Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne DNA Extract and Cold Alcohol

Name: Sarah
Status: student
Grade: 9-12
Location: NY
Country: USA
Date: Spring 2012

When precipitating DNA from extracted cheek cells one pours a layer of ethyl alcohol on top of the cell lysis solution. Why must the ethyl alcohol be ice cold?

The DNA is less soluble in cold ethanol than in warm ethanol, so you will yield more DNA with cold ethanol.

Hope this helps, Burr

Click here to return to the Molecular Biology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory