VIDEO: Learn how to extract DNA with this cool experiment from SciFest 2022

Published Sep 8, 2022


DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the hereditary material in humans and almost all other organisms. Nearly every cell in a person’s body has the same DNA.

Why is DNA so important? Put simply, DNA contains the instructions necessary for life. The code within our DNA provides directions on how to make proteins that are vital for our growth, development and overall health.

Nhlamulo Khoza and Anwani Siwada from the South African Society for Bio-Informatics – Students Council show us how you can extract the DNA from a banana.

You will need:

– a piece of raw banana

– half a cup of water

– two tablespoons of dishwashing liquid

– 1 teaspoon of salt

– quarter cup of hand sanitiser that contains 70% alcohol

– one clear glass cup

– 1 ziplock bag


– Place the banana in the ziplock bag and mash it up until smooth.

– In half a cup of water, add dishwashing liquid and salt and mix well.

– Pour the mixture into the ziplock bag and combine the liquid with the banana.

– Make a small incision in the ziplock bag and pour the mixture into a clear glass cup.

– Add hand sanitiser.

– Wait 1 to 5 minutes until you see a thin whitish layer form at the surface, and that is the DNA fully extracted.

NB: you can also use a strawberry instead of a banana.

The 26th edition of Scifest Africa, which began in Makhanda on Tuesday, is under way with an exciting week ahead as it returns to a live format.

Set against the picturesque Monument overlooking Rhodes University and Makhanda, formerly known as Grahamstown, the theme at this year’s SciFest Africa is “Back to Basics”.

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