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The Banana That Gave Its All for Science [Video]

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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Sarah Ann Anderson (left), Mariette DiChristina and banana get ready to do some science during a Google Hangout with Girlstart and the Google Science Fair. Credit: Mariette DiChristina

Magicians need to resort to trick props to pull a rabbit out of a hat. But we pulled DNA out of a banana with nothing more than a few household ingredients during a Scientific American Google Hangout on December 20. (See Scientific American Goes Bananas on December 20. No artifice or foolery was involved: just some science.

The Hangout was part of the special deSTEMber activities organized by Girlstart and the Google Science Fair. (Scientific American is a partner in the Google Science Fair, and we sponsor the $50,000 Science in Action award.)

My cohost for this bit of kitchen science was Sarah Ann Anderson, who is working on her M.D. and Ph.D. at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, and who is also a New York Academy of Sciences Fellow.

For the full ingredient list, check out the Find the DNA in a Banana activity. And there are dozens more from our Bring Science Home series; check in each week for a new one.

Here’s the video from the Hangout. If you get a chance to try this fun activity, let us know how it goes.

Mariette DiChristina About the Author: Editor in Chief, Mariette DiChristina, oversees Scientific American,, Scientific American MIND and all newsstand special editions. Follow on Twitter @mdichristina.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. phalaris 6:05 am 12/22/2012

    Another heroic banana was the Ray Comfort one. It also deserved a place in the science hall-of-fame.

    Link to this

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