Strawberry DNA Extraction
Hosted by: Women in Manufacturing - Texas Chapter
Visit our Booth: Saturday, February 27, 2021, 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Recommended Grades: 6th, 7th, 8th
The Challenge: Extract DNA from a strawberry using common household tools!
Each student should start with a strawberry and resealable plastic bag. Depending on the age group, other liquids can be added by adults. Use care handling the isopropyl alcohol.
- 1 strawberry per student
- Resealable plastic bags, 1 per student
- 2 tablespoons of water
- 1 teaspoon clear dishwashing liquid
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- Stirrer or spoon
- Coffee filter
- 2 clean plastic cups
- 15 ml conical tube, test tube, narrow jar or flask
- Measuring tool for tablespoons(1 per instructor)
- Measuring tool for teaspoons (1 per instructor)
- Cold isopropyl alcohol (1 teaspoon per person)
- Eyedropper to dispense alcohol
- Toothpick (or wooden coffee stirrer)-DNA will stick to the wood better
Strawberry DNA Extraction Instructions:
Step 1: Prepare for the experiment
Chill a bottle of rubbing alcohol by placing it in a freezer for 10 minutes and keep it cold in the classroom by placing in a container of ice. Set out materials needed for the experiment at each participant’s desk or table.
Step 2: Make your extraction solution
In a cup, add 2 tablespoons of water, 1 teaspoon of soap, and 1/2 teaspoon of table salt. Stir the ingredients in the cup.
Step 3: Disrupt the strawberry cells
Place a strawberry in a resealable plastic bag. Add the water, soap and salt mixture(extraction solution)from step 2 into the plastic bag with the strawberry. Remove as much air as possible and seal the bag. Gently mash the strawberry in the bag until there are no large pieces. Mashing the contents of the bag against a table is helpful. Try not to shake the bag or create excessive soap bubbles.
Step 4: Filter
Place a coffee filter in a funnel and place it over a new cup. Pour the contents of the bag into the funnel so that the liquid portion filters into the cup and the strawberry solid particles are captured in the filter in the funnel. Discard the filter and its contents (place back in the plastic bag and discard).
Step 5: Precipitate the DNA
Pour some of the liquid from the cup into a test tube or 15ml conical tube (fill the test tube approximately 3/4full, up to 14ml). Place the test tube in a cup or test tube rack so it stands upright (you can use the cup you originally used to create the water, salt and soap mixture). Use the eyedropper to add 1 teaspoon of cold isopropyl alcohol to the test tube and close the lid. Do not mix further. Wait a few seconds and watch as DNA appears at the top of the test tube as a white “cloud.” The DNA will be at the very top of the clear layer of isopropyl alcohol, not where the two layers meet. You should see tiny air bubbles that become trapped between the DNA molecules as it aggregates.
Open the lid and remove the precipitated DNA strands with a toothpick or wooden coffee stirrer. The DNA you observe at this step is actually thousands of long DNA strands that are tangled together in a clump.
Summary: The study of DNA, genes and heredity is called Genetics. DNA contains so much information and scientists try to find out which genes are responsible for certain characteristics or functions. To study genes and how they work, scientists routinely extract DNA from organisms using the same techniques in this experiment. All living things, from bacteria and other microorganisms to plants and humans, contain DNA in their cells. Remember that when you eat a plant or an animal, you are consuming DNA from every cell that you ingest.
How does this activity connect to STEM and today's Girl Day theme of Designing for Communities and Designing Fun? Engineers and scientists have to figure out how to extract DNA so that they can create new medicines, vaccines, and other products that improve health and wellness for communities! Research and development teams work together to analyze DNA and develop new solutions for the communities. Once these medicines and vaccines are developed, manufacturing teams figure out how to make large quantities to distribute for the community.
What Is Women in Manufacturing? (WiM)
Women in Manufacturing® (WiM) is the only national trade association dedicated to providing year-round support to women who have chosen a career in the manufacturing industry. At present, more than 5,300 individual members representing nearly 1,000 manufacturing companies have joined our growing ranks of industry professionals. WiM encompasses manufacturers of all types and welcomes individuals from every job function – from production to the C-Suite. Membership is available to women and men working within the manufacturing sector.
What Is Women in Manufacturing - Texas Chapter? (WiM-TX)
We are Proud Texas Women from various backgrounds within Manufacturing that have come together to promote, support and inspire one another. Through networking, education and mentoring, our goal is to facilitate the advancement of women in Manufacturing at all levels of the organization.
Women in Manufacturing Texas is committed to creating an environment that
- Empowers women workers and strengthens the manufacturing sector
- Provides an inclusive and welcoming community to support women from the shop floor to the executive board room within all manufacturing industries
- Inspires future generations to pursue careers in STEM and Manufacturing.
- Embraces the abilities of women to lead in the manufacturing sector.
- Provides an environment of shared learning amongst our peers with a common goal to promote and succeed in the field of Manufacturing.