BETA Bits of Business

After our 3 day introduction on DNA with student presentations, we finally took our next step into our science topic. This time, BETA 9 experiences with extracting DNA from a strawberry. Though the procedure was a bit on the more difficult side as it was all aural instructions, we managed to pull through and finish the DNA extraction.

 

A photo of DNA taken through the microscope

Thanks to Ms. Neumann, our class was able to experience and get our hands on something super cool! Our first step was to get a thawed strawberry and place it into an airtight bag. Next was the fun part, we got to crush the strawberry into mush. Everyone had different methods of doing so- squishing it with finger, sitting on it, slamming it on the table, smashing it with a water bottle… all quite interesting methods, but it did the job. The next step was to add 10 millilitres of the DNA extractor liquid, which consisted of salt, dish soap, and water. After gently mixing the two liquids together, and trying not to produce bubbles and foam (that kind of backfired on some of us), we had to filter out all the strawberry gunk via cheesecloth and into a test tube. Though several people ended up spilling all of the strawberry mush, most of us reigned successful. The last step was to add isopropyl alcohol. We had to tilt the tube 45 degrees and carefully make two full squirts in order to create a layer on top of the strawberry juice.

After that, we slowly noticed tiny bubbles begin to form and a translucent light-pink, sticky substance in the between the alcohol and strawberry juice. Ms. Neumann then handed out long stirring sticks with small circular hoops attached to one end, much like a bubble wand. We used the stir stick to gently pry the translucent substance out of the mixture, and by stirring in a circular motion, it allowed the extracted DNA to stick to the hoop. We then proceeded to place the extracted substance onto a microscope slide, then we placed a slide cover on top and pushed down to try and get rid of any air bubbles. Afterwards, we placed we slide underneath a microscope, where we were able to see the results of our DNA extraction.

After a lot of focusing, this is what we saw through the microscope

That’s all for today from 🅱eta 🅱its of 🅱usiness! See you all next time!

 


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