October 5, 2014

What’s in a Cell? 3 Easy Steps to DNA Extraction. ~ Fahad Basheer

Emily Fnm3d / Pixoto

What is DNA?

DNA is an extremely long chain of molecules that contain all the information necessary for the life functions of a cell.

It helps in carrying information from generation to generation and also helps in the production of proteins that are essential for the growth and development of the human body.

The individual molecules that make up DNA are called nucleotides. There are only four nucleotides that are ever used: adenine, thymidine, guanine and cytosine.

These nucleotides are made up of atoms like carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, phosphorous and oxygen.

What are the contents needed to extract DNA?

1. Shampoo
2. Table Salt
3. Filter Paper
4. 3 Jars
5. Pipette
6. Teaspoon
7. Dropper
8. 70 percent isopropyl alcohol (also known as, isopropanol)
9. Test Tube
10. Water

How do you extract your DNA?

Step 1: Take a jar and fill it with water and dissolve one teaspoon of table salt in the jar.

Now, take the prepared solution and rinse it thoroughly in your mouth and collect it in another jar.

Add three teaspoons of shampoo to the prepared solution.

The principle behind adding detergent (shampoo) is that it breaks the cellular and nuclear membrane to release DNA from the cells.

Rinsing salt water in your mouth causes cheek cells to peel off from your mouth.

Step 2: Prepare another jar filled with 8ml of 70 percent isopropyl alcohol.

Now, pour the formerly prepared solution into the isopropyl alcohol solution by passing through a filter paper  made into the shape of a cone.

Step 3: You will see a sudden reaction going on in the solution causing the DNA to form clumps in the solution.

Wait for 10 minutes for the complete clumping of DNA to occur and then use the dropper to extract the DNA that has formed into clumps.

The DNA will be visible as aggregated clumps and sticky strings.

The principle behind using 70 percent isopropyl alcohol is that the DNA is insoluble in isopropanol, causing it to exist separately in the solution.

Try this out and see your DNA with your own eyes.




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Apprentice Editor: Brandie Smith/Editor: Emily Bartran

Photo: Emily Fnm3d/Pixoto

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Fahad Basheer