25 August 2008

Humans helping corals, corals helping humans

Marine biologists may have found a new form of first aid for injured coral reefs. Reseachers at the University of Guam have managed to grow 10 species of coral. They hope this will lead to the "farming" of coral by aquarium suppliers. Live patches of farmed coral could be applied to reefs that have been damaged, helping the reefs to regenerate. Someday, there even could be a bank of corals to be transplanted into damaged reefs all over the world.

Coral help humans in many ways, and some of those ways are personal. Corals, for example, can be used to make medicines. Australian scientists have developed a sunscreen from substances in corals. The corals use the substances to protect themselves from the sun's ultraviolet rays. It has an SPF(sun protection factor)of more than 50. Even animals that live in the coral help humans. Scientists in the United States have created a potent pain-killing drug from the poison of reef-dwelling sea snails.

adapted from: On the job- Sea life scientist-Have you got what it takes to be a marine biologist? by Lisa Thompson

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