Extract DNA from a banana!

  • Found in the shape of a double helix, DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid as it is otherwise known, provides the blueprint for various forms of life. This includes humans, monkeys and even things like bananas. Let's try a fun activity that involves extracting DNA from a banana.

  • Blend one banana together with 1 cup of water until smooth.
  • Fill tubes with around 15mls of the smooth banana and water solution, making one for each student in your class.
  • Add around 10 drops of detergent to the banana mixture in the tubes.
  • Put a lid on the tubes and gently shake them (this will break open the cells and release the DNA).
  • Carefully pour around 20 to 30mls of meths into the the banana mixture.
  • Use a straightened paperclip or similar object to fish out the gooey strands of banana DNA. Tell the students to collect them in a small tube.

After finishing:
From here the students can try looking at the DNA under a microscope. The can also try extracting DNA from other things as well.