Tuesday, September 30, 2008

it is possible that i smell bad

Ever smell something so putrid that the stench lingers in your nose -- and you can't tell if you have acquired the aroma? In science today, we extracted DNA from an onion. It's actually easy to do at home, but it involves onions (but you knew that), alcohol and Murphy's oil soap. Those are all pungent items, but mixed together, whoa Nelly. If the outcome had been less than spectacularly cool, it would not have been worth the trouble or the post-lab cleaning.

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On a homeschool note, this is a continuation of our forensic science unit. We have been discussing DNA identification. To understand that, you really need a working knowledge of DNA, which is just fascinating, no matter how old you are. So far, the origami double helix and today's lab have been the biggest hits, but the whole thing is pretty neat. The world really underestimates 10-year-old kids, for sure. (Note to the first expert I heard explain DNA profiling in court, back in its infancy in 1991: You made it way too complicated, buddy.)

Eat your hearts out, Watson and Crick.

Going in the Etsy shop today:

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and

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Neither item has been anywhere near the DNA extraction, in case you were wondering.

1 comment:

CalicoDaisy said...

Oooh! You are staying busy. If I were homeschooling, I'd try to hook up with you for the science class. I've been keeping up with your postings. You must be having fun doing so many different things with your son. I've just had my nose to the grind working so I can pay for those gas prices! Sorry I missed you when I came up earlier in the month. I'm glad I brought a friend along, though; we had a big time. -- Michele