How To Extract Your Own DNA

by Jarvo J April. 11, 2013 11464 views

Experiment based on instructions from Brian Cox in the BBC tv programme Wonders of Life.

1. Everything you will need and more.

2. Swish some saliva around your mouth. Particularly against your cheek to dislodge some cells.

Spit into a test tube or similar container. Like Prof Cox, we found this bit more tricky than you'd think.

Add some washing up liquid to break down the cells containing the DNA.

A little salt aids the process. NB, use less than is shown here - we found that you only need a little bit. Now give it a little shake.

Add some vodka. This should float on top of the mixture.

Now take a look at what you've got, but be careful that the wind doesn't change.

The strands that have risen into the vodka are DNA strands!

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Sandra Vermeulen 7 years, 2 months ago

So, he is interested in science is he? ;^)

7 years, 2 months ago Edited
Helen Hooker 7 years, 2 months ago

What a fascinating experiment!

7 years, 2 months ago Edited
Stefan Fletcher 7 years, 2 months ago

I forgot to ask: does Mr Cox go on to explain how to distinguish the 2% of our DNA that isn't identical to a chimpanzee's and the 4-10% that is Neanderthal hominid DNA? I'm willing to believe that these figures are on the low side for some people, but not of course in this case.

7 years, 2 months ago Edited
Stefan Fletcher 7 years, 3 months ago

Now try it on son's girlfriend before the proof becomes visible, audible, etc. In fact, if you want to stay worry-free for, say, a decade, insist that all offspring's friends do this before crossing your threshold.

And thanks for the tip. I'm off to buy some Vodka... Having been genetically bonded to whisky and red wine for many years, the liquids at home would invalidate the test.

7 years, 3 months ago Edited
Gillian Parsons 7 years, 3 months ago

Great way to learn.......................................

7 years, 3 months ago Edited
Ann Garratty 7 years, 3 months ago

Looks like fun, I think our John would enjoy having a go at this, great.. something to do on this cold and rainy second to last day of the holidays, thanks!

7 years, 3 months ago Edited
Marilyn Grimble 7 years, 3 months ago

This looks like fun ... very different to the school lab. experiments of yesteryear!

7 years, 3 months ago Edited
Agnes Felber 7 years, 3 months ago

Hmm, who would have thought?

7 years, 3 months ago Edited