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NOVA: Butterfly Blueprints

Butterfly
Credit: Razoomanet/Shutterstock
Butterfly

Premieres Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022 at 9 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 16 at 3 p.m. on KPBS TV + Jan. 16 at 9 p.m. on KPBS 2 / On Demand

Butterflies are perhaps the world’s most beloved insects. But beneath their colorful charm, there’s a wealth of hidden scientific secrets that show butterflies to be smarter and more resilient than we ever imagined.

On "Butterfly Blueprints," NOVA captures astonishing fresh insights on their adaptability and behavior: this new research is inspiring groundbreaking technology, including more efficient solar power cells, chemical detectors, and bulletproof vests made from genetically modified butterfly silk that’s tougher than Kevlar.

Butterfly-inspired advances even extend to nano-materials. Visible from miles away, the startling metallic blue of the Morpho butterfly is due to the diffraction of light from nanoscale structures in their wings — an innovation inspiring new ways of engineering color. Featuring enthralling 4K macrophotography that takes you inside a chrysalis as it’s being spun, "Butterfly Blueprints" takes viewers to tropical rainforests and windswept prairies to witness their extraordinary life cycle and migrations.

NOVA’s story also delves into the long relationship between butterflies and humans, exploring what can be done to help ensure the survival of one of our favorite companions from the natural world.

NOVA: Butterfly Blueprints: Preview

Watch On Your Schedule:

This episode will be available for streaming simultaneously on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS Video App, which is available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast, for a limited time.

Extend your viewing window with KPBS Passport, a benefit for members supporting KPBS at $60 or more yearly, using your computer, smartphone, tablet, Roku, AppleTV, Amazon Fire or Chromecast. Learn how to activate your benefit now.

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