A Practical Course in Biology - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780080161051, 9781483181479

A Practical Course in Biology

1st Edition

The Commonwealth and International Library: Biology Division

Authors: W. Belfield M. Dearden
Editors: G. L. Watt
eBook ISBN: 9781483181479
Imprint: Pergamon
Published Date: 1st January 1971
Page Count: 188
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A Practical Course in Biology provides various experiments biologists or those in biology related fields usually perform, mainly encompassing experimenting with animals and plants. As this book provides a practical course in biology, it first discusses the instrument commonly used in laboratory experiments—the microscope. Then, this text shifts to studying various organisms, including plants and animals and their biological characteristics and mechanisms. This selection ends with the practical techniques and methods in biology, such as dissecting, cleaning glassware, specimen preservation, and killing laboratory animals. This book will come in handy for students and experts in the field of general biology and related fields.

Table of Contents



1 Microscopy

Setting up the Microscope

Simple Microscopical Observations

Measurement of Microscopical Objects (Micrometry)

Examination of Pondwater

Section Cutting

Temporary Staining of Plant Sections

Leishman's Stain for Blood Smears

Squash Preparation of Chromosomes of Root-tip, Stained in Proprionic-orcein

Whole Mounts

2 Variety of Organisms

Protista: Schizomycophyta, Chlorophyta, Phaeophyta, Chrysophyta, Rhizopoda, Flagellata, Ciliophora, Sporozoa, Mycophyta

Metaphyta: Bryophyta, Sphenopsida, Pteropsida

Metazoa: Coelenterata

Platyhelminthes, Nematoda, Annelida, Arthropoda, Mollusca

Echinodermata, Chordata

3 Structure and Physiology of the Mammal

Dissection of the Rat

The Skeleton of the Rabbit


How Movement is Caused by Muscles

Muscular Contraction and ATP


Food Tests

To Show that Foods Contain Carbon

To Show that Protein Contains Nitrogen

To Show that Fat Gives out More Heat than Sugar

Physical Properties of Foods

Tongue and Taste

Taste and Smell

Function of Various Types of Teeth

Functional Anatomy of Teeth

Action of Ptyalin

Action of Pancreatin

Action of Chymase (Rennin)

Emulsification of Fats and Oils

Absorbing Area of the Intestine


Counting of Red Blood-cells

Watch Pocket Valves

Movement of Blood in Fish, Frog, Tadpole

Action of Capillary in Smoothing out Varying Pressure


To Dhow that Animals Use Oxygen


Presence of Salts in Sweat

To Show That Evaporation Cools


To Show the Presence of Nitrogen in Urine

To Show the Presence of Uric Acid in Bird Droppings


Surface Anatomy of the Skin

The Skin as a Temperature Receptor

Sensitivity of the Body to Touch

Regulation of Water Balance

Reflex Actions

Eye and Ear

Focusing of the Human Eye

Action of the Iris

Presence of the Blind Spot

Calculation of the Size of the Blind Spot

Field of Vision in the Human Eye

Importance of Stereoscopic Vision

Function and Mechanism of Semicircular Canals

Muscular Control of Posture

4 Structure and Physiology of the Flowering Plant

Plant Anatomy


Test for Starch in the Plant

Necessity of Light for Photosynthesis

Necessity of Light for the Development of Chlorophyll

Necessity of Chlorophyll for Photosynthesis

Necessity of Carbon Dioxide for Photosynthesis

Production of Oxygen in Photosynthesis


Production of Carbon Dioxide and Water during Burning of Sugar and Fat

Gaseous Exchange in Respiration

Anaerobic Respiration

Production of Carbon Dioxide during Respiration of Plants and Animals

Production of Heat by Plants and Animals

Water and Mineral Relations

Demonstration of Osmosis

Molecular Movement in Osmosis (Model)

Osmosis in Living Material

Root Pressure

Rise of Water in Xylem


Rise of Mineral Salts in Stem

Water Culture of Plants


Loss of Water from a Plant

Site of Water Loss from a Plant

Stomatal Preparation

Model of Stomata

Variation of Speed of Water Loss

Effect of Leaf-suction in Raising Water up a Plant

Transpiration Pull


Spore Release in Moss

Spore Release in Fern

To grow the Prothallus of a Fern

Germination of Pollen

Function of Pollen

Seed Dispersal

Vegetative Propagation

Germination of Seed

Presence of the Micropyle

Function of the Micropyle

Conditions for Germination

Plant growth and Movement

Region of Root Sensitive to Gravity

Region of Root Responsive to Gravity

To Show that Geotropic Movement of Root is Not Due to the Weight of the Root

Negative Response of Shoot to Gravity

Growth of Root when Gravity is Neutralized

Hormonal Control of Geotropism

Control of Growth by Tip of Shoot

Bending Towards Light Controlled by Shoot Tip

Area of Shoot Responsive to Light





Regions of Growth in Radicle and Shoot

Structure and Growth of Winter Bud


Mechanical Analysis of Soil

Estimation of Water-soluble Mineral Content of Soil

Separation of Small Animals from Soil

Effect of Water when Frozen in Confined Space

Amount of Air in Soils

Permeability of Soil to Air

Water Retention by Soil

Porosity of Soil to Water

Capillary Action of Soil

Clay Content of Soil

Water Erosion

Amount of Water in Soil

Amount of Organic Matter in Soil

pH of Soil

Solutions for Hydroponic Culture of Green Plants

5 The Cell and its Properties

Movement of Water into and out of Living Cells

Selective Uptake of Solutes by Yeast

Extraction of Amino-acids and Proteins from Plant Tissue, and their Analysis Paper Chromatography

Optimum Temperature and pH for an Enzyme

6 Growth and Differentiation

Growth-rate of DrosopMa at Varying Temperatures

Ligaturation of Developing Blowfly Larvae

Growth Curves for Mice


7 Ecology

Suitable Places and Approaches for Field-study

Suggestions for Field Investigations


Surveys of Populations

Construction of Keys for Identification

8 Genetics

Genetical Experiments with Drosophila

Salivary Gland Chromosome Preparation of Drosophila

Distribution of Certain Characteristics in Human Populations

The Hardy-Weinberg Law

9 Evolution

Environment and Gene-expression

Normal Distribution

Collecting Fossils in the British Isles

Fossil Finding and Dating

10 Culture Methods for Common Laboratory Organisms





Daphnia and Cyclops









Bacteria and Fungi

Gram's Stain for Bacteria

11 Practical Techniques and Methods



Experimental Records


Some Simple Applications of Statistics in Biology

Arithmetic Mean



Chi-squared Test


Coefficient of Correlation

Standard Error of the Mean

Cleaning of Glassware

Killing Animals

Preservation of Specimens



Solutions—preparation and Concentration

Buffer Solutions

Other Solutions, Stains, Chemicals, Mountants

Sources of Supply

Book List

Accident Prevention and First Aid

S.I. Units



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© Pergamon 1971
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About the Author

W. Belfield

M. Dearden

About the Editor

G. L. Watt

Ratings and Reviews