In Vitro Corals

Scientists Help Repropagate Vanishing Reefs




Pataporn Kuanui/Shutterstock.com

Warming seawater and increasing ocean acidity are damaging reef ecosystems around the world, and some scientists and environmentalists fear a worldwide collapse by 2050. Coral reefs are colonies of millions of tiny animals. In a single night, the corals join in casting a fog of sperm and eggs into the water to either fertilize and make baby coral larvae or settle back onto the reef, fostering growth.

Dirk Petersen, Ph.D., founder and executive director of Sexual Coral Reproduction, in Hilliard, Ohio, gathers sperm and eggs from corals, fertilizes them in a lab and returns the baby corals to the wild. “A bunch of us coral reef managers were just so sick of just watching things die,” says Laurie Raymundo, a biologist at the University of Guam. This kind of in vitro fertilization provides at least a glimmer of hope for the future.


This article appears in the July issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Algae Alchemy

Two Dutch designers are processing live algae into material that can be used for 3-D printing of such items as shampoo bottles and trash bins.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »This Month

Panel to Discuss State of Solar in Massachusetts

The fourth annual Massachusetts State of Solar will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., February 7.

New Options for Sleep Apnea

Patients can be fitted by Yasmin Chebbi, DMD, for a customized oral appliance to treat sleep apnea that is non-invasive, comfortable, well-fitting and covered by insurance.

Petco Only Major Retailer of Pet Food to Not Sell Food and Treats with Artificial Ingredients

Last month, Petco began removing dog and cat foods and treats with artificial ingredients, both from store shelves and e-commerce, with a commitment to complete the process by May.

Dentistry Enhanced by Use of Ozone

Dr. Amparo David is excited to offer what looks to be the future state-of-the- art treatment for her patients: ozone therapy.

Losing Steam on New Year's Resolutions?

The brain is hard-wired to resist change. It wants to relax and wallow in familiar routines, which is why it is so difficult to change a habit.

Local Dietitian Recognized as Healthy Waltham Hero

Healthy Waltham, a nonprofit organization, recognized Bridgitte Carroll, MS, RDN, last fall as a Healthy Waltham Hero.