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eDNA in the Twilight Zone

A new tool called environmental DNA, or “eDNA” is helping scientists understand the ocean twilight zone, a dimly-lit region of the ocean roughly 100-1000 meters deep. The twilight zone covers a vast area of the globe, and is chock-full of marine life. Despite its massive size, though, scientists are still trying to figure out what species live down there. By analyzing eDNA in samples of seawater, researchers are starting to identify which organisms live in the zone, even if they never actually lay eyes on them. In this video, learn more about how eDNA works, and discover what it can reveal about this huge marine ecosystem.

Based on modeling characterization of the vertical and temporal variability of environmental DNA in the mesopelagic ocean.

Lead Author: Elizabeth Andruszkiewicz Allan

Co-Authors: Michelle H. DiBenedetto, Andone C. Lavery, Annette F. Govindarajan, Weifeng (Gordon) Zang

Storyboard and Scripting: Kathryn Baltes, David Levin, Natalie Renier

Voiceover: David Levin

Animation: Natalie Renier

Music: “Just Wondering” by Maarten Schellekens

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