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Scientists are Growing Hardy new Corals in the Lab


Scientists have identified several species of coral that seem to have evolved a resistance to adverse environmental conditions from consistently high temperatures to increased acidity. Some of these so-called super corals live in the warm waters of the Red Sea; others live in the hot and acidic waters of mangrove forests in New Caledonia, in the South Pacific.

Taking these corals as examples, scientists are now working on developing heat-resistant corals that could then be planted onto stressed reefs. They have been cross-breeding different strains of corals in the lab to see which ones could prove the most resilient to the adverse effects of climate change.

In one line of research, whose results have been published in Scientific Reports, a Brazilian researcher has enabled corals to withstand the effects of oil spills by inoculating them with a cocktail of 10 hydrocarbon-eating bacteria.

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