In the Chemical Testing of DNA Laboratory Kit for biology, explore some of the same techniques used by scientists to determine the chemical composition of nucleic acids back when the contents of cells were unknown.
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Nucleic acids were first extracted from cells in 1869—long before Watson and Crick were born. Explore some of the same techniques used by scientists to determine the chemical composition of nucleic acids back when the contents of cells were unknown. Students isolate DNA then test the extract for components of DNA. Determine if the strands of material isolated from the cells contain deoxyribose, phosphate, and purines using the classic tests—diphenylamine, phosphate, and silver nitrate test for purine. This kit contains acidic and basic solvents. It should be conducted in a well-ventilated lab with chemical splash goggles, chemical resistant gloves, and aprons. Kit includes reproducible student handouts, detailed teacher notes, and enough materials for fifteen groups of students. A 0.1-g precision balance, ice and boiling water baths are needed.
Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
Science & Engineering Practices
Analyzing and interpreting data
Constructing explanations and designing solutions
Disciplinary Core Ideas
MS-PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
MS-LS1.A: Structure and Function
HS-LS1.A: Structure and Function
HS-LS1.C: Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms
Cause and effect
Structure and function
MS-PS1-2. Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred.
MS-LS1-2. Develop and use a model to describe the function of a cell as a whole and ways parts of cells contribute to the function.
HS-LS1-1. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the structure of DNA determines the structure of proteins, which carry out the essential functions of life through systems of specialized cells.