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Online Resources for EDC/FFA Combined Biotechnology Skills Standards


"Combined Academic Knowledge Technical Skills, and Employability Skills from Bioscience and Agricultural Biotechnology Skills Standards."

By: Education Development Center, Inc. and FFA Foundation, Inc.  Web-site Annotation Compiled by Bio-Link Staff




1)     Comprehend a technical vocabulary

a)     Biotechnology Terms Glossary   a searchable dictionary sponsored by Monsanto

b)     Biotech Life Science Dictionary  a searchable dictionary

c)       A Genetics Glossary  a searchable dictionary (The University of Edinburgh School of Biology)

2)     Follow protocol

a)     What is an SOP  Explanatory text and student exercises (requires free Bio-Link subscription)

b)       How to Understand and Interpret Food and Health-Related Scientific Studies (International Food Information Council)

3)     Maintain laboratory notebook

a)     Laboratory Notebooks A Bio-Link collection of detailed web sites on the importance of recordkeeping. (requires free Bio-Link subscription)

b)     Proper Maintenance of a Laboratory Notebook  Guidelines from legal standpoint (Darby & Darby Intellectual Property law)

c)      Guidelines for Keeping a Laboratory Record  Guidelines with examples (Rice University)

d)     Control and Use of Laboratory Notebooks (West Coast Analytical Service)

4)     Interact with vendors, colleague, and clients

5)     Write or update protocols, SOP's, manuals, reports, and technical summaries

a)     What is an SOP (requires free Bio-Link subscription)

b)     Preparation of Lab Reports Discussion of the purpose of the 5 sections of a lab report (New Hampshire Biotechnology Center)



  • There are many good laboratory safety web sites developed by institutions and Universities for their own use.  Some to check out:
  • MATC  Laboratory Safety Education  Teaching safety in the laboratory, including a lab exercise
  • CDC  Health and Safety Manuals On-line safety information from Ohasis and CDC
  • Michigan State U  Michigan State University Office of Radiation, Chemical & Biological Safety
  • UC Davis  U California Davis Safety Nets (short subject-specific information sheets).
  • University of Texas  UT's on-line safety manuals
  • Laboratory Safety Institute  Not for profit organization interested in safety in science education

1)     Identify first aid supplies, personnel, emergency protection areas and evacuation plan

2)     Follow appropriate safety procedures, guidelines, and chemical hygiene plan

a)     OSHA's Laboratory Standard  OSHA's Laboratory safety regulations

b)     The Hazard Communication (Right-to-Know) Standard 29 CFR 1910.1200  Textual explanation (LabSafety.com)

c)      CDC Chemical Safety Manual 

d)     University of Vermont (University of Vermont's Chemical Hygiene Plan) 

e)     UC Davis General Guidelines for Management of Laboratory Chemicals

3)     Follow universal precautions for biological pathogens

a)     American Biological Safety Organization  (ABSA)

b)     Canadian Biosafety site  

c)      MSDS for Biological Organisms  

d)     CDC Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories  (BMBL)

e)     Michigan State Biosafety pages  

f)        OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Standard  (OSHA's regulations)

g)     Bloodborne Pathogens Training Manual  (University of Wisconsin)

4)     Follow use of laminar flow, fume hoods and biological safety cabinets

a)     CDC Primary Containment for Biohazards: 

b)     Fume Hood maintenance (Cornel University)

5)     Use protective equipment

a)     Recommendations for Chemical Protective Clothing (NIOSH chemical resistance information)

b)     Michigan State University Glove Guide Chemical Resistance in Gloves 

c)      What to Look for When Choosing Protective Eyewear (LabSafety.com)

d)     Selecting Chemical Protective Clothing for Vapor and Splash Protection  (LabSafety.com)

e)       Occupational Safety - Hand Protection (Environmental Safety) This site has a picture demonstration how to remove contaminated gloves

6)     Take appropriate protective measures while working around UV light

a)     Hazards of Ultraviolet Radiation (UC Davis SafetyNet)

b)     What to Look for When Choosing Protective Eyewear (LabSafety.com)

7)     Maintain safety equipment.

a)     Emergency Eyewashes & Showers - Proper Testing and Maintenance (LabSafety.com)

b)     Use, Placement, Maintenance and Testing of Portable Fire Extinguishers (LabSafety.com)

8)     Monitor, use, store and dispose of hazardous materials properly

a)     IRIS EPA hazardous materials database 

9)     Observe rules of safety with radioactive materials

a)     CDC Radiation Safety Manual 

b)     Michigan State  

c)      UC Davis guidelines  (UC Davis SafetyNet)

d)     Steps You Can Take to Limit Your Exposure to Radiation (UC Davis SafetyNet)

10) Attend required training

a)     UC Davis Need and responsibility for Training (UC Davis SafetyNet)

11) Observe rules of electric safety

a)     Workplace Electrical Safety Tips  (National Electric Safety Foundation)

b)     OSHA's Electrical safety pages 

c)       UC Davis' Electrical Safety Guidelines  (UC Davis SafetyNet)

d)       Electrical Safety (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health NIOSH)

12) Recognize safety symbols/signs

a)     Labeling for Hazardous Communication (LabSafety.com)

b)     Identification and Segregation of Chemical Waste (UC Davis SafetyNet)

13) Maintain, understand, and follow materials safety data sheets (MSDS) and worker protection Standards (WPS)

a)     MSDS on-line Cornell University maintains numerous links to MSDS sites 

b)       MSDS Search  search by product or manufacturer

c)      NIOSH Chemical Carcinogen guide 

d)     Glossary of MSDS Terms (UC Davis SafetyNet)

14) Recognize common lab hazards and observe procedures for the safe use of instruments and gas cylinders

a)       Centrifuge safety Cornell University description of a centrifuge accident

b)     Fume Hood Safety (Cornell University) Guide, selection and maintenance

c)      Compressed Gas safety (UC Davis SafetyNet)

d)     Gas Cylinder Storage and Handling (LabSafety.com)

e)     Gas safety rules (Advanced Chemical Safety) 

f)        Safe use of Refrigerators and Freezers (UC Davis SafetyNet)

g)     Autoclave use (UC Davis SafetyNet)

h)      Needle and Syringe Safety (UC Davis SafetyNet)

15) Keep work area free from clutter

a)     Industrial Housekeeping - General Requirements (LabSafety.com)

b)     Protecting Products Against Contamination By Making Cleanliness a Daily Habit (GMP Institute)



1)     Use scientific method

a)     Experimental Science Projects: An Introductory Level Guide (Mankato State University)

b)     Experimental Science Projects An Intermediate Level Guide (Mankato State University)

c)       Critical Thinking, The Scientific Method  - Teacher's guide (D.S. Adams, Smith College, Northampton, MA)

d)       John Snow (UCLA School of Epidemiology) Multimedia presentation of History of Cholera outbreak in 1858

2)     Obtain and read protocol, test procedure, standard operating procedures (SOPs)

a)     What is an SOP? (requires free Bio-Link subscription)

b)       Standard Operating Procedures (West Coast Analytical Service) Index of SOP’s used in testing

c)       Solutions, Reagents and Standards Preparation and Documentation (West Coast Analytical Service)

3)     Check equipment

a)     Instrument Qualification (WCAS SOP)

4)     Sterilize equipment where appropriate

a)       Antimicrobial Pesticides (EPA)

b)     Selecting Chemical Disinfectants (UC Davis SafetyNet) 

c)      Effective Use of Autoclaves (UC Davis SafetyNet)

d)     Autoclave Procedures (Michigan State University)

e)     Disinfectants and Antiseptics (LabSafety.com)

f)        Sterilization of plasticware (Nalgene)

5)     Prepare glassware

a)     Useful technical information on scientific glassware and products. (Bellco Glass)

b)     Use and Care of plasticware (Nalgene)

6)     Organize compounds

7)      Laboratory Chemical Safety (Flinn Scientific) Series of Safety tips for Chemistry Lab

8)     Perform mathematical calculations and conversions

a)     Units and Measures used in cell biology  (Dr. Heidcamp, Gustavus Adolphus College)

b)     Measurements (General Chemistry Online)

9)     Operate centrifuges

a)     Technical Tutorials Centrifugation (S. Wallman, New Hampshire Community Technical College)

b)     Centrifugation  (Dr. Heidcamp, Gustavus Adolphus College)

10) Use titration and pipetting techniques

a)     Pipetting Matters (Artel technical information)

b)     ChemLab (Dartmouth College)

c)      Instruction manuals (Rainin Pipetting Solutions)

d)       Quantitative Pipetting and Spectrophotometry (University of Havwaii, Microbiology Department) laboratory exercise

11) Prepare and dispense stock reagents, buffers, media and solutions

a)     Concentration Measurements and Solution Preparation (S. Wallman, New Hampshire Community Technical College)

b)     General Instructions For Solution Prepartion (S. Wallman, New Hampshire Community Technical College)

c)      Solutions, Reagents, and Standards Preparation and Documentation (WCAS SOP)

d)     Molarity, molality, or normality?  (Carolina Biological Supply Company) A quick review

e)     Solution Preparations  (Carolina Biological Supply Company)

f)        Preparation of some chemical solutions  (Dr., Gustavus Adolphus College)

12) Maintain reagent integrity (store properly, avoid cross-contamination, use at proper temperature, etc.)

13) Sterilize reagents, buffers, media and solutions where appropriate

a)     Preparing and Dispensing Media (University of Hawaii, Department of Microbiology)

14) Calculate and prepare dilution's series

a)       Serial Dilution of Sperm  (Stanford University) Lab exercise

15) Monitor physical properties of reagents, buffers, media and solution

a)     Understanding Conductivity (LabSafety.com)

b)     Technical Conductivity and Resistivity (Omega.com)

c)      Introduction to pH (Omega.com)

d)     Turbidity measurement (Omega.com)

16) Determine acceptability and optimum conditions of reagents for tests

17) Request tests and match request to test sample

18) Set up and work reactions

19) Prepare test subject (mentally and physically) for sampling

a)     Interpretive Guidelines: Laboratories (The Virtual Hospital) Guidelines for human testing

20) Assess acceptability/appropriateness of specimen

21) Obtain and label sample/specimen

22) Prepare sample for testing

23) Perform tests/assays: chemical, biological, clinical, environmental robotic, mechanical

24) Perform histotechniques where needed

a)     Histological Stains (Dental Histology)

b)     Histochemical and Cytochemical Knowledge Base (The Histochemical Society)

25) Perform basic separation techniques

a)     Chemical Separations (Supelco)

b)     Centrifugation  (Dr. Heidcamp, Gustavus Adolphus College)

c)       Cell Biology Laboratory Manual (Dr. Heidcamp, Gustavus Adolphus College) see "cell fractionation"

26) Operate chromatography equipment

a)     High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC): A Users Guide (University of Kentucky Analytical Spectroscopy Group)

27) Return, archive, or dispose of samples appropriately

28) Package, handle and ship biological materials

29) Maintain inventory of laboratory supplies

30) Order supplies and reagents

31) Date, label, store supplies and/or reagents

a)     The Do's and Don'ts of Chemical Labeling (Flinn Scientific, Inc.)

32) Maintain and store manufactured products inventory


            New Hampshire Community College Biotechnology Manufacturing course 

            Introduction to Biochemical Engineering Bioengineering course RPI

            Biotech Chronicles Access Excellence Biotechnology links

1)       Follow Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and batch record

a)     What is an SOP? (requires free Bio-Link subscription)

b)     Index of Standard Operating Procedures (WCASlab) SOP examples posted on-line

c)      Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) Writer's Guide (Los Alamos National Laboratory)

d)     Batch records (requires free Bio-Link subscription) classroom activity

e)     SOP Writing Workshop (Proceedings of the 4th National Symposium on Biosafety)

2)     Obtain raw materials

a)     Company Addresses List of links to suppliers

3)     Set up equipment according to process requirements

4)     Perform cleaning (manual/Clean in Place (CIP)) and sterilize (autoclave/Sterilize in Place (SIP))

5)     Prepare buffers and solutions

a)     General Instructions For Solution Preparation (S. Wallman, New Hampshire Community Technical College)

6)     Start up production

7)     Monitor production lines

a)     Using Absorption Spectra For Quality Control In A Pharmaceutical Company (requires free Bio-Link subscription) Laboratory activity

b)     pH Control: A Magical Mystery Tour (Omega.com) discussion of contol of pH systems

8)     Operate reactors and recover products

a)     Biotechnology Manufacturing - (S. Wallman, New Hampshire Community Technical College) Fermentation course

9)     Obtain, process, and store product samples (applies to all manufacturing steps)

a)     Fermentation in the Food Industry  (University of Wisconsin-River Falls) A series of lectures and labs. 

b)     Biotechnology Classroom Activities (University of Wisconsin-River Falls) A number of classroom activities related to Biotechnology

c)      Corn Wet Milling Lab  (requires free Bio-Link subscription) Laboratory activity

10) Purify product

a)     Starch Hydrolysis (requires free Bio-Link subscription) Laboratory activity

11) Formulate, fill, and inspect product

12) Label and package product

a)     Labeling for Hazardous Communication (LabSafety.com)

13) Distribute final product


1)     Follow regulations: U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

a)     FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) Links to all regulations

b)     Creative Ideas for Teaching GMP (requires free Bio-Link subscription)

c)      GMP Institute (GMP Institute) Includes many useful links that are well organized

2)     Follow regulations: U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

a)     OSHA  (U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration) Links to regulations

3)     Follow regulations: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

a)     USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture)

4)     Follow regulations: National Institutes of Health (NIH)

a)     NIH Guidelines Office of Biotechnology Activities, includes Recombinant DNA Guidelines, most recent updates

b)     NIH Safety management and Compliance (Division of Safety)

5)     Follow regulations: National Research Council (NRC)

a)     National Research Council

6)     Follow regulations: Department of Transportation (DOT)

a)     DOT (Department of Transportation)

7)     Follow regulations: U .S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

a)     EPA (U .S. Environmental Protection Agency)

b)     EPA Integrated Risk Information System Iris (EPA information on hazardous chemicals)

8)     Follow state and local regulations

a)     How To Access The Code Of Federal Regulations (requires free Bio-Link subscription) access information

b)     Understanding the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) (LabSafety.com)

9)     Follow industry and professional regulations

a)     The Magical Demystifying Tour of ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 (International Organization for Standardization)

10) Perform manufacturing using current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP)

a)     Creative Ideas for Teaching GMP (requires free Bio-Link subscription) Curriculum and laboratory activities

11) Follow regulations: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

a)     Biosafety Documents (CDC Ohasis)

12) Follow regulations: Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)

13) Follow regulations: Clinical Laboratory Improvement (CLIA, 88, Amendment of 1988 Protein techs skills)

a)     Pharmaceutical Development, Clinical Trials, Legal Services and Regulatory Affairs (Biotechnology Virtual Library)

b)       The Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA)  (Virtual Hospital) Computer assisted course


1)     Microbiology Skills

a)     Maintain workshop and equipment hygiene

b)     Prepare, sterilize, and dispense media, buffers, solutions, etc.

c)      Identify and quantify microorganisms and cells

i)        Bacterial Examination of Food (University of Hawaii, Microbiology Department) Includes Laboratory Exercise

d)     Isolate, maintain and store pure cultures

i)        Plasmid/Cosmid Propagation and DNA Preparation Methods (Washington University St. Louis) bacterial protocol  

ii)      Maintenance of Probes in bacteria including Escherichia coli  Storage of bacterial stocks

iii)    Aseptic Technique (Protocols Online)

iv)    Streaking for Isolation (University of Hawaii, Microbiology Department) Includes videos and Lab Exercises

e)     Maintain and analyze fermentation materials

i)        Transformation of E. coli, Production and Assay of Beta-Galactosidase by an Aerobic Fermentation. (University of Wisconsin-River Falls) Lab Activity

f)        Harvest cells

g)     Transform hosts

i)        DNA Transformation Of Bacteria-Ampicillin (Office of Biotechnology, Iowa State University) Laboratory Activity

h)      Perform bioassays

i)        Inhibition of Microbial Growth (University of Hawaii, Microbiology Department) Lab Exercises

i)        Decontaminate and dispose of equipment, glassware and biologicals

2)     Cell Biology Techniques

a)     Isolate and characterize cell lines

i)        Establishment of a Primary Culture  (Dr. Heidcamp, Gustavus Adolphus College) (Chick) Protocol  

ii)      Use of a Hemacytometer  (Dept of Animal Sciences, University of Florida) Protocol

iii)    Hemocytometer reference guide  (BD BioScience ) Technical use information

iv)    Cell Biology Laboratory Manual(Dr. Heidcamp, Gustavus Adolphus College) see chapter 12

v)      Human Cell Culture Methods (Washington University St. Louis)

b)     Propagate plant and animal tissue

i)         Fralin Biotechnology Center's Plant Tissue Culture Kit (The Fralin Center, Virginia Tech) detailed laboratory exercise and teachers notes

ii)      CLONING PLANTS BY TISSUE CULTURE (Michael H. Renfroe James Madison University)  

iii)    Plant Tissue Culture  (Access Excellence) Full protocol

c)      Use cryogenic techniques

i)         Cryopreservation Application Guide (Nalgene)

d)     Use microscopes

i)        Light Microscopy (Biosciences, Rice University)

ii)      Introduction to Optical Microscopy (Molecular Expressions) Lots of information and Virtual Microscope

iii)    WWW Virtual Library: Microscopy (WWW Virtual Library)

iv)    An Introduction to Microscopy  (Microscopy UK ) includes the history of the microscope

v)      Microscopy lectures (University of Hawii, Microbiology Department)

e)     Perform cytological tests, i.e. sectioning and staining

f)        Perform bioassays

i)        Home Diagnostic Kits (University of Kentucky) This site lists and explains theory behind some kits.

ii)      Fluorescence Detection (Clare Chemical Co) Source of many florescent detection dyes

3)     Nucleic Acid Techniques

Recombinant DNA Chapter (MIT Biotechnology Hypertextbook)

DNA  (The Fralin Center, Virginia Tech)

a)     Detect specific nucleic acid sequences

i)        DNA Fingerprinting (Office of Biotechnology, Iowa State University) Laboratory Activity

b)     Isolate nucleic acids

i)        Isolation and Spooling of DNA (S. Wallman, New Hampshire Community Technical College) Laboratory Exercise

ii)      DNA Extraction From Bacteria (Office of Biotechnology, Iowa State University) Laboratory Activity

iii)    Series of DNA extraction procedures (Protocols Online)

iv)    CHO mRNA Extraction Using Dynal's Super-Paramagnetic Beads (S. Wallman, New Hampshire Community Technical College) Laboratory Exercise

c)      Perform restriction digests

i)        Genome Mapping Using Restriction Enzymes (S. Wallman, New Hampshire Community Technical College) Laboratory Exercise

ii)      DNA Enzymatic Manipulation  (Protocols Online)

iii)      Plasmid Isolation And Analysis (Office of Biotechnology, Iowa State University) Laboratory Activity

d)     Perform gel electrophoresis

i)        Use Of Restriction Enzymes In DNA Fingerprinting (S. Wallman, New Hampshire Community Technical College) Laboratory Exercise

ii)      Technical Tutorials Calibration of Agarose Gels (S. Wallman, New Hampshire Community Technical College) Laboratory Exercise

iii)    DNA Electrophoresis (Protocols Online)

e)     Label nucleic acids

i)        Full DNA Fingerprint (S. Wallman, New Hampshire Community Technical College) Laboratory Exercise

ii)      DNA Labeling  (Protocols Online)

f)        Perform nucleic acid sequencing procedures

i)        Sequence the poly linker of pBR322 (S. Wallman, New Hampshire Community Technical College) Laboratory Exercise

ii)      DNA Sequencing (Protocols Online)

g)     Perform PCR procedures

i)        PCR In DNA Fingerprinting (S. Wallman, New Hampshire Community Technical College) Laboratory Exercise

ii)      Detection of Alu by PCR   (Access Excellence)

h)      Use sequence database

i)        Online Courses in Bioinformatics A collection of resources (requires free Bio-Link subscription)

ii)      Blast for Beginners (requires free Bio-Link subscription)

i)        Perform basic cloning techniques

i)        Reverse transcription of mRNA into cDNA (S. Wallman, New Hampshire Community Technical College) Laboratory Exercise

ii)       DNA Cloning (Protocols Online)

4)     Protein Techniques

Proteins  (The Fralin Center, Virginia Tech) basic descriptions

a)     Detect specific proteins

i)        The Antibody Resource page (The Antibody Resource Page)

b)     Precipitate/solubilize proteins

c)      Separate proteins, isolate or characterize proteins

i)        Hydrophobic Interaction Chromatography Coupled With SDS-PAGE Electrophoresis (S. Wallman, New Hampshire Community Technical College) Laboratory Exercise

ii)      Introduction to SDS-PAGE (Rice University)

iii)      Column Chromatography (S. Wallman, New Hampshire Community Technical College) Technical Tutorials

iv)      Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis (PAGE) (S. Wallman, New Hampshire Community Technical College) Technical Tutorials

v)      Using Interactive Computer Technology to teach Protein Purification (requires free Bio-Link subscription)

vi)    Cell Biology Laboratory Manual  (Dr. Heidcamp, Gustavus Adolphus College)

d)     Concentrate proteins

e)     Perform protein assays

i)        Protein Assays Rice University

ii)      PAGE/Western For Protein Identification (S. Wallman, New Hampshire Community Technical College) laboratory Exercise

iii)    Enzyme biochemistry (MIT Biology Hypertextbook)


1)     Document product specifications

2)     Inspect and verify integrity of the product, procedure, specimen

3)     Use test standards, controls

4)     Maintain QA logs

5)     Document customer complaints

6)     Take and document corrective action according to SOP or as directed


1)     Check calibration and perform systems diagnostics

2)     Monitor/record the environmental conditions of the facility (growth chamber, greenhouse, seed storage room, animal room or manufacturing suite)

3)     Validate or confirm processes, equipment, facilities, kits and vendor products

4)     Perform or schedule preventive maintenance

5)     Clean work area according to SOPs

6)     Sample environment

7)     Implement systems updates

8)     Maintain equipment logs

9)     Trouble shoot and repair equipment (work order)

10) Label equipment and facilities

11) Ensure clean room integrity

a)     Cleanroom procedures (Cornell University Nanofabrication facility)

b)     MicrocompleteNews (Microcomplete) A cleanroom cleaning company publishes technical info


            Animal Care manuals and publications APHIS

1)     Monitor health and maintain health records

a)     Veterinary Government & Law Resources (NetVet)

2)     Feed, water and observe plants and animals and monitor intake

a)     Guide to the Care and Use of Research Animals (National Academy Press Online manual)

b)     Working Safely with Research Animals (CDC - Proceedings of the 4th National Symposium on Biosafety)

3)     Receive and transport animals

4)     Monitor housing conditions

5)     Restrain and handle animals

6)     Clean housing and sterilize cages

7)     Maintain health records

8)     Monitor and maintain animal safety

9)     Prepare food/feed and prescription diets

10) Collect and process specimens

11) Maintain separate in-process, quarantine, and release areas


1)     Perform small-scale field tests according to protocol

a)     Bt Corn Vs The European Corn Borer (ECB) Activity Laboratory Activity

2)     Apply plant pesticides for evaluation

3)     Inoculate plants and/or soil with biological and biochemical materials

4)     Manage plants/animals for optimal growth

a)     AgBios (Commercial site with some teaching modules)

5)     Collect biological data

6)     Use field database

7)     Perform bioassays


1)     Maintain plants for optimal growth

a)     Wisconsin FastPlants 

2)     Gather pollen and handle pollinate

3)     Apply agrichemicals safely

4)     Maintain and monitor insect populations

5)     Apply plant pests safely

6)     Mix growth media

7)     Pot and repot plants

8)     Monitor growth and development of plants

a)     A Practical Guide to Containment (Information Systems for Biotechnology) Guide for growing GMO’s in greenhouses

9)     Operate computerized equipment

10) Perform bioassays

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