(WFRV) – Every living thing has DNA. It carries all the information about how a living thing will function and look. DNA is short for deoxyribonucleic acid and is vital in passing down physical traits from parents to children. Abigail Martin with Farm Wisconsin shows us this cool DNA experiment you can do with strawberries.
Do it yourself Experiment
Materials: Funnel, tall plastic cup, coffee filter, spoon, shallow plastic cup, rubbing alcohol, toothpick, 6 tablespoons of water, 2 teaspoons dish soap, ¼ teaspoon salt, measuring spoons, plastic squeeze bottle, 1 strawberry, and a plastic zip-lock bag
- Mix the 6 taplespoons of water, 2 teaspoons of dish soap, ¼ teaspoon salt
- Repeat mixture until your plastics squeeze bottle is full of solution
- Place one strawberry in the bag with 1/2 a cup of mixture yu just made in the previous step
- Remove air from the bag, and seal shut
- Use your hands to smash strawberry, there should be no large chunks of the strawberry left in the bag
- Put a funnel inside the taller plastic cup, and place a coffee filter inside the funnel
- Pour the strqawberry pulp from the plastic bag into the coffee filter
- Use the juice that seeped down, and pour it into a the shallow plastic cup. This helps isolate the DNA to the surface
- Add a teaspoon of rubbing alcohol to the small plastic cup with the juice in it
- Use the toothpick to gently remove DNA from that mixture of juice and rubbing alcohol
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What is going on?
DNA isn’t just present in humans and animals, it’s also present in plants! The fibers attached to the toothpick are strands of strawberry DNA. The soap in the experiment dissolves the cell membranes, while salt breaks down the protein chains which hold nucleic acids together. Rubbing alcohol prevents the DNA from being soluble.
The reason why strawberries are a good choice for this experiment is that they have more DNA than most fruits.