Recipe For Extracting DNA

Yes, really! We did this at Context, and Next-Door Grandson and I did it here in my kitchen, so it really really works.

We used:

  • 2 small, clear, capped containers
  • 2 tablespoon warm water
  • 1 teaspoon raw wheat germ
  • 1 squirt liquid hand soap
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon meat tenderizer
  • 1 tablespoon rubbing alcohol
  1. Put water into one of the clear containers.
  2. Add the wheat germ. Stir it to make sure all the wheat germ is wet.
  3. Add 1 squirt of liquid hand soap. This destroys cell membranes and releases DNA.
  4. Either cap the container and invert gently about 45 times OR don’t cap and stir gently to mix.
  5. Add baking soda. This releases the DNA from proteins.
  6. Add meat tenderizer. This removes the protein and destroys enzymes that would ruin the DNA.
  7. Either cap the container and invert gently 30 times OR don’t cap and stir gently.
  8. Let sit for 3 minutes so wheat germ solids settle to the bottom.
  9. Pour off the liquid into the second container, leaving the solids behind.
  10. Slowly add about 1 tablespoon of rubbing alcohol to the liquid.
  11. Wait. Cloudy, stringy stuff will rise to the top. DNA!!

Is that cool, or what?

Look! DNA!!

Go thou and do likewise.

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Think of three things to do with a bag of wheat germ less one teaspoonful. You may include extracting more DNA as one.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Recipe For Extracting DNA

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      October 24, 2012 at 10:10am

      Well o’ course it does! All that white junk on the surface of the yellow water is DNA! 🙂 It is TOTALLY cool!

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