1. How were the cell membranes of the cell broken and why?
The cell membranes of the cell was broken by the detergent we added. This is because the detergent separates the lipid molecules to break down the membrane. Detergents act to clean dishes in the same way they break down cell membranes. Detergents bind to grease, which are the lipids as lipids are fats. This then allows the grease particles to be washed away with water, so breaking down the cell membranes.
2. How was the protein broken up in the cell and why?
The protein in the cell is broken up because of the meat tenderiser we added. In DNA extraction, meat tenderiser breaks down the protein core called a histone. A histone is what the DNA is tightly coiled around. It’s this supercoiling that allows a few meters of DNA to be compacted into a microscopic structure. Meat tenderizer contains enzymes known as proteases, also known as proteolytic enzymes, that break down peptide bonds between amino acids which are found in proteins. DNA is surrounded by different types of proteins so by breaking the bonds that hold those proteins together the DNA will become more accessible. When the histone proteins are broken down, the DNA uncoils and stretches out, which makes it visible.
3. Why can’t the individual strands of DNA be seen?
The existence of DNA was theorised before it could actually be seen. This was because even the best ordinary microscopes did not have the magnifying power to see something as small as a strand of DNA molecules. Come the invention of electron microscopes, which can see images of material at a molecule level, DNA can now be seen. The reason we could not see the individual DNA strands in this extraction was because the microscopes we had been provided do not have the magnifying power to see an individual strand of DNA.
4. Will this procedure work with all different types of organisms and tissues? Explain your reasons as to why/why not.
I think this procedure would work for other organisms and tissues. This procedure would work because the meat tenderizer and detergent can be used to break down other organisms and extract their DNA. Extracting DNA from other organism that are not liquid may require the use of a blender. After using a blender, the procedure continues as we did in this experiment. The ingredients in this experiment will be very much the same in other DNA extraction although there may be different methods such as blending, smashing or squashing an organism.
5. Explain what factors could lead to difference in the amount of DNA collected both between groups using the same wheat germ, and between different organisms.
Some factors that could lead to the difference in amount of DNA could be the amount of meat tenderiser we used. The amount of detergent could also affect how much DNA became visible for us to examine.
6. Why is it important for scientists to be able to remove DNA from an organism? Explain two reasons in detail.
It is important for scientists to be able to extract DNA from an organism, so they can perform genetic testing, undergo body identification, analyse forensic evidence, develop diagnostics and drug and more. One of the most important reasons for scientists to be able to extract DNA from and organism is so they can observe, manipulate and classify the DNA. By studying DNA scientists can identify genetic disorders or diseases and possibly find cures for disease and viruses by experimenting with the DNA. For example, with the extraction of DNA, scientists could be able to find genetic mutations found in tumours of an induvial cancer and identify exactly what cancer it is. This then means they can develop targeted treatment for the individual patient. Another example that would involve DNA extraction would be the ability to work out suspects for crimes or even identify a body after the person has died.
7. When you eat DNA does it become a part of your DNA and genes? Explain.
When we eat DNA, whether its plants, fungi or animals, we are digesting DNA. Pieces of digested DNA can be briefly found in intestinal track and blood. After eating any food, the DNA in it is rapidly broken down by different digestive enzymes. These enzymes brake the DNA down into tiny fragments of DNA. Individual DNA nucleotides with a single base can be taken into the body or its bacteria, but the DNA pieces are not functional genes that can affect us.