make sure you join a lab that uses that technique routinely.

Publishing depends on the lab, you, and luck. Some labs are a better environment for undergrads to learn how to do research and have the chance to publish. I know smart people in hot labs that never managed to get good research opportunities. By luck, really, as an undergraduate I got into a lab that was very good at mentoring undergrads and providing good research projects for undergrads -- mulitple undergrads in that lab published first author papers. Now, when I mentor undergrads, I try to provide them with discrete projects and opportunities that would warrant authorship on the papers our team puts out.

#4 minerva_29

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 09:30 PM

Thanks a lot for the info. I greatly appreciate it.



#5 minerva_29

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 10:09 PM

your students are lucky! I co-authored a review article and it has been accepted already. it's published but it's not primary research.

i was actually weighing things and see if my qualifications can compete in the US if i apply to grad schools.




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