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Season 1 Episode 11

Speaking with Light

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Aired Unknown Apr 16, 2013 on
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Dr Edie Widder is a biologist and a deep sea explorer. She's been fascinated with bioluminescent sea creatures since she her very first dives in the ocean. Using her underwater photography, we travel through the cabinet of curiosities that floats beneath the sea: creatures that sparkle, that fizz, that send of puffs of smoke. Edie explains how bioluminescent sea creatures possess special properties - their special light isn't just pretty, it has remarkable properties that can help us in the fight against pollution. Edie shows us some simple science: in her laboratory, she mixes a sample of sediment with a Vibrio fischeri - a common bioluminescent bacteria, easy to mix and use. She shows us how the light given off by the bacteria will dim in a polluted sample - if it dims quickly, the sample is very polluted, and if it dims slowly, the sample is relatively clean. From these samples, Edie creates "pollution maps" of waterways near cities.Edie takes us from the ocean world, to a world of science, and back to the world above. This is the story of how all things are connected, and how the smallest things in the ocean can have the most surprising properties.moreless
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