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Cold Water Hot Science
The potential for diving to assist in biological investigations was appreciated as early as 1844 when Henri Milne-Edwards stated that the 'portable' diving helmet could be used satisfactorily by a relatively inexperienced operator 'to pursue marine animals into their most hidden retreats'. From this time on, scientific diving has been carried out all over the world, and it is not surprising that when the first marine biologists to overwinter in Antarctica needed to sample and survey the sea-floor they turned to diving, despite the low temperatures. Diving technology, and understanding of human physiological responses to working in cold water under hyperbaric conditions, have both improved dramatically in recent years, and as a result, the use of diving to support marine science has made a considerable contribution to our understanding of this most understudied of regions.