Northwood’s Biotechnology Club hosted its first official DNA extraction lab during lunch on Friday, Nov 17.
Participants were invited to complete a simple lab involving the extraction of DNA from strawberries using household items such as chilled rubbing alcohol, strainers and dish soap.
“It was fun watching people work together and get involved during the lab,” said senior Earnest Wang, co-president of Biotechnology Club. “Strawberry DNA extraction is definitely a good start towards future possibly more complex labs.”
During the lab, each table group was given a printed copy of the procedures and all necessary materials, while board members circulated to monitor progress and answer questions. The whole lab lasted for about 10 to 15 minutes, as table groups completed their task by producing beakers of pinkish liquid with white, stringy DNA floating on top. According to the Scientific American, strawberry has a relatively high DNA content per cell compared to other living organisms, a characteristic that allows for increased visibility of its DNA upon extraction.
According to Wang, Friday’s lab served as a hands-on introduction to one of the major goals of biotechnological development and allowed participants to gain basic experience in field-related lab work.
“By starting Biotechnology Club at Northwood last year, we really wanted to introduce this new area of science that was never really covered at school,” Wang said. “The lab was probably my favorite part of Biotechnology club since its launch as well as the most rewarding so far. In the future, I hope to expand this club so that more Northwood students can learn about and gain hands-on experience in biotechnology-related fields.”
Biotechnology Club meets every Friday in Room 902.