The role the detergent has is that it will help to break down the cell membrane and the nuclear membrane of the cell. Which will release the strands of DNA into solution of detergent and salt. While the salt will also separate the proteins from the DNA which makes up the DNA molecules. The alcohol that is used here will also separate DNA from the other features of the cell so it's important to keep in mind that the colder the alcohol is the less soluble the DNA will be.
- 1 cup (250ml AUS/240ml US) of water
- 2 teaspoons (10ml AUS) of rubbing alcohol, chilled in the freezer
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5ml AUS/US) of table salt
- 1/4 teaspoon (1.25ml AUS) of detergent
- 1/4 teaspoon (1.25ml AUS) of water
- Plastic cup (200ml)
- Coffee stirrer or Popsicle stick
1). Prepare salt solution by pouring some boiling water into the cup. Then add the salt with a spoon start storing the salt solution to help the salt dissolve.
2). Once the salt solution is dissolved then you'll need to let it cool down for bit so it's not too hot to cause burns when you gargle it.
3). For the detergent solution, add the 1/4 teaspoon (1.25ml) of detergent and water into your plastic cup. Mix to ensure that the detergent and water have combined once done make sure all bubbles have popped. This detergent solution makes 1 teaspoon (5ml) of solution.
4). Then swirl 1/2 cup (125ml) in your mouth for 30 seconds to a minute. This step will gather dead and alive cells that line your mouth.
5). Spit back the salt solution into the plastic bowl with the detergent solution being careful not to spill any. Then gently rock the cup on its sides for 2 - 3 minutes without shaking or mixing it too vigorously as this will break the DNA.
6). Get the rubbing alcohol out of the freezer and carefully add the rubbing alcohol to the detergent solution. When the rubbing alcohol and detergent solution met two separate layers should form; the alcohol layer should be on top.
7). Let the solutions stand for a minute. You will then need to use a coffee stirrer or Popsicle stick to gently move some of the rubbing alcohol into the detergent layer.
8). With the coffee stirrer or popsicle stick start swirling to spool the DNA strands. Then either start using the DNA right away or store in a container with some rubbing alcohol and store it away. DNA in this form can last for a long period of time.
When performing this keep in mind you will NOT see a individual strand of DNA. Throughout this task the white strands of DNA will start clumping together becoming visible.
Throw out the salt solution within 24 hours. But if you'd like to keep it or what's left then carefully store it away in a jar with a lid. This will only last for another 24 hours.
1). If you are unsure if you have an infection then seek advise from a doctor.
2). Be careful when stirring the salt into the boiling water as burns can occur by water and/or metal spoon. If burns occur seek advise from a doctor
Resources & References
Science & Health Education Partnership, Extract Your Own DNA From Cheek Cells, Website Visited on the 08102016
WikiHow, How To Make a Saline Solution, Website Visited on the 08102016
Taste.com, Weights & Measurements Charts, Website Visited on the 09102016
Doves Farm Est 1978, US Cups Conversion Table, Website Visited on the 09102016
Kathy Maister's start cooking.com, Measurements & Conversions Charts, Website Visited on the 09102016