Educator Info: Extract DNA
There are many similarities between plants and animals. Inside every plant and animal cell is a nucleus containing DNA. But to study DNA, you first need to remove DNA from cells.
Illinois Learning Standards
5: A, C; 12: A; 13: B
Middle / Junior High
5: A; 12: A; 13: B
Cells are the functional and structural unit for life in both plants and animals. There are pretty obvious differences between the two, but also many similarities. Both have many of the same organelles, including a nucleus, which is the control for the cell. The nucleus contains DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid. In both plants and animals, the DNA is in the same shape - the famous double helix - that resembles a spiral staircase.
DNA molecules in plant cells and animal cells are made from the same four chemical building blocks: adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine. The way the nucleotides are arranged and the information they encode determines whether the organism will grow fur, scales, leaves or skin.
Try to extract DNA from other fruits and vegetables like grapes, kiwi, tomatoes, bananas or lettuce. Which fruit or vegetable produces the most DNA?
Try different types of shampoo and dish soap and compare the results.
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