Anytime we can pop into the kitchen for cool kitchen science experiments, I am all for it. Have you ever seen DNA up close? My guess is no! This strawberry DNA extraction lab is perfect for your budding scientist to experiment with in the kitchen. Smashed strawberries, DNA you can see, and an AMAZING new learning experience!
HOW TO EXTRACT DNA FROM A STRAWBERRY
DNA is a fascinating subject. Kids love learning about the “map” that helps build organisms. But usually, we can’t see DNA except with a high-powered microscope. Have you ever seen a DNA model?
But with this strawberry DNA extraction science experiment, you can encourage the DNA strands to release from their cells and bind together into a format that’s visible with the naked eye.
You can do this experiment with any fruit or vegetable, but strawberries are one of the best fruits to use due to their high number of DNA strands per cell (8 versus an ordinary 4)!
Read more simple DNA science below to share with your kiddos…
EXTRACTING STRAWBERRY DNA
Each individual cell in an organism has a copy of the DNA pattern used to reproduce that cell. Usually, the DNA is combined within the cell, so you can’t see it. But when you create a mixture of dish soap and salt and mix it with the strawberry pulp, it helps break down the strawberry cells into individual parts.
Once the alcohol is added to the pulp, it encourages the DNA strands to rise to the top and bind together, where you can see them together in one long, clear strand. It’s fascinating to see the DNA strands up close and personal! It doesn’t take long to extract DNA from strawberries. Just follow our simple instructions below.
HOW IS STRAWBERRY DNA DIFFERENT FROM HUMAN DNA?
Our cells have two copies of their DNA while strawberry cells have eight! This makes it easier for us to extract enough DNA to be able to see it with the naked eye.
Every living thing has DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid and it is the blueprint for what makes you a human, a cat, a tree or a type of flower etc. DNA is a molecule that is like a little recipe for life and holds all the information your body needs to function. Pretty crazy! Plus, it’s just a teeny, tiny percent of our DNA that actually makes us all unique from one another. You may also be surprised to know that some of the DNA in strawberries is also present in humans.
Want to learn more about DNA structure? Check out our candy DNA model activity!
STRAWBERRY DNA EXTRACTION
A well-stocked pantry allows you to conduct countless simple but fascinating science experiments and activities all month long!
- Coffee filters
- Test tube
- Dish Soap
- Plastic Zipper Baggies
- Rubbing Alcohol
HOW TO EXTRACT STRAWBERRY DNA
STEP 1. Chill the alcohol in the freezer.
STEP 2. Remove the green stems from the strawberries and add the strawberries to a zip lock bag. Make sure to seal the bag well and then squish the strawberries into a pulp.
STEP 3. Add 1 tablespoon of dish soap, a teaspoon of salt, and 1/3 of a cup of water to the bag. Shake the bag to mix well.
STEP 4. Line the test tube with the coffee filter.
STEP 5. Pour the strawberry liquid onto the coffee filter and then wait for the liquid to filter into the test tube.
STEP 6. Now add a one inch layer of chilled alcohol to the test tube.
Watch as a clear viscous material rises to the top of the alcohol. This is the strawberry DNA!
Your kids can have an up close look at strawberry DNA! How cool is that! Grab a magnifying glass and check it out.
Strawberries are perfect for isolating, extracting, and observing DNA making for an awesome science activity the kids won’t forget about!
Biology is fascinating! This simple strawberry DNA extraction lab is a cool lesson in how so many of the living organisms on this planet are made up of DNA!
MORE KITCHEN SCIENCE IDEAS
EASY TO DO STRAWBERRY DNA EXTRACTION
Discover more fun and easy science experiments & STEM activities right here. Click on the link or on the image below.