Mission of the Month: DNA

 

This month, we examine inner space—DNA, a part of your body that is too small to see but that makes each living thing unique. After examining what DNA is and why it is in the news today, there are two activities. You may extract actual DNA from banana cells using some commonly found materials and tools. You can also debate the pros and cons of manipulating DNA, a field known as genetic engineering.

DNA is the code for life. Each of the cells in your body holds strings of DNA that are too small to see even with a microscope. But even though it is very small, it is very important. It defines what you look like and many other things about you. Learn more about DNA

Activity: DNA Extraction Goes Bananas

This activity will show you what DNA looks like. It’s very small, but if you extract quite a bit of it from the cells of a living thing, you can see it. Go to Lab Activity. Or, click here for Leaders' Guide

Can DNA Be Changed? Should It? 

This activity sets up a debate for and against Golden Rice, a food that is genetically engineered to provide much-needed Vitamin A to people who would go blind, or maybe even die, without it. But is genetic modification safe? Go to Debate Activity.

Author(s), Presenter(s): 
Jay Staker and Trudy Dunham
Year published or updated: 
2008