Discover Your Own DNA Human Body Experiment
In this fun and easy human body science experiment, we’re going to discover and investigate our very own DNA.
- Small paper or plastic cups
- Clear sports drink (a strong salt water solution will work as well) Lemon Ice flavored Gatorade is a good example of a sports drink that will work.
- A few drops of pineapple juice
- Alcohol – the higher the percentile the better. You can usually find 91% at the drug store.
- Wood skewer
- Liquid soap
- Test tube with lid – a narrow container such as a cleaned out spice container will work.
- Put the alcohol in the freezer for twenty four hours before starting your experiment.
- Now, swish the sports drink in your mouth for two minutes. Hang in there, this is a little difficult but you can do it!
- Spit the sports drink into the small paper cup and then pour it into your test tube. You will only want to fill your test tube about one third of the way full.
- Now fill the test tube to the halfway mark with the soap.
- Rotate the test tube gently several times. You are attempting the mix the solution without causing bubbles.
- Now add a few drops of pineapple juice and continue the gentle mixing process.
- Remove the lid from the test tube and tilt the container. Add a small amount of alcohol so it creates a small layer over your cell solution.
- Return the lid and set the container upright somewhere it will not be disturbed for one minute.
- After a minute or so has passed, examine carefully where the alcohol produces a layer suspended on top of the cheek cell solution. You ought to observe a thin band of white gooey looking material floating between the liquid layers. Carefully place the skewer down into the test tube so that the tip touches this white gooey material. Very carefully twirl the skewer in one direction only; if you are lucky the stuff will wind round the skewer so that it is possible to raise it out through the alcohol layer to look at more closely. This is your DNA!
How it Works:
The DNA was dissolved in the water contained in the sports drink. DNA does not dissolve in alcohol. When the alcohol was layered on top of the cheek cell solution, the DNA precipitated out of solution. This allowed you to locate the DNA and then twirl it onto the wooden skewer to investigate.
Make This A Science Project:
Try extracting DNA from strawberries and other fruits. Try extracting DNA from kale, lettuce, spinach, nuts, peas, or seeds.