In this super cool science experiment we will extract DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) from a strawberry
using regular stuff you can find around the house. DNA is one of two types of nucleic acid found in
plant and animal cells. Now lets have some fun!
Materials Strawberry DNA Extraction Experiment
- Salt (1/4 teaspoon)
- Rubbing Alcohol (5 milliliter)
- Kitchen Soap (10 milliliter)
- Ziplock Bag
- Clear Cups
- Water (3 ounces)
- Measuring cups/spoons/medicine dropper
Watch Video: Extract Strawberry DNA
Process for Strawberry DNA Extraction Experient
1) The rubbing alcohol you need for this experiment needs to be really cold. So place the bottle in the
freezer several hours before the experiment. Don't worry it wont freeze completely!
2) Measure and pour 3 ounces of water into a clear cup or beaker.
3) Use your medicine dropper to add 10 mL of kitchen dish soap to the water.
4) Next add 1/4 teaspoon salt to the water cup and mix it up real good with the spoon. This cool little
concoction will act as a homemade DNA extraction solution. Who needs a forensic lab when we
have moms supplies.
5) Toss a strawberry into a zip lock bag with our extract solution. Zip it up tight with as little air in the
bag as possible.
6) Now comes the fun part, smash and pulverize the strawberry (without breaking the bag) until its
really juicy with no big chunks remaining.
7) Empty the contents of the bag into a cup through the sieve. Get your spoon and smash/mash the
big pieces to get as much through the sieve and into the cup as possible.
8) Empty the contents of your strained juice into another clear cup.
9) Get the cold rubbing alcohol from the freezer and measure 5 mL with the medicine dropper. Add
this to the strawberry solution.
10) Now take a close look at the solution. You will notice white frothy stuff at the top. That is the
11) Use your tweezers to gently extract DNA. We noticed the strands you are able to pull out will vary in
size depending on how much of the strawberry you were able to mash through the sieve.
The Science of DNA Extraction Experiment:
DNA is contained in everything people and animals eat. It is DNA that determines the how people and
animals look and the differences between them. Each organism has different genetics and that is
due to DNA. Strawberries are great for this experiment because they have the most DNA out of the
fruits. They contain eight sets of DNA chromosomes. This is called an octoploid organism. In our
experiment the soap broke down the cell membrane. The salt dissolved protein chains that binded
nucleic acid together. The combined effect of the salt and the soap was a release of the strawberry
DNA strands. The final step of adding the cold alcohol helped separate the solution because DNA is
not soluble in rubbing alcohol.
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