Segments in this Video

Sydney Cove (02:48)


Remnants of a shipwreck salvaged 20 years ago are housed at the Queen Victoria Museum. Included in the wreckage are bottles that still contain liquid.

Preservation Island (03:41)

In 1796, a small trader company attempted to sail from Calcutta to the European colony of Sydney. They wrecked 800 kilometers from the colony and the healthiest men attempted to inform the governor at Sydney, though many perished on the journey.

Growing Yeast (04:04)

David Thurrowgood wanted to see if there was still live yeast in the bottles salvaged from the shipwreck, though scientists were skeptical. Anthony Borneman found that two yeast samples grew.

Open Barrel Brewing (03:56)

Brewer's yeasts were found in the salvaged bottles. Simon Dillon of the Australian Wine Research Institute used the yeast in a home brewery experiment.

Many Coincidences (03:22)

Alan Cooper is skeptical that the yeast is not a result of contamination. The samples were decanted 20 years ago and there is no evidence of how they were stored.

Creating Chemical Reactions (03:23)

Colin Raston details how to unboil an egg and why it is scientifically relevant. He created the Vortex Fluidic Device, which speeds up liquid and proteins at high speeds, a unique step in the science of microfluidics.

Production of Biodiesel (05:20)

Raston was awarded a comical Ig Nobel Prize for his work. Student researchers found that the unboiling of an egg has a role in renewable energy. Carbon nanotubes are untangled and separated using a high powered laser.

Credits: Oldest Beer / Unboiling an Egg: Catalyst (00:22)

Credits: Oldest Beer / Unboiling an Egg: Catalyst

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Oldest Beer / Unboiling an Egg—Catalyst

Part of the Series : Catalyst
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $129.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $194.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $129.95



It’s an extraordinary story of adventure and misadventure, salvage and science as an Australian team of scientific treasure hunters attempt to achieve a world first. Can they revive an extinct brewer’s yeast found in a salvaged bottle of shipwreck beer, cultivate it, and use it to brew beer? Also, you can’t unboil an egg, right? Wrong! Scientists from Flinders University in SA won an Ig Nobel Prize for successfully unboiling an egg. The technology, called the Vortex Fluidic Device, is now being used in research to make new biodiesels, and for cutting carbon nanotubes that can be used in ever-smaller solar cells.

Length: 28 minutes

Item#: BVL117871

ISBN: 978-1-63521-307-2

Copyright date: ©2016

Closed Captioned

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Only available in USA and Canada.