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Lab 4: DNA Extraction
Introduction
Have you ever wondered how scientists extract DNA from an organism? All living organisms
have DNA, which is short for deoxyribonucleic acid; it is basically the blueprint for everything
that happens inside an organism’s cells. Overall, DNA tells an organism how to develop and
function, and is so important that this complex compound is found in virtually every one of its
cells. In this activity you’ll make your own DNA extraction kit from household chemicals and
use it to separate DNA from strawberries.

Background
Whether you’re a human, rat, tomato or bacterium, each of your cells will have DNA inside of it
(with some rare exceptions, such as mature red blood cells in humans). Each cell has an entire
copy of the same set of instructions, and this set is called the genome. Scientists study DNA for
many reasons: They can figure out how the instructions stored in DNA help your body to
function properly. They can use DNA to make new medicines or genetically modify crops to be
resistant to insects. They can solve who is a suspect of a crime, and can even use ancient DNA to
reconstruct evolutionary histories!
To get the DNA from a cell, scientists typically rely on one of many DNA extraction kits
available from biotechnology companies. During a DNA extraction, a detergent will cause the
cell to pop open, or lyse, so that the DNA is released into solution. Then alcohol added to the
solution causes the DNA to precipitate out. In this activity, strawberries will be used because
each strawberry cell has eight copies of the genome, giving them a lot of DNA per cell. (Most
organisms only have one genome copy per cell.)

Type of service: Academic Paper Writing
Type of assignment: Coursework
Subject: Biology
Pages /words: 1/275
Number of sources: 30
Academic level: Senior (college 4th year)
Paper format: MLA
Line spacing: Double
Language style: AU English