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Enzyme Lab report

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OUTLINE OF LAB REPORT

1. Your lab report will have the following format. You willwrite and turn them in as separate sections as outlined below :

Section 1:

a. Title Page

i. Your name

ii. An appropriate, descriptive title for these experiments

b. Introduction with references (refer to appendix F)

i. You are required to have a minimum of 3 references

1. One can be your textbook

2. One can be the lab manual

3. One from a journal article or annual review (Not a magazine)

Section 2:

c. Material and Methods (in paragraph form)

i. DO NOT copy the protocol from the lab manual

ii. DO NOT write the section as a recipe or as a series of steps.

d. Results

i. You must have text (sentences) describing your results. (What do you want me to notice in the data?). Your results CANNOT consist only of your 3 tables and 3 graphs! When making your graph, graph only to the time point at which the reaction was completed.

1. You will be given a standard curve. Use that standard curve to determine % amylose for each Absorbance value you measured.

2. Your tables of data will have both Absorbance readings and the corresponding % amylose.

3. Your graphs (Fig 1, 2 and 3) will have only % amylose. DO NOT make a graph with Absorbance values–you will lose points.

4. Each graph will have % amylose vs time with separate lines for different treatments (separate lines for pH 4, pH 5, pH 6, and pH 7 for example)

5. Make sure each graph is clearly labeled and understandable

Section 3:

e. Conclusions (analysis and conclusions)

i. Explain your results: Answer the “Why” question for the three experiments.

ii. If 22°C was the optimum temperature explain why it was, and why the other three temps gave lower activities. Repeat for enzyme dilution and pH.

The objective of the Enzyme Lab Write-Up is to help you learn formal writing techniques required for professional presentation of laboratory research. The format you will use is similar toformats required in journal presentations such as in Nature or Science.

Plagiarism

Any section of your paper that comes significantly from another source and is without proper citation or credit, or is significantly similar (data excluded) to work submitted by another student constitutes plagiarism. In the case of similarity between student reports, BOTH STUDENTS WILL BE HELD REPONSIBLE. So if you are including or referring to information from another literature source, cite it. If you are working with other students, write things in your own words and DO NOT allow someone to copy your work.

Title Page

The title needs to clearly and briefly state what the investigation is about and/or what the take-home message is. Think about writing your title as a headline for a news story: what is the main point you want the reader to remember?

“Enzyme Lab Report”–is not a sufficient title!

Your name first and in larger font or bold-faced type. Please include the class and section and the due date of the paper.

Write the section in present tense but try to reduce the use of“I” as well as “I believe” and “I feel” or “I think”. (Language-wise, you want to propose and support a hypothesis, not believe or prove one.)

Introduction

If you remember how to write the standard high school essay, the introductory paragraph is meant to “draw the reader’s interest.” The introduction section of your lab report should do the same using multiple paragraphs, with broader concepts introduced first and narrowing down to the relevant questions. The general issues that the reader should understand after reading your introduction:

• Why should the reader be interested in the topic of your lab report (i.e., enzymes)?

• What is known (or what you know) about the topic, and what is the gap in (your) knowledge that your experiment fills?

• What is your overall hypothesis for the entire set of experiments (and what did you predict would be the outcome)?

• It is perfectly acceptable at this stage to clearly state “The hypothesis is…..“.

• How will your hypothesis be tested in your experiments?

What is previously known about this specific enzyme? Where can it be found in nature? What different factors influence the activity of this specific enzyme in different environments where it can be found?

Materials and Methods

You can refer to the Lab Manual, but describe the procedure in a few short paragraphs.

1) This is not a recipe.

Your materials and methods are integrated sections written in paragraph form, not as a bulleted “step by step” recipe format. The reader should be able to follow what you did without having to know specifically that you vortexed your solutions. Include the most critical steps for the experiment (the creation of controls is not critical).

The Materials and Methods section is simply a history of what your experimental procedure was, so write the section in past tense. Scientific convention also uses passive voice (“I made a mistake”, but rather “mistakes were made”).

2) Critical amount of detail

Think about how recipes are written. Recipes do NOT tell you to “Measure 1 cup of milk in a measuring cup, and pour into a clean 3-quart pot. Separate 3 tablespoons of butter from a quarter-pound stick using a knife and place into the 3-quart pot with the milk. Stir with a wooden slotted spoon until the milk steams.”

You can reduce all of this to say, “Stir milk and butter over heat until steaming.”

Do not write all the details about what you did, but provide the critical steps and rationale for each major step. Instead of writing out all that you did to make your serial dilutions of enzymes, you can simply state that “enzyme solutions of x, y, and z concentrations were prepared.”

If your directions deviated from the usual “standard steps” written in the lab notebook, mention those changes.

3) Organizing your sections

You all did 3 separate experiments and a series of analysis steps of your data. You should divide the sections and clearly label them.

Results

1) Written description

You can also (or should) organize your results into sections as well.

The titles are descriptive of the set of data that were going to be presented in that section.

2) Figures and Tables

Please number your figures (Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.) and your tables. Refer to those figures and tables when you first want the reader to notice them in your text.

Remember that your figures should have % starch or % amylose, not absorbance.

In drawing line graphs, please make sure you can clearly identify the groups of data captured along each line. Please annotate your data points with visible symbols (squares, circles, triangles, etc.).You can use Excel or Powerpoint to create your graphs as you see it convenient. Hopefully either one can be inserted into your document.

Make sure you include axis titles and units.

3) Bars or lines?

The goal in creating a graph is to make a clear point that one set of data are clearly distinguishable from another. In most of your graphs that involve time intervals, it is somewhat easier to view the time trend by using line graphs. If you are using lines, please keep them solid or closely-spaced dots or dashes. If you are using color, avoid using yellow lines on white background.

Bar graphs can be used to illustrate the average enzyme activity over a period of time (1-5 minutes vs. 5-10 minutes). To make these graphs, calculate the enzyme activity at each time (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 minutes), group your data, and then average for each time period. Please make sure that each bar represents the data from that time block, and the x-axis lists the condition of the experiment (pH or temperature). You can try the other way around (each bar represents the change in pH or temperature, the x-axis notes the time block) if the data are clearer to show “your point.” Whatever you do, be consistent with your bar graphs.

4) Significant figures

In all tables, since your absorbance units are good to two significant digits, please make sure your data include only two significant digits: if you calculate the % starch to be 0.0085135791, list 0.0085 in your data table.

5) Where to place the figures?

You can embed your figures and captions as text boxes. If you do that, please make sure that you place the figure on the page where you first mention in the Results section your reference to that figure (or the immediate next page if there is already a figure embedded in that page). Figures may also be placed at the end of the document (after References). Ideally, each figure is its own page, and the legend can either be placed on that page or is on the immediate page before the figure.

6) Off the chart data

Dealing with data that is ‘off the chart’ or doesn’t make sense is something scientists have to deal with routinely. There are statistical tests that can be performed allowing for the acceptable exclusion of data that clearly differs from the norm. For the Biol 213 report, you may exclude such data in your Results section but address the problem in your Conclusions section.

Conclusions

This section should be devoted to interpreting the data which you showed in your Results section. Discuss the limitations of interpreting your results (problems), but also point out the successful “lessons” from your experiments as they addressed your hypothesis, and where the results will take you in the future. Organizationally, start from the direct “conclusions” of your experiment and then expand to include your interpretations and possible future experiments.

References

The list of cited references should include one additional reference from an appropriate scholarly source that does NOT include your textbook or lab manual (both of which need to be cited).

Figures and Tables

This is a reminder that figures and tables should be added after References if not embedded in Results. Place each figure and table on separate pages