Science with Shields: Episode #49 – Strawberry DNA

Science with Shields

ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — In this episode of Science with Shields, Christy Shields shows you how to get the DNA out of a strawberry.

What you need: 

  1. A small glass and a medium sized glass
  2. Plastic bag
  3. Strawberries
  4. Dish soap
  5. Rubbing alcohol
  6. Salt
  7. Water
  8. Strainer
  9. Tweezers

Instructions:

First put rubbing alcohol into a freezer. Next, measure six tablespoons of water into a glass. You then want to add two teaspoons of dish soap to the water. Mix ¼ of a teaspoon of salt into the water and soap, now mix until dissolved. Next, you will want to put a strawberry into a plastic bag then add the mixture into the bag. Try to get as much air out of the plastic bag as possible and seal it shut. You will then want to smash the strawberry to a pulp. Next, strain the strawberry pulp into a small glass. You will then want to grab the chilled rubbing alcohol and pour one teaspoon of it into the glass with the strained strawberry pulp. Wait a few moments until there is separation, and carefully pull the string of strawberry DNA out!

Science: 

DNA, or Deoxyribonucleic Acid, is a molecule that contains the information to build and maintain any organism. This includes all plants, animals, and humans. We use strawberries for this experiment because they are easy to get more DNA out of, and also they have eight copies of each DNA chromosome. Normally there are only two sets of DNA chromosomes, like in humans. We can extract the DNA because the soap diminishes cell membranes, while the salt helps break up the protein chains and the chilly alcohol is great because DNA will not dissolve in it! Try this out with different fruits and let us know how it goes!

Check out more Science with Shields episodes on WTAJ Plus.

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