Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Extracting DNA

We have just completed our last lesson from the free OU course Understanding Experiments. This course is just about to finish but you can get lots of other free courses at FutureLearn.

This week we were extracting DNA from a kiwi and a tomato. First the fruits needed to be chopped up, mashed, and mixed with washing up liquid and salt to break down the cell membranes.

We left the mash for a while to warm. Then we strained out the "juice" which contains the DNA. We added a layer of alcohol on top of the juice. Where the DNA juice met the alcohol the DNA precipitated out of solution. We could see white strands of gooey DNA floating at the boundary between the juice and the alcohol. Its easiest to see this in the kiwi sample.

We managed to fish out some goopy DNA to look at under our microscope.

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