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talljasperman's avatar

Why do news stations always show pharmaceutical labs putting colored water with syringes into petri disks?

Asked by talljasperman (21875points) June 18th, 2015

No better scenes to view? I am not buying it. It’s just fake showmanship. For all we know the lab tech is just transporting colored water, or kool-aid, to entertain. Maybe they are keeping the good footage to themselves because they don’t believe that we can comprehend? Or is biochemistry that boring?

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7 Answers

Inara27's avatar

It’s all fake. The real science does not match the TV or movie concept. Reality is never good enough.

josie's avatar

Did you imagine TV has a commitment to accurately portray reality?


stanleybmanly's avatar

Sometimes it’s a test tube with colored water held and viewed by a serious looking person in a lab coat. The point is that everything on screen is some sort of cliche. They show stock props because they have to show SOMETHING and haven’t a clue as to what an “egghead scientist” actually does for a living.

Silence04's avatar

News outlets use a lot of stock footage for stuff like that as filler content that is in relation to the specific news report.

I’d imagine they could choose some footage that is a little more realistic, but that probably comes at a higher price tag. Even so, it’s probably not needed as it sounds like they conveyed the “laboratory” message just fine.

zenvelo's avatar

It is called B Roll . It is stock footage used to provide something on-screen for a story that has no real visual story. It also hides movement, zooming, and resetting of the “A” camera for the next shot.

It’s like footage showing the movement of a stock ticker when talking about an economic story and its effect on the stock market.

Buttonstc's avatar

For the very simple reason that Television is a VISUAL medium (hence the VISION part of the word. )

It’s not radio and they give people something to look at other than a talking head.

sahID's avatar

The only reason to streak some liquid across a petri dish is to give any bacteria present in the liquid an opportunity to grow during incubation.

Normally the liquid being introduced is completely clear. So, without some sort of coloration added to it, the inoculation process would be pretty boring to viewers. Besides, video of a person in a white lab coat drizzling clear liquid in a round plastic dish—where’s the drama in that?

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