gBSA members volunteer at UCLA Exploring Your Universe Festival

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Biochemistry, Molecular & Structural Biology (BMSB) graduate students volunteered at the annual Exploring Your Universe event.

The annual science festival took place on Sunday, November 5, 2017. The Graduate Biochemistry Student Association (gBSA) hosted a booth where children and their families could extract DNA from strawberries. BMSB graduate students helped the children to smash the strawberries, use dishwashing liquid to extract the DNA, filter the liquid through cheesecloth to get rid of unnecessary solids, and finally precipitate the DNA with rubbing alcohol. Children could then take the strawberry DNA home with them in a microcentrifuge tube. The supplies for the booth were funded by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Families had very positive reviews about the experiment and some children loved it so much that they came back to do the extraction multiple times!

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BMSB graduate students demonstrating experiments (from left to right): Kyle Meador, Jennifer Ngo, Ryan Lannan, Won Jung, and Joanna Marshall.
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The poster board explaining the experiments being demonstrated.
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(From left to right) Jennifer Ngo, Ryan Lannan, Joanna Marshall, and Erick Velasquez.

Many thanks to Maeve Nagle for providing the article and photos.