Extracting DNA

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is the genetic material that organisms receive from their parents. When a cell reproduces itself, it makes a copy of the DNA molecule. Information is passed from one generation of cells to the next. Every living thing is made of cells. Within each cell, DNA is the set of instructions that tell the cell what kind it is and what it does.

To extract DNA from food, you will utilize a blender, salt, meat tenderizer, a cup of water, test tubes, a screen or sieve, rubbing alcohol, detergent, and food (celery pictured).

A handful of food (celery) is blended with a cup of water and pinch of salt for 20 seconds.

The liquid is separated into a cup with a screen and mixed with a quarter cup of detergent. Letting the cup sit for 10 minutes, the detergent removes lipids and proteins to expose DNA.

The liquid is poured into approximately 2/3 of the test tube. A pinch of meat tenderizer is added and mixed gently to speed up the chemical reaction. Alcohol is carefully added to the remaining space in the test tube.

The DNA rises in the test tube and bunches together in white clumps.

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