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DNA isolation from bananas – kitchen experiment


DNA isolation from bananas – kitchen experiment

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is the carrier of heritable information in all living organisms. In humans, DNA can be found inside almost every cell of the body. As in bananas, DNA is located within the cell in an even smaller compartment, the cell nucleus. With a few simple household items, you can isolate the DNA of bananas in your kitchen. In doing so, you follow the same principles as the biological researchers when they isolate DNA in the laboratory.


To run the experiment, you will need:

  • 3 cm piece of a ripe banana
  • 8 g table salt (NaCl)
  • 10 ml washing-up liquid
  • 16 ml ice-cold 95-100% alcohol (e.g. burnspiritus)
  • 600 ml water
  • 1 fork
  • 3 table spoons
  • 4 tea spoons
  • 1 small plate
  • 2 small bowls (min. 200 ml volume)
  • 2 glasses
  • small, narrow glass (ca. 30 ml volume, e.g. shot glass)
  • small glass or plastic container, optional (ca. 10 ml volume)
  • 1 funnel1 piece of kitchen roll
  • 1 wooden toothpick or wooden stick
  • 1 kitchen scale
  • 1 measuring cup


View and download protocol:

Topic area:  Genome biology, Methods in molecular biology

Age group:  12-14, 10-12, < 10

Author: ELLS Team