Coral reefs, the rainforests of the sea, feed a large portion of the worlds population, protect tropical shorelines from erosion, and harbor animals and plants with great potential to provide new therapeutic drugs. Unfortunately, reefs are now beset by problems ranging from local pollution and overfishing to outbreaks of coral disease and global warming. Although most scientists agree that reefs are in desperate trouble, they disagree strongly over the timing and causes of the coral reef crisis. This is not just an academic exercise, because different answers dictate different strategies for managers and policymakers intent on saving reef ecosystems. The cover story published this month in Geology helps focus the debate.
A team led by Richard Aronson of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama took cores through reef frameworks in Belize to reconstruct the history of the reefs over the past several thousand years. Although some scientists have suggested that reefs began their decline centuries ago due to early overfishing, Aronsons team found that coral populations were healthy and vibrant until the 1980s, when they were killed by disease and high sea temperatures. The research effort was supported by the National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian Institution and the National Science Foundation.
As Aronson points out, "Protecting fish populations is important in its own right, but it wont save the corals. Corals are being killed at an unprecedented rate by forces outside local control. Saving coral reefs means addressing global environmental issues--climate change in particular--at the highest levels of government."
Lisa Young | EurekAlert!
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Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
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26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy