Isolation of DNA from Food Products Purpose:   This activity is a simpler form of the laboratory procedure practiced routinely in genetics labs around the world.  This is the way to obtain DNA to study for whatever a scientist may wish to learn about a plant or animal. Objectives:    1.  Students will be able to perform simple DNA isolation with basic lab skills. 2.  Students will investigate the pervasive nature of DNA  while isolating the DNA from three different plant materials. 3.  Qualitative analytic skill and reasoning will be exhibited in the final reports to be handed in by the students. Teacher background: DNA is easily separated from dense  fruits and vegetables which can be readily   liquefied.      The   three   fruits   and   vegetables   used   here   (bananas, strawberries and onions) are not the only  materials which will work with this technique, so in an inquiry  class, different fruits/vegetables may be tried.  A greater degree of ripeness appears to yield the best results, so grocers are often good sources for produce which has become too ripe to sell. It is important, however, to avoid moldy products, as these are potential allergens and in an actual genetics lab, would “pollute” the DNA. The produce used should be blended well in the blender to produce the optimal amount of juice.  Since onions have a strong aroma, it is prudent to pick a nice day for this activity, in which the windows may be open or the activity may be carried on outside. Separate the students into groups.  This can be done in numbers divisible by three.  Each group will have one type of produce, and will be responsible for observing the results of two other groups who have used the two other types of produce.  This way, each group actually performs the lab, and then may use other’s data to compare with their own.    The lab report to be turned in by each student, or group of students, should contain: a)  the purpose of the lab (to isolate DNA from plant material). b)  the materials used. c)  the  method  which  was  used  by  the  group  (not  a  copy  of  the  lab instructions). d)  data taken during the lab (color, texture, what happened when the reagents were added, what the end result looked like, how this compared to the other group’s isolated DNA). e)  the conclusion (where the DNA came from, what occurred to allow it to be  isolated,  a  comparison  of  the  group’s  DNA  with  DNA  from  other groups, future inquiry).