Extract DNA In Your Kitchen

Using only a Beer Glass and a few other household items and ingredients.


  1. #1 Stacy S.
    January 7, 2009

    Neat! That looks like it would be a pretty easy lab to do.

  2. #2 Tony P
    January 7, 2009

    I gotta run to the drugstore and get some isopropyl alcohol. Otherwise I’ve got all the other ingredients.

    Now I know what the heat is for, to denature the proteins. Ahhhhh. Now once you’ve got the DNA separated out how do you separate the base pairs?

  3. #3 Fargo
    January 7, 2009

    Well, Tony, separating the helix can be done with heat as well, which is why he talks about being careful to not get it too hot. If you wanted to amplify this DNA sample you’d be using PCR. That involves heating a sample up, to the point of unzipping the helix, in the presence of a solution containing the 4 base pair elements and a thermally stable enzyme that will zip up the helix. You heat, separating the strands, then cool, allowing the enzyme to zip the free floating bases onto your two strands. Then you heat and cool again to come up with 4 strands. Repeat until you have the concentration you want.

    A lot of times you’re only interested in a small chunk of the genome, so you use more enzymes to trim a section of the strand out, then work at duplicating that.

    So, to do that at home, you’d need to order the appropriate enzyme(s), and a small supply of the 4 bases. I’d be surprised if those weren’t readily available. I’ve seen electrophoresis/PCR kits for kids at Fry’s Electronics.

  4. #4 The Science Pundit
    January 7, 2009

    A friend of mine from YouTube made a similar video a while back. She’s also got a bunch of other neat experiments (like how to measure the speed of light with marshmallows in your microwave).

  5. #5 Ricky
    January 7, 2009

    Hmmm … Onion-soap DNA milkshake … [drools]

  6. #6 anonymous
    April 8, 2009

    thats COOL!!
    i wanna do it 🙂