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LJWorld.com weblogs Dangerous Ideas

A New Use for Rum...

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Well I have been busy what with the end of the semester and the holidays but here is a link to a little recipe some of you might want to try...extracting DNA using rum. This idea comes from a really cool site called instructables.com. The materials are all everyday items: * 1/4 of a shot glass full of your saliva * several drops of dish soap (look for sodium laurel sulfate in the ingredients) * a pinch of table salt (1/16 of a teaspoon) * some contact-lens cleaning solution, meat tenderizer, or pineapple juice (optional) * Ice-cold 120-proof+ liquor (overproof rum works well)

The saliva provides the DNA, The dish soap is to break open the cell membranes, the salt and the rum is to keep the DNA from staying in solution, the contact lens cleaning solution or meat tenderizer or pineapple juice contain stable forms of enzymes called proteases that digest the proteins in the cells containing the DNA.The extraction process, detailed here is really easy but I am not sure I would do the last step...tasting the DNA. This procedure is basically the same one used in labs to isolate DNA it's just that we use fancier sounding chemicals that have been purified and standardized. Also what you end up with is both DNA and RNA, but hey this is still pretty exciting even if you don't want to taste the DNA.If you don't want to use saliva, a good source of DNA is dried peas. You could puree maybe a quarter cup of dried peas with an equal amount of water in a blender, use a quarter shot glass of that. Use the rest of the recipe as given. You should be able to get a better yield of DNA and RNA than with the saliva.Play this video to see the the DNA extraction process:
5 minute DNA Extraction in a Shot Glass - More DIY How To Projects

Comments

Paul Decelles 5 years, 4 months ago

Multi,What you see depends in large part on how much rum you drink...as for the results. They aren't spectacular in and of themselves. When you spool the DNA you get something that looks a bit like clear snot so its really the idea of being able to extract the genetic material that is so neat.Cloning's no big deal in principle at least with plants. Just root some cuttings. In fact the word clone is from the Greek word for twig.

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Multidisciplinary 5 years, 4 months ago

Sooo, what will we be seeing when we have done this?Does it require a microscope, I'm guessing?Or are we just to marvel at a glug of liquid, knowing it contains DNA and RNA?I ask, because if I do this with my son, I better know ALL the answers.My ex, of course would then say..So what was the point of this experiment?I believe you can see why we're divorced.:DAlso, what can be done with the resulting mixture..I mean,,this kid isn't going to want to stop short of cloning something. (I can see him trying to get the cat to spit into the shot glass..Oscar thanks you in advance)What will grow on it if we put it in his dad's frig for 8-10 weeks? Way at the back, on the bottom?And, if we add baking soda...will it turn into a volcano?Melt a plastic spoon?Make the house stink badly?A splashy ending always goes over well.

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 4 months ago

With no rum at hand, I've been trying to extract my DNA with Guinness,using the in-mouth procedure. Problem is, I keep swallowing.

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Ronda Miller 5 years, 4 months ago

My saliva is telling me that I am the person I thought I was.....

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Ronda Miller 5 years, 4 months ago

Paul, and what is wrong with the old use for rum? ;)I agree that I probably do not want to taste my own DNA (or any one elses for that matter), and I guess I have tasted my own if I am using my saliva in this test. What a fun thing to do.....I will save it until the first heavy snowfall when I am trapped at the house....with my DNA......I may even collect my backyard neighbor's saliva to use in this test....What exactly am I looking for again? Paul, all kidding aside, I hope you and your wife will join us at our backyard gathering on December 20th at seven - same place as before.....

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