Day 53: From Genocide to DNA

Our freshmen are all participating in a project called, “Cultures of Dominance.” Part of this work introduces basic genetics and molecular biology as they pertain to the concept of “race” and genes that determine traits like skin and eye color. A seminar was offered today that allowed students to use their prior knowledge (with some pushing and prodding – of course!) to extract DNA from strawberries, which will lead to more work in this area and into deeper learning about the concepts.

strawberry DNA

Test tube with a layer of alcohol and a layer of strawberry “extract” … the DNA is roughly in between. At this point students then extract the stringy, precipitated DNA from this tube and transfer it to a smaller tube.

dna precip

Here’s a link to a procedure that you can do at home if you’re interested: home strawberry DNA extraction.