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Banana DNA Extraction:
Visualizing Deoxyribonucleic Acid

This at home lab shows how to extract DNA from a banana using salt, soap, and rubbing alcohol.

All living things contain genetic information known as DNA (or deoxyribonucleic acid). DNA, along with RNA, are nucleic acids commonly found in the nucleus. These macromolecules provide basic instructions for the growth and development of organisms. Both you and bananas have DNA, yet the specific genes present in the DNA give each of you unique traits.

A single DNA molecule forms a double-helix because it consists of two nucleotide strands twisted together. However, you cannot see the shape of a single molecule without a high-powered microscope. But if you extracted all of the DNA out of a piece of banana, then you could see and even touch the DNA.

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