You Can Extract the DNA of a Strawberry by Making This Delicious Cocktail

Who could have guessed biology would taste this good?

image via youtube screen capture

DNA is not usually the sort of thing I think of as a delicious way to relax at the end of a long day, but that’s probably because I’m not a synthetic biologist. Oliver Medvedik, on the other hand, is, and in this TED-produced video, the co-founder of New York community biolab GenSpace demonstrates how to extract the deoxyribonucleic acid from a common strawberry by making a pretty decent looking cocktail. All you need are frozen strawberries, pineapple juice, a filter, and some high-proof alcohol. It’s surprisingly simple:

[youtube ratio="0.5625" position="standard" caption=""Make a strawberry DNA cocktail" via TED Blog Video"]

TED also has a recipe for a non-alcoholic version of the recipe, but: would require using a substance like chloroform or phenol. Medevik explains, “It would have to be an organic solvent where the DNA is poorly soluble. Alcohols, such as isopropyl or ethanol, are good since they are fairly nontoxic, cheap, and have the right chemical attributes.” Look, but don’t drink.

I realize drinks like hot toddies, or hot cocoa with peppermint schnapps might be a bit more appropriate for this time of the year, so if anyone gives you a hard time for tipping back a summery strawberry cocktail in February, just tell them “it’s for science.”