Forget all of the times your mom said not to play with your food. Myles Power’s lesson, How to Extract Strawberry DNA, is a fun, hands on science experiment.
I first extracted DNA from strawberries in my high school biology class. I remember thinking that our teacher had to be completely insane. How could anyone remove DNA from anything with stuff I had in my house? Impossible!
Even though I have seen it work, part of me was still skeptical when I was mixing together the ominous sounding “extraction fluid.” I wasn’t sure how pulverized I was supposed to make the strawberries, but since it’s kind of relaxing I kept smashing it until there weren’t any noticeable chunks.
I watched the video a few times before I got to straining (mostly because I couldn’t figure out how Myles folded the paper towel so expertly), but even so I still made the mistake of squeezing too hard and spilling some of the strawberry bits out. The good thing is that it didn’t get into my solution, just all over my hands.
While I did get DNA, my lab partner and I were significantly more successful back in the day.
The result this time was a lava lamp sort of solution that clearly separates the initial extraction solution from the rubbing alcohol and the strawberry DNA.
Everyone around the office was curious what the DNA would look like. When I was done acting like a mad scientist in the kitchen (I am sad to report I accidently forgot my swimming goggles at home or I would have worn them for the true effect), I proudly showed my results. While they had some enthusiasm for my tiny, white wisps of DNA, they were more interested in daring me to eat it.