Introduction: The Science of DNA!

Picture of The Science of DNA!

DNA, or Deoxyribonucleic acid is its full name, is the the genetic make up of an organism. The DNA reveals how an organism will function and develop and this is why it is sometimes called a persons blueprint. So the main concept of DNA is long term information storage. DNA is usually shown as a double helix such as the picture. The double helix is stabilized by hydrogen bonds.

The part of the DNA that decides your functions and development is your genetic code or genes (no not the jeans you wore to school the other day).

Animals and plants store their DNA in cells nucleus where as bacteria store their DNA in cytoplasm. Within cells DNA is organized into structures called chromosomes. These chromosomes duplicate before the cell splits in a process called cell replication.

DNA is basically a long polymer made of nucleotides. These nucleotides are formed by sugars and phosphates attached to the four bases. The four bases are cytosine, guanine, adenine and thymine. When the sugar and phosphate attach to these bases this makes the back bone of the DNA and is called a nucleotide. Although these nucleotides and strands of DNA are microscopic there can be millions of nucleotides in a single strand of DNA.

Unfortunately DNA is too small to see. =(

So we make it big enough to see! =)

Step 1: Materials to Extract DNA!

Picture of Materials to Extract DNA!

The Materials you need to extract DNA are as follows:
-A funnel
-Dish Soap
-Cheese cloth
-Another bowl or beaker/measuring cup
-Zip lock bag with no holes

Step 2: Make Extraction Liquid!

Picture of Make Extraction Liquid!

First take 1 Tablespoon of dish soap with 1/3 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt and mix together in a bowl. This will be your extraction liquid.

Step 3: Line the Funnel

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Take your cheese cloth and line the funnel with it. Make sure there is no gaps where chunks could get through.

Step 4: Mash Up!

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Place the strawberry in the Zip lock bag with no holes and began mashing the strawberry for about 2 min. You want lots of juice.

Step 5: Adding the Extraction Liquid!

Picture of Adding the Extraction Liquid!

Add 3 tablespoons of extraction liquid into the bag of strawberry juice and chunks. Squeeze, blend and mix this for about a min.

Step 6: Filter!

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Pour this mixture of extraction liquid and juice into the funnel with cheese cloth and catch liquid in a bowl underneath.

Step 7: After Filtering!

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After filtering you can through away the cheese cloth and the stuff in it. Take the liquid that filtered through and pour it into a glass test tube or jar.

Step 8: Rubbing Alcohol!

Picture of Rubbing Alcohol!

This is the hardest step. Slowly add the rubbing alcohol in to glass tube or jar down the side. These should not mix as the DNA forms between these two layers.o slow and take your time.

Step 9: Visible DNA!

Picture of Visible DNA!

The DNA may not form right away but you can use the stir stick to gently stick into the 2 layers and when you pull it out there should be some white sticky stuff. The white sticky stuff is the DNA!

(The white isn't just one piece of DNA it is actually a lot (A LOT) of them stuck together.)



iceng (author)2016-06-27

Neat to be always learning from members.

andybbrown (author)2014-04-05

I am glad this is near the top when you google 'DNA visible?' or 'Can you see DNA?'

Keep up the good work.

BOOM5601 (author)2010-09-03

Woah! I have the same toaster!

Wesley666 (author)BOOM56012010-09-06

I love it cause it has a Bagel feature! :D

BOOM5601 (author)Wesley6662010-09-08

Here it has crumpet feature!

Wesley666 (author)BOOM56012010-09-09

GASP! A UK Model I assume?! AWESOME! CRUMPETS! :D I LOVE CRUMPETS! I usually use the Bagel feature for them...They need to make a universal toaster that has a Bagel and Crumpet feature...Ahhhh, the ultimate Toaster... :)

illuminatis (author)Wesley6662010-09-30

for the ultimate toaster it HAS to have a bacon feature(in my opinion)

BOOM5601 (author)Wesley6662010-09-09

Probably UK, but i live in ZA :)

lucek (author)2010-09-06

2 errors I saw.
"The part of the DNA that decides your functions and development or genetic code (genes, no not the jeans you wore to school the other day) is the amino acids and proteins. "
this sentence reads like you deleted half of 2 sentences and the rest got garbled together.
the 2nd is more just a nit pic. but DNA base pairs aren't microscopic. they're smaller. microscopic scale is 10^-6M the base pairs are on the scale of 10^-10m.

Wesley666 (author)lucek2010-09-06

If you re-read the sentence it really doesn't sound too bad really. Read it without the part in brackets and it should flow fine, but it doesn't flow that bad with the brackets either. Re-read it, if you still don't like it, then maybe its just me that thinks its fine and I can change it. And second, I really didn't think anyone out there would be like, "Wait, microscopic is this scale but DNA is really this size." All I wanted it there was to say they are small. If you go ask any run-of-the-mill person, they will tell tell you that microscopic is a word for small but isn't a real measurement, and that is why I used it. Small, not specifically for its numerical size because I knew no one (Almost) would make the connection you have. And for being the only person to notice that, I applaud you for your anal retentiveness. No but seriously, I applaud you for having an eye for detail.

lucek (author)Wesley6662010-09-06

"The part of the DNA that decides your functions and development or genetic code genes, no not the jeans you wore to school the other day is the amino acids and proteins. "
Even without the brackets it's still unclear. Rereading it I think what you meant to say is:
The part of the DNA that decides your functions and development is a genetic code (genes, no not the jeans you wore to school the other day).
The way you had it written it sounded like the amino acids and proteins were responsible for genes instead of the other way round.

Wesley666 (author)lucek2010-09-06

Ah, I see what you mean. Thanks

RocketPenguin (author)2010-03-07

can u make a instructable using saliva?

Wesley666 (author)RocketPenguin2010-03-07

I don't think so... Strawberries have larger strands of DNA to begin with and that's why when they clump, you can see them.  I think that's what it is.  I did this in like 4th grade, and decided to post it in 8th grade.  I should have waited, 11th grade Bio would have come in really handy for making this...

RocketPenguin (author)Wesley6662010-03-15

But I did this in the science center by swishing water in my mouth; then they did something else to it.

Wesley666 (author)RocketPenguin2010-03-15

Yes, keyword "Something Else".  You could probably do this with anything, but it would require different materials.  I honestly don't know, you could try this with saliva...

If you do, keep in touch...

RocketPenguin (author)Wesley6662010-03-16

well they added soap alcohol and i think salt but i dont know for sure.

dombeef (author)RocketPenguin2010-06-27

I just did this about 2 months ago The salt is so the cheek cells dont burst until you want them to

RocketPenguin (author)dombeef2010-07-04

can u tell me how u did it?

dombeef (author)RocketPenguin2010-07-04

Ok lets see...
The supplies are:
gatorade(For salt)
ethanol(or rubbing alcohol)
dish detergent
a pipet
A container
another container that is tall
and another container to hold the finished results

you first get the gatorade and swish it in your mouth for 1 minute
you then spit it out into the first container and wait about half an hour and then you will see a little pool of cheek cells and then use the pipet and get most of them and some of the gatorade.
Put them into the tall container and add the soap
Slowly add the rubbing alcohol in to the container down the side trying not to get them mixed.
wait about an hour and you will see a line of white stuff above the gatorade
then use the pipet and get that strand of many dna's. put it in the container to hold the results and you are done!

RocketPenguin (author)dombeef2010-07-21

thanks! verynice

knex_mepalm (author)2010-04-08

 Is that real DNA? My brother thought when you said stick white stuff it was discharge.

Wesley666 (author)knex_mepalm2010-04-09

...Really...Is that necessary...

No, its not a single strand of DNA, but rather thousands of them sticking together.

jdtwelve12 (author)2008-12-18

This Instructable would be a lot more satisfying if it included details on how / why this works. Without the science, how can we know what's actually going on here?

Wesley666 (author)jdtwelve122008-12-24

According to my source, the strands off DNA stick together until there is enough of them to be visible but this is NOT a single strand of DNA, more like a few billion. As for why or how it works I can't actually tell you as I have no idea, this was just something a friend told me about and I tried it.

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