Learning to Extract DNA

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During a workshop with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory representative Katie McAuley, Shore Road sixth-graders learned how to extract DNA from harmless E. coli research bacterium called mm294.

In addition to learning about different types of bacteria commonly found in foods, the students used the scientific laboratory process to extract the stringy DNA from a test tube filled with soap, bacteria cells and ethanol. They also learned that a cell membrane is comprised of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids and that heating up their test tubes caused the lipids to separate so they could extract the DNA.