DNA Extraction from Strawberries

See and touch DNA in your own kitchen or classroom!

Have you heard about prenatal DNA testing or about developing gene therapies? The news seems to be always talking about genetics, especially complicated concepts such as genetic testing, reconstructing evolution, synthetic biology, cloning, and other parts of biotech. These topics may seem daunting and suggest that genetics is not accessible or relevant to individuals who are not “scientists”. However, all of these potentially confusing topics boil down to DNA, the carrier of genetic information that helps build living things. Understanding genetics, as a lifelong interest or baseline knowledge to read the news, begins with understanding of DNA’s basic structure. Conceptualizing an abstract material like DNA may seem difficult, but DNA can actually be seen by the naked eye through simple hands-on work.

miniPCR is excited to share a new lab that allows people to understand DNA at the most fundamental level, by physically seeing and touching it. This lab uses child-friendly language to introduce DNA to students (up to an 8th grade level). And best of all, it’s free and you can do it in your kitchen!

Anyone curious about DNA will be able to visualize it using only household objects; salt, rubbing alcohol, dish soap, and strawberries. Through simple DNA extraction from strawberries, this lab opens the door to molecular biology and biotechnology by letting people visualize DNA in their homes or classrooms.

dna extraction equation picture

This free lab is now available for download through this PDF link and under DNA 101 Labs in the miniPCR Downloads Center.