Biology students extract fruit DNA

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Jazlynn Early

Science classes are known for dissecting frogs and creating chemical explosions, but Biology teacher Megan McMullen takes labs to a new level. Most recently, McMullen’s Biology and Pre-AP Biology classes extract DNA from fruit.

“I decided to conduct this lab because I wanted students to actually see the DNA we were learning about in class,” McMullen said. “Overall, the results were very positive, and I think all of the kids enjoyed it.”

Students followed an 11-step procedure in order to see the DNA, including fruit mashing, pouring and all sorts of mixing.

“The fruit DNA lab we did in Biology was so much fun,” freshman Emma Adams said. “It gave us a new perspective of what DNA looked and felt like.”

McMullen found this lab through the recommendations of other educators in her teacher groups.

“I am in some pretty amazing teachers groups where educators can share their experiences, and teachers said students really enjoyed this lab,” McMullen said. “We don’t have a lot of time for labs in class, so it’s really important to me when I can find experiments that have an impact on the students.”

McMullen received positive results, overall. Reactions were often a mix of surprise, amazement and disgust, thanks to the appearance of the DNA.

“A lot of students thought the DNA looked like slime or snot, but I thought it looked like egg whites,” freshman Glori Cozart said. “It was really jelly-like and sticky, kind of like a spider-web.”

The students were impressed with the lab and enjoyed conducting this experiment.

“I thought it was a really cool lab because I didn’t know you could find the DNA of fruit like that,” freshman Thomas Grissett said. “My favorite part was looking at the end result.”