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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

ABC News in Science: Lord Howe corals light up cancer fight

Monday, 16 August 2010

Below find an excerpt of the ABC News in Science article.

"Lord Howe Island, Australian scientists have discovered a cluster of brilliant shallow-water corals that could help in the search for anti-cancer drugs and to understand global warming."

"The vividly fluorescent cluster was found in waters off Lord Howe Island, 600 kilometres east of the Australian mainland, with some displaying rich reds that were difficult to find and in high demand for studies of cancer cells, says researcher Dr Anya Salih."

"We are using these pigments to light up the workings of living cells and to study what goes wrong in cancer cells," says Salih, from the University of Western Sydney."

"Earlier this year, the coral reefs of Lord Howe Island experienced a sudden mass bleaching event caused by warming of seawater. But the fluorescent corals had been much less damaged by the bleaching, lending "support to the hypothesis that fluorescence can provide some level of protection to corals from temperature stresses due to climate change."

click here for full article

To include a study of the effects of climate change on coral-bleaching into your classroom planning please visit the AUSMEPA free online unit of work. Click here

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