BIO 121 Concepts of Biology


Discussion Questions 

1. The detergent in the extraction solution is amphipathic (contains both polar and nonpolar groups). Why would an amphipathic detergent be used? Describe the purpose using terms from the cell unit. (Hint:  Think about why one uses a detergent to clean clothes or dishes.)    

2. What is the purpose of using salt in this experiment?

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3. What is the purpose of using rubbing alcohol in this experiment?

4. Where is the DNA located in the cells we used?  Would your answer differ, if we had used our own cheek cells instead of strawberries?  What if we had used E. coli cells? 

5. If you were able to see the individual strands and nucleotides, how would you be able to tell whether the nucleic acid you recovered was DNA or RNA?  

6. While the DNA isolated in this lab is not as pure as would be needed for molecular biology experiments, the steps are similar to that used in professional labs.  What are some of the uses for purified DNA in a modern lab?  

7. Write a summary statement about what you have learned from this lab related to the content of this unit and the cell unit. 

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