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As climate change and pollution imperil coral reefs, scientists are deep-freezing corals to repopulate future oceans

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Conversation or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Marine biologists, particularly those from the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, are actively employing cryopreservation techniques to save coral reefs 
• By freezing coral sperm and larvae, they aim to safeguard these vital marine ecosystems against threats like pollution, overfishing, and climate change-induced warming and acidification

🔭 The context: Coral reefs face unprecedented degradation rates due to human activities 
• The Smithsonian team's Reef Recovery Initiative leverages cryopreservation to create a global safeguard for these biodiversity hotspots, offering a novel solution to combat the loss of coral species

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Coral reefs are crucial for coastal protection, marine biodiversity, and global economies, contributing billions through fisheries, tourism, and pharmaceuticals 
• Their loss would significantly impact food sources, income, and natural protections against storms

⏭️ What's next: The initiative is exploring advanced techniques like isochoric vitrification for whole coral fragment preservation and expanding coral cryo-training programs
• This, along with international collaborations like the Coral Biobank Alliance, aims to accelerate coral conservation efforts, crucially needing to counteract the rapid decline of reefs

📈 One stat: Coral reefs nurture 25% of all ocean life

Click for more news covering the latest on nature


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