Synopses & Reviews
Experience the magic of biology in your own home lab. This hands-on introduction includes more than 30 educational (and fun) experiments that help you explore this fascinating field on your own. Perfect for middle- and high-school students and DIY enthusiasts, this full-color guide teaches you the basics of biology lab work and shows you how to set up a safe lab at home.
The Illustrated Guide to Home Biology Experiments is also written with the needs of homeschoolers firmly in mind, as well as adults who are eager to explore the science of nature as a life-long hobby. To get the most from the experiments, we recommend using this guide in conjunction with a standard biology text, such as the freely downloadable CK-12 Biology (ck-12.org).
- Master the use of the microscope, including sectioning and staining
- Build and observe microcosms, soda-bottle worlds of pond life
- Investigate the chemistry of life from simple acids, bases, and buffers to complex carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, enzymes, and DNA
- Extract, isolate, and observe DNA
- Explore photosynthesis, osmosis, nitrogen fixation, and other life processes
- Investigate the cell cycle (mitosis and cytokinesis)
- Observe populations and ecosystems, and perform air and water pollution tests
- Investigate genetics and inheritance
- Do hands-on microbiology, from simple culturing to micro-evolution of bacteria by forced selection
- Gain hands-on lab experience to prepare for the AP Biology exam
Through their company, The Home Scientist, LLC (thehomescientist.com/biology), the authors also offer inexpensive custom kits that provide specialized equipment and supplies youll need to complete the experiments. Add a microscope and some common household items and youre good to go.
About the Author
Robert Bruce Thompson is a coauthor of Building the Perfect PC, Astronomy Hacks, and the Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders. Thompson built his first computer in 1976 from discrete chips. It had 256 bytes of memory, used toggle switches and LEDs for I/O, ran at less than 1MHz, and had no operating system. Since then, he has bought, built, upgraded, and repaired hundreds of PCs for himself, employers, customers, friends, and clients. Robert spends most clear, moonless nights outdoors with his 10-inch Dobsonian reflector telescope, and is currently designing a larger, computerized, truss-tube Dobsonian that he plans to build.
Barbara Fritchman Thompson is a coauthor of Building the Perfect PC, PC Hardware Buyer's Guide, Astronomy Hacks, and PC Hardware in a Nutshell. Barbara worked for 20 years as a librarian before starting her own home-based consulting practice, Research Solutions, and is also a researcher for the law firm Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge, & Rice, PLLC. During her leisure hours, Barbara reads, works out, plays golf, and, like Robert, is an avid amateur astronomer.
Table of Contents
; Preface; Who this Book is For; How this Book is Organized; Acknowledgments; How to Contact Us; Thank You; Author Bios; Chapter 1: Introduction; 1.1 Using this Book with Your Curriculum; 1.2 Planning and Scheduling; 1.3 Work Areas; 1.4 Maintaining a Laboratory Notebook; Chapter 2: Equipping a Home Biology Laboratory; 2.1 Microscopes and Accessories; 2.2 Microscope Accessories; 2.3 Culturing Equipment and Supplies; 2.4 Histology Equipment and Supplies; 2.5 General Laboratory Equipment; 2.6 Major Equipment; 2.7 Prepared Slides; 2.8 Specimens; Chapter 3: Laboratory Safety; 3.1 Prepare Properly; 3.2 Dress Properly; 3.3 Avoid Laboratory Hazards; 3.4 Dont Do Stupid Things; Chapter 4: Using a Microscope; 4.1 Equipment and Materials; 4.2 Background; 4.3 Procedure I-1-1: A Microscope Tour; 4.4 Build a Darkfield Apparatus from Pocket Change; 4.5 Review Questions; Chapter 5: Mounting Specimens; 5.1 Equipment and Materials; 5.2 Background; 5.3 Procedure I-2-1: Making Wet Mounts; 5.4 Procedure I-2-2: Making Smear Mounts; 5.5 Procedure I-2-3: Making Hanging Drop Mounts; 5.6 Procedure I-2-4: Making Sectional Mounts; 5.7 Review Questions; Chapter 6: Staining; 6.1 Equipment and Materials; 6.2 Background; 6.3 Procedure I-3-1: Simple Staining; 6.4 Procedure I-3-2: Gram Staining; 6.5 Review Questions; Chapter 7: Building and Observing Microcosms; 7.1 Equipment and Materials; 7.2 Background; 7.3 Procedure II-1-1: Gathering Materials; 7.4 Procedure II-1-2: Building Aquarium Microcosms; 7.5 Procedure II-1-3: Building Winogradsky Column Microcosms; 7.6 Procedure II-1-4: Observing Winogradsky Column Microcosms; 7.7 Review Questions; Chapter 8: Observing Succession in Aquarium Microcosms; 8.1 Equipment and Materials; 8.2 Background; 8.3 Procedure II-2-1: Observe Succession in Microcosms; 8.4 Review Questions; Chapter 9: Observing the Effects of Pollution in Microcosms; 9.1 Equipment and Materials; 9.2 Background; 9.3 Procedure II-3-1: Build Polluted Microcosms; 9.4 Procedure II-3-2: Observe Succession in Polluted Microcosms; 9.5 Review Questions; Chapter 10: Acids, Bases, and Buffers; 10.1 Equipment and Materials; 10.2 Background; 10.3 Procedure III-1-1: Percentage and Molar Concentrations; 10.4 Procedure III-1-2: Effect of Concentration on pH; 10.5 Procedure III-1-3: pH of Household Materials; 10.6 Procedure III-1-4: Buffers; 10.7 Review Questions; Chapter 11: Carbohydrates and Lipids; 11.1 Equipment and Materials; 11.2 Background; 11.3 Procedure III-2-1: Investigating Sugars; 11.4 Procedure III-2-2: Investigating Starches; 11.5 Procedure III-2-3: Investigating Lipids; 11.6 Review Questions; Chapter 12: Proteins, Enzymes, and Vitamins; 12.1 Equipment and Materials; 12.2 Background; 12.3 Procedure III-3-1: Investigating Proteins; 12.4 Procedure III-3-2: Investigating Enzyme Catalysis; 12.5 Procedure III-3-3: Assaying Vitamin C Concentration in Urine; 12.6 Review Questions; Chapter 13: Coacervates; 13.1 Equipment and Materials; 13.2 Background; 13.3 Procedure III-4-1: Prepare and Observe a Coacervate; 13.4 Review Questions; Chapter 14: Extracting, Isolating, and Visualizing DNA; 14.1 Equipment and Materials; 14.2 Background; 14.3 Procedure III-5-1: Extracting and Visualizing DNA; 14.4 Review Questions; Chapter 15: Build a Gel Electrophoresis Apparatus; 15.1 Equipment and Materials; 15.2 Background; 15.3 Procedure III-6-1: Making the Gel Casting Container and Comb; 15.4 Procedure III-6-2: Assemble the Apparatus; Chapter 16: Simulated DNA Separation by Gel Electrophoresis; 16.1 Equipment and Materials; 16.2 Background; 16.3 Procedure III-7-1: Prepare Running Buffer; 16.4 Procedure III-7-2: Prepare and Cast the Gel; 16.5 Procedure III-7-3: Load and Run the Dye Specimens; 16.6 Review Questions; Chapter 17: Chlorophyll and Photosynthesis; 17.1 Equipment and Materials; 17.2 Background; 17.3 Procedure IV-1-1: Observing Carbon Dioxide Uptake; 17.4 Procedure IV-1-2: Determining the Effect of Light Intensity on Photosynthesis; 17.5 Procedure IV-1-3: Chromatography of Plant Pigments and Locating Cellular Energy Reserves; 17.6 Review Questions; Chapter 18: Investigating Osmosis; 18.1 Equipment and Materials; 18.2 Background; 18.3 Procedure IV-2-1: Observing Osmosis in Chicken Eggs; 18.4 Review Questions; Chapter 19: Investigating Cell Division; 19.1 Equipment and Materials; 19.2 Background; 19.3 Procedure IV-3-1: Observing Mitosis; 19.4 Review Questions; Chapter 20: Sampling Plant Populations in a Community; 20.1 Equipment and Materials; 20.2 Background; 20.3 Procedure V-1-1: Choosing and Preparing the Survey Area; 20.4 Procedure V-1-2: Surveying the Plant Community; 20.5 Procedure V-1-3: Performing a Population Count; 20.6 Review Questions; Chapter 21: Observing the Effect of Rhizobia on Plant Growth; 21.1 Equipment and Materials; 21.2 Background; 21.3 Procedure V-2-1: Grow Lima Beans With and Without Rhizobia; 21.4 Review Questions; Chapter 22: Air Pollution Testing; 22.1 Equipment and Materials; 22.2 Background; 22.3 Procedure V-3-1: Building Particle Traps; 22.4 Procedure V-3-2: Positioning and Exposing the Particle Traps; 22.5 Procedure V-3-3: Counting and Identifying Particles; 22.6 Review Questions; Chapter 23: Soil and Water Pollution Testing; 23.1 Equipment and Materials; 23.2 Background; 23.3 Procedure V-4-1: Obtaining Soil and Water Specimens; 23.4 Procedure V-4-2: Testing the Reagents; 23.5 Procedure V-4-3: Making Boron Concentration Comparison Standards; 23.6 Procedure V-4-4: Testing Specimens for Boron; 23.7 Review Questions; Chapter 24: Exploring Mendelian Genetics; 24.1 Equipment and Materials; 24.2 Background; 24.3 Procedure VI-1-1: Testing Subjects for the Ability to Taste PTC; 24.4 Procedure VI-1-2: Charting Inheritance of PTC-Tasting Ability; 24.5 Review Questions; Chapter 25: Observing Specialized Eukaryotic Cells; 25.1 Equipment and Materials; 25.2 Background; 25.3 Procedure VII-1-1: Observing Onion Epidermal and Elodea Leaf Cells; 25.4 Procedure VII-1-2: Comparing and Contrasting Eukaryotic Cells; 25.5 Review Questions; Chapter 26: Preparing Culturing Media; 26.1 Equipment and Materials; 26.2 Background; 26.3 Procedure VII-2-1: Preparing Normal Saline and Nutrient Media; 26.4 Review Questions; Chapter 27: Culturing Bacteria; 27.1 Equipment and Materials; 27.2 Background; 27.3 Procedure VII-3-1: Staining and Observing the Original Culture; 27.4 Procedure VII-3-2: Inoculating Plates and Tubes; 27.5 Procedure VII-3-3: Producing Pure Cultures; 27.6 Review Questions; Chapter 28: Investigating Bacterial Antibiotic Sensitivity; 28.1 Equipment and Materials; 28.2 Background; 28.3 Procedure VII-4-1: Testing Antibiotic Sensitivity; 28.4 Procedure VII-4-2: Culturing an Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Strain; 28.5 Procedure VII-4-3: Retesting Sensitivity of the Resistant Strain; 28.6 Review Questions; Chapter 29: Investigating Protista; 29.1 Equipment and Materials; 29.2 Background; 29.3 Procedure VIII-1-1: Observing Spirogyrae; 29.4 Procedure VIII-1-2: Observing Euglenae; 29.5 Procedure VIII-1-3: Observing Amoebae; 29.6 Procedure VIII-1-4: Observing Paramecia; 29.7 Review Questions; Chapter 30: Investigating Fungi; 30.1 Equipment and Materials; 30.2 Background; 30.3 Procedure IX-1-1: Observing Zygomycota; 30.4 Procedure IX-1-2: Observing Ascomycota; 30.5 Procedure IX-1-3: Observing Basidiomycota; 30.6 Review Questions; Chapter 31: Investigating Simple Plants: Mosses and Ferns; 31.1 Equipment and Materials; 31.2 Background; 31.3 Procedure X-1-1: Observing Moss Structures; 31.4 Procedure X-1-2: Observing Fern Structures; 31.5 Review Questions; Chapter 32: Investigating Seed Plants; 32.1 Equipment and Materials; 32.2 Background; 32.3 Procedure X-2-1: Observing Germination of a Seed Plant; 32.4 Procedure X-2-2: Observing Root Structures; 32.5 Procedure X-2-3: Observing Stem Structures; 32.6 Procedure X-2-4: Observing Leaf Structures; 32.7 Procedure X-2-5: Observing Reproductive Structures; 32.8 Review Questions; Chapter 33: Investigating Porifera and Cnidaria; 33.1 Equipment and Materials; 33.2 Background; 33.3 Procedure XI-1-1: Observing Porifera; 33.4 Procedure XI-1-2: Observing Cnidaria; 33.5 Review Questions; Chapter 34: Investigating Platyhelminthes, Nematoda, and Annelida; 34.1 Equipment and Materials; 34.2 Background; 34.3 Procedure XI-2-1: Observing Platyhelminthes (Flatworms); 34.4 Procedure XI-2-2: Observing Nematoda (Roundworms); 34.5 Procedure XI-2-3: Observing Annelida (Segmented Worms); 34.6 Review Questions; Chapter 35: Investigating Arthropods; 35.1 Equipment and Materials; 35.2 Background; 35.3 Procedure XI-3-1: Observing and Comparing Arthropod Structures; 35.4 Procedure XI-3-2: Observing Insect Metamorphosis; 35.5 Review Questions; Chapter 36: Investigating Vertebrate Tissues; 36.1 Equipment and Materials; 36.2 Background; 36.3 Procedure XI-4-1: Observing Epithelial Tissues; 36.4 Procedure XI-4-2: Observing Connective Tissues; 36.5 Procedure XI-4-3: Observing Muscle Tissues; 36.6 Procedure XI-4-4: Observing Nervous Tissues; 36.7 Review Questions;