Rapid climate change, and increased pollution, ocean acidification and overfishing threaten to darken this picture considerably. These factors heavily stress corals, and thus put both the countless marine organisms that count on corals for habitat and shelter, and the $1 billion dollar tourism industry fueled by coral reefs at significant risk.
Conservation biologists have been scrambling to find ways to conserve and protect these remarkable sea creatures. However, the design of marine reserves requires knowledge of the distances moved by the mobile juvenile stage of corals so that the natural processes that maintain healthy populations can be encouraged.
A recent study by Australian biologist Jim Underwood has found surprisingly that despite the fact that corals cast their eggs and sperm haphazardly into the oceans, certain species of coral show remarkable fidelity to their home range.
Underwood sampled DNA from coral reefs in the Indiana Ocean and found that individual corals located in the same group of reefs are more closely related than previously thought.
These results suggest that since most recruitment of these Indian Ocean coral populations comes from other locally sourced coral, one cannot depend on genetic material from distant populations of corals to replenish or restore degraded local populations. In these regions, marine reserves that maintain high local genetic diversity should be favoured.
The complete study can be found in the May 2009 issue of Evolutionary Applications.
F. Galligan | EurekAlert!
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Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
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In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
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By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
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COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
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'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
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