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

See More »This Month

Opportunity to Showcase Green Businesses

The McHenry County College (MCC) Sustainability Center will hold its annual Green Living Expo from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., November 4, at the MCC gym/multipurpose room and surrounding areas at the college, in Crystal Lake.

Learn About Local Eating and Locavores

Wisconsin locavores Scott and Sandy Masker will talk about Growing, Gathering and Storing your own food.

Higher Brain Living

The world needs authentic agents of change right now, and we are the ones we have been waiting for.

Love That Spice’s Chunky Sweet Potato and Chickpea Soup

Zesty Citrus Holiday Recipe

Swami Mukundananda Holds Retreats

KYog will host a retreat, The Science of Devotion & Grace, with enlightening talks in English by Swami Mukundananda about yoga and meditation.

Access Wisdom of the Ages Online

Kriyananda was a prolific writer and taught for more than six decades before he transitioned in 2015. It was his wish that his teachings be put in one place and made accessible to anyone in the world.