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Biology 220 Transmission Electron Microscopy

Course summary: Taught during the first half of the Fall semester, this laboratory course introduces students to use of the transmission electron microscope (TEM), as well as associated techniques and equipment. Successful completion of the course allows students continued access to the TEM for research projects in subsequent semesters.

Course description: Transmission electron microscopes permit the ultrastructural examination of cell, tissue, and non-biological materials at very high magnification, with a resolving power measured in nanometers. In this hands-on course, students learn how to prepare ultra-thin specimens for electron microscopic study, how to use the TEM to examine and digitally photograph them, and how to interpret the resultant images. The theory behind these techniques and the use of the TEM also will be considered. This course is ideal for students interested in independent research in the sciences. This course does not count towards the Biology major. Enrollment is limited to 6. (1/2 credit).

Format: For the first three weeks, the course meets for one lecture and TWO lab periods per student per week. For the balance of the course, the course meets for one lecture and one lab period per week, but students should plan to invest the time equivalent of at least one additional lab period every week in order to practice the techniques. More time is beneficial!

Prerequisites: Pre-reqs include patience, persistence, AND permission of the instructor. A laboratory course experience such as Biology 152 is helpful but not necessary.

Instructor: Ann Lehman, Director of the EM Facility. If interested, please email Professor Lehman to discuss enrollment at