360° Coverage : 'Blood test' for corals to measure impact of warming

'Blood test' for corals to measure impact of warming

Sydney, Feb 27 (IANS) Researchers are developing a "blood test" for corals to measure how they are being affected by climate change and human activity.

Feb 27 2013, 1:45am CST | by

'Blood test' for corals to measure impact of warming
Photo Credit: YURI CORTEZ, Getty Images

Sydney, Feb 27 — Researchers are developing a "blood test" for corals to measure how they are being affected by climate change and human activity.

They found hemoglobin genes in the microalgae which live symbiotically with corals, which may provide a readout on how stressed a particular coral is - and how likely it is to bleach and die.

Hemoglobin is the red material that carries oxygen around the body in our blood supply, but in plants and algae it mops up spare oxygen and toxic gases before these harm the plant.

In corals and their algae, it may also form a vital part of the day-night energy storage system, the journal Ecology and Evolution reports.

"When the corals undergo temperature stress, this system goes into overdrive and hemoglobin genes are expressed at a higher level," says Nela Rosic of The University of Queensland, who led the study.

"Due to its sensitive nature, hemoglobin has the potential to be used as a stress biomarker. This, for the first time, gives us a clear readout of stress levels in the corals and their symbiotic algae," Rosic explains, according to a Queensland statement.

Coral bleaching occurs when the symbiotic algae abandon the coral due to higher water temperatures or pollution and, deprived of their main energy source, the corals whiten and potentially perish.

"Despite the importance of coral reefs to hundreds of millions of people worldwide, we still do not clearly understand how well they can cope with changed conditions of climate and the environment they now face," explained study co-author Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, professor at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (CoECRS).

Bleaching has hit more than half of the Great Barrier Reef in recent years, as well as a majority of coral reefs around the world.

IANS

Source: IANS

 
 
 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/8" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Luigi is the founding Chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 15 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology magazine.
Luigi can be contacted directly at ml@i4u.com. Luigi posts regularly on LuigiMe.com about his experience running I4U.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Apple Pay has successful Black Friday
Apple Pay has successful Black Friday
Payment system gearing up for Christmas
 
 
Apple to stop iPhone 5C production
Apple to stop iPhone 5C production
Middle of 2015 is target date
 
 
Apple tops Android on Black Friday
Apple tops Android on Black Friday
iOS accounts for more online mobile sales
 
 
All Cyber Monday Sales
All Cyber Monday Sales
Cyber Monday 2014 is here and all sales and deals are available now. Find below the best Cyber Monday Sales events.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Australian researcher discovers first artwork by early human
Sydney, Dec 4 (IANS) An Australian researcher has discovered what is believed to be the first artwork created by a human. The simple zigzag pattern found on a fossilized shell from the Indonesian island of Java has...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Insects compete with rats to clear garbage
New York, Dec 4 (IANS) Insects play a very important role in cleaning up cities and they compete with other pests like rats and pigeons in their endeavour, a study has said. Scientists sampled arthropods - such as...
Read more on Business Balla
 
School headmaster shot dead in Pakistan
Islamabad, Dec 4 (IANS) Unidentified gunmen Thursday killed the headmaster of a private school in Pakistan's Balochistan province. Police officials said the armed men opened fire at the vehicle of Zahid Ali,...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Four more bodies recovered from sunken South Korean ship
Seoul, Dec 4 (IANS) Four more bodies were recovered Thursday from a sunken South Korean fishing ship in the Bering Sea, the foreign ministry here said. This increased the toll to 16, including six South Koreans and 10...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Lesbian couple asked to desist in London restaurant
London, Dec 4 (IANS) A lesbian couple in a London restaurant was asked to desist by a staff member, who asked them to "stop what you are doing". Lydia Cawson, 29, said that she and her girlfriend were asked by a staff...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Oxford Dictionaries to add 1,000 new words
London, Dec 4 (IANS) 'Mamil' (middle-aged man in Lycra), 'silvertail' (a person who is socially prominent or who displays social aspirations) and 'crony capitalism' are among the 1,000 new words to be added to...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Oceans play key role in global 'warming hiatus'
London, Dec 4 (IANS) Increased heat uptake across three oceans - North Atlantic, the Southern Ocean and Equatorial Pacific Ocean - is the likely cause of the 'warming hiatus' -- the current decade-long slowdown in...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Novel imaging to identify if TB drugs are working
Washington, Dec 4 (IANS) Tuberculosis patients who are not cured of the infection can develop multi-drug resistant TB and have to take as many as six drugs for two years. Now, researchers at University of Pittsburgh...
Read more on Business Balla
 
PM makes first appointment to High Court of Australia
Canberra, Dec 4 (IANS) Prime Minister Tony Abbott's government Thursday appointed former Victorian Supreme Court judge Geoffrey Nettle as the next Justice of the High Court of Australia. Attorney General George...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
18 suspected militants killed in Pakistan airstrikes
Islamabad, Dec 4 (IANS) At least 18 suspected militants were killed Thursday in airstrikes conducted by Pakistan Air Force fighter jets in North Waziristan. According to officials, the airstrikes were conducted in...
Read more on Politics Balla