Genetically modified algae could help protect coral reefs

With all of the concerns about ocean acidification, one consequence is a process known as coral bleaching. The phenomenon occurs due to changes in ocean temperatures which has been attributed to human-induced climate change.

No matter what one’s views are about human-caused climate change, coral bleaching results in coral reefs dying which has a detrimental effect not only on sea life but also human life as well. Coral reefs not only provide sea life with food and are a habitat for certain sea creatures, they also help protect coast lines and are a source for medicines.

Thankfully, scientists have developed a genetic modification technique called Symbiodinium that can be used to enhance algae in coral reefs which help their ability withstand ocean temperature changes that cause coral bleaching. Below is a Discovery Channel segment describing coral bleaching and how lab-grown algae can help. Never mind the suggestion at the end about changing dietary habits, we’ve been down that road before.