Lauren Hadlund

Hour 1

October 19, 2009

DNA Extraction

I walked into the laboratory expecting another typical day. I put on my stereotypical white lab coat and goggles- which, again, had been adjusted to a head much smaller than mine, I don't understand why they can't leave my stuff alone- and washed my hands thoroughly. After I was finished, the gloves went on. Even though I loved my job more than anything, I still hated the latex gloves I had to wear for protection.

I went into the room and pulled out what I had been working on the day before- my saliva and cheek cells in a cup- and placed it on the lab table. I stared at it for a moment, as if it would tell me a secret if I looked long enough. Alas, I had no such luck. So I simply took the lid off of the cup and set to work.

-x-

A while later, I was staring in disbelief at what was in front of my face; there was an eyedropper with strands of some substance on it- I was looking at DNA!

"Anthony!" I called to my lab partner, and he came to me, looking over my shoulder at the test tube in front of me. "You see this?" I said, my eyes sliding to the tube before snapping back to his amber irises. "This is DNA."

Shock flashed in his eyes before the curiosity and intrigue won over. "How did you-?"

"Find this? Easy," I said- I always finished his sentences. "I took water and swished it around in my mouth for about thirty seconds, to make sure I could get some cells," I said, putting the phial into its holder before turning to face Anthony. "And we both know that detergent/salt solution-"

"Breaks down the cell membranes," He finished. "So it would be easier to see them."

"Yes, that. And the nuclear membrane is surrounded by protein. This is the one that threw me through a loop- but I found that meat tenderizer can break down those proteins, giving us access the DNA more thoroughly." I paused, and Anthony nodded in understanding. "Here comes the best part- apparently, DNA isn't alcohol soluble! When I added the alcohol, it became a solid, so I could see it."

"Elizabeth, you're brilliant!" Anthony said, excitement in his voice. "What are we going to do with this discovery?"

"We'll tell the world! Everyone can know; who knows what this could do!" I said, my voice shaking with the weight of my discovery. "I don't know how we can tell, though…"

-x-

Dear "Diary",

Today the world found out about my DNA discovery. Though I suppose not everyone is going to believe me, I know that I've finally made a breakthrough in the scientific field and I'm very excited to know that what I have found- though Anthony has helped, I should really give him credit as well- can help change the world… I hope that it will be put to good use.

Alas, it's been a very long day and I'm dead exhausted, I will continue to update you on the goings-on around here.

Love,

Elizabeth.