Hands-on experiment: Extracting DNA from a strawberry

August 23, 2013 7:30 am Published by .

The Xplore BoX theme for August is Kitchen Science! Check out this additional easy experiment you can do at home involving a few households items.

Strawberry DNA Xplore BoX
1. Gather materials: Ziploc bag, strawberries, dish soap, salt, coffee filter, rubbing alcohol, glass cup, skewer.

2. Place strawberries in the Ziploc bag and squish them into a pulp.

3. Mix a teaspoon of dish soap and a salt. Add the dish soap and salt mix to the strawberries. Seal the Ziploc bag and squish the resulting mixture in order to dissolve the cell membranes.

4. Put the coffee filter on the glass cup. Pour the strawberry mixture into the filter. The filter will serve to separate the liquids from the solids.

5. Remove the filter and solids from the glass cup. Gently tilt the cup to the side and add the rubbing alcohol. The alcohol will form a layer on top of the strawberry mixture.

6. The DNA molecules will form on top of the strawberry mixture and appear as a white, stringy layer.

7. Remove the DNA molecules using the skewer. You are now holding the strawberry DNA macromolecules!

Be sure to try the experiment with other foods!

Fun fact: The salt and soap separate the cells from each other and then break down the membranes around the cells in order to get to the DNA.

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This post was written by Rebeca

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