How to Extract Your Own DNA at Home by using Vodka

Yes, you read that right. Explore your own DNA at home by using liquid soap, salt and vodka. Oh yes, you will also need some saliva.

Disclaimer: I am not recommending this “test” as a suitable substitute for DNA testing by one of the laboratories that specialize in DNA analysis. However, it is an interesting story so I will repeat it here. After reading this, you are on your own!

One other problem: while you can extract your own DNA from your saliva sample, Dr Brian Cox does not describe how to examine the DNA to determine your ethnic heritage. Maybe that will be in the follow-on video. Then again, maybe not.

As for me, I think I will save the vodka for other purposes…

You can read more in the Express web site at http://bit.ly/2SWTaM0 as well as in the video below:

3 Comments

Nucleic acids precipitate (or form a gel-like) consistency with any alcohol. This is a great experiment that can be done at home with kids. Substitute fruit like strawberry for your own DNA if you prefer, and you can use rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol). You can do this experiment with a plastic cup, plastic bag, and something like a coffee filter (instructions)

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Have plenty of vodka ready. You may have to repeat this process several times.

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I took a course in genetics in college many, many years ago. During a lab we had to extract the DNA from an onion. So that capability has been around for a while. Not much you can do with it though. I think all we did was look at it under a microscope.

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