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Biology Lab: Blood Analysis Methods

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Lab Exercise

Biology Lab:Blood Analysis

Goal: Analyze blood for infectious agents.

Equipment and Materials:

Follow instructions at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute virtual lab. Click on "Launch Interactive" to start the exercise.

This simulation is fun, but time consuming--plan on at least an hour. You will need to take notes on the procedure and turn them in. [You are welcome to pursue any of the other great labs at this site as well...but the Immunology lab is the only one I'm using for lab credit.]


  1. Read the overall summary of the lab and make sure you are using the appropriate browser version with JavaScript enabled and your popup blocker off (at least while doing the lab). If you turn it off, be sure to reset the blocker at the end of the lab!
  2. Download the Worksheet PDF and review it so that you understand how to fill it out. If you have the correct version of Adobe Reader, you should be able to fill it out on your computer, otherwise, you can write down your observations on a paper copy.
  3. Click on Start virtual lab and read the diagnosis and background tabs.
  4. Note that you have an online notebook page to add information as you work through the lab.
  5. Click on "Enter the lab and follow the steps to complete the immunology tests. Remember to follow safety practices, like putting on gloves before handling blood samples and properly discarding contaminated pipette tips, as though you were in a real lab.
  6. For each piece of equipment you use, be sure that you understand what it is doing and how the data it collects applies to your analysis. Clicking on the terms in red will let you look up the term in the glossary.
  7. What are the ratios of serum to initial buffer in each of the samples you prepare?
  8. Note each step that you take to add a buffer or solution and remove it. What happens at each step?
  9. What does ELISA stand for?
  10. Why is the incubator temperature set at 37°C?
  11. If you do not complete the lab correctly (following all steps properly), you may not achieve accurate results. The Lab Results step will tell you what went wrong, and you will need to repeat the lab.

Lab Report

Put together a formal report (goals, equipment and materials, procedure, data collection, analysis). Include any notes you took during the assay, and your work sheet. If you were able to fill out the worksheet with an Adobe PDF reader, you may upload the results to the Moodle, otherwise scan your handwritten information and upload it.