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Decoding DNA

Welcome to Decoding DNA using bananas! Yes, that's right! DNA isn't only present in humans, but in nearly all living things. Watch the video below to take a peek inside a molecular lab at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, ON, and extract DNA from a banana youself at home.


  • one Ziploc bag
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tsp dishsoap
  • 1 tsp salt
  • clear cup
  • coffee filter
  • funnel
  • chilled rubbing alcohol
  • banana or other fruit


  1. Peel banana.
  2. Place peeled banana into Ziploc bag and seal it. Mash banana for about 2 minutes, or until it reaches a mushy and thick consistency.
  3. In a cup, make you DNA extraction liquid using dishsoap, salt, and water.
  4. Add 2 tsp of the extraction liquid to the banana Ziploc bag.
  5. Mush contents together gently to avoid creating soap bubbles.
  6. Place coffee filter over top a cup.
  7. Pour the contents of the Ziploc bag over the filter so the liquid can drip through into the cup. You can gently wring and squeeze the coffee filter to get as much liquid out of it as possible.
  8. Tilt the cup slightly and gently pour an equal part of rubbing alcohol to banana mixture down the side of the cup. Do not stir or mix together. 
  9. Within a few seconds, watch for a development of a cloudy white substance on the top of the liquid. This is the extracted DNA.
  10. You can use a spoon to scoop out the DNA on top.

Special thanks to Christine Ishu and Michelle Mah for creating this video for Science Rendezvous!

Decoding DNA