Extracting DNA from bananas
The room reeked of bananas, shampoo, and ethanol. On Thursday, May 12, students in the college biology class used such materials to practice DNA extraction for a lab in Mrs. Brock’s room.
Although isolating and extracting DNA seems like a fancy concept, the process is quite simple. The first step of extracting DNA from a banana is to put the fruit in a Ziploc bag with 2o ml of extraction solution. The extraction solution is a mixture of shampoo, salt, and water. Then, the fruit must be mashed for at least 5 minutes. The mashing breaks the cell walls, which releases the DNA, and the extraction solution pulls the DNA away from the other molecules. Next, the mashed banana mixture is squeezed through a cheesecloth. Finally, ethanol is added to the liquid that has been squeezed out, and it causes the DNA to bunch together.
This was senior Makiah Otto’s favorite lab this semester. “I loved mashing the banana mixture,” Otto said. Not only was the lab fun, but it was also a great way to learn about DNA extraction.