on April 30, 2001
When I first started work in a lab as an undergrad, I would often learn of crucial tricks after I had already messed up a procedure and lost an hour or more of work. It's ironic how dependent molecular biologists are on that most ancient means of communication: oral tradition.
When I took a biochem lab, I was introduced to the Seidman and Moore text, which is a fantastic teaching source. For the beginner, this book has chapters on basic units of measurement and mathematics, laboratory organization and regulation (including the government bodies which oversee lab safety), writing standards, and web etiquette. No stone is unturned! Even after one gets the basics mastered, this book has tables on plastics and buffers, showing how they react to heat, light, and other critical data--my biochemistry instructor was even suprised by some of the information on plasticware! This is a companion for one's career in the lab.