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All living things have DNA inside their cells. How do scientists extract the DNA from cells in order to study it? In this experiment you can make your own DNA extraction kit from household chemicals and use it to extract DNA from strawberries.
How do scientists get the DNA out of a cell so that they can study it? This is called a DNA extraction, and there are many DNA extraction kits available from biotechnology companies for scientists to use in the lab. During a DNA extraction, a detergent will cause the cell to pop open, or lyse, so that the DNA is released into solution. Then the DNA can be precipitated out of the solution by adding alcohol. In this experiment you will make your own DNA extraction kit from household materials and use it to purify DNA from strawberries.
Why use strawberries to test your DNA extraction kit? Because strawberry cells each have eight copies of the genome in every cell! When an organism has eight copies, called an octoploid, it has a lot more DNA per cell than an organism that only has one copy. Using DNA from strawberries will help you have a successful DNA preparation so you can purify a lot of DNA.