HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Corals switch skeleton material as seawater changes

Leopards may not be able to change their spots, but corals can change their skeletons, building them out of different minerals depending on the chemical composition of the seawater around them.

That's the startling conclusion drawn by a Johns Hopkins University marine geologist, writing in the July issue of the journal Geology.

Postdoctoral fellow Justin Ries and his collaborators say this is the first known case of an animal altering the composition of its skeleton in response to change in its physical environment. The aquatic animal's sensitivity to such changes poses questions about its evolutionary history, as well as the future of the ecologically important coral reefs that it builds, Ries said, especially at a time when seawater is changing in response to global warming and the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

A 2005 Ph.D. graduate of Johns Hopkins, Ries collaborated on the research with his dissertation advisors, Steven M. Stanley (now of the University of Hawaii) and Lawrence A. Hardie, professor in the Morton K. Blaustein Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Johns Hopkins.

Reefs are large underwater structures of coral skeletons, made from calcium carbonate secreted by generation after generation of tiny coral polyps over sometimes millions of years of coral growth in the same location. The team showed that corals can switch from using aragonite to another mineral, calcite, in making the calcium carbonate. They make that switch in response to decreases in the ratio of magnesium to calcium in seawater, Ries said. That ratio has changed dramatically over geologic time.

"This is intriguing because, until now, it was generally believed that the skeletal composition of corals was fixed," he said.

Ries spent two months growing three species of modern scleractinian corals (the major reef-building corals in today's seas) in seawater formulated at six different chemical ratios th
'"/>

Contact: Lisa DeNike
LDE@jhu.edu
443-287-9960
Johns Hopkins University
6-Jul-2006


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Corals -- More complex than you?
2. Corals that can fight global warming may one day help fragile reefs
3. U-M researchers find family of on switches that cause prostate cancer
4. Scientists find stem cell switch
5. Illinois-based study of energy crops finds miscanthus more productive than switchgrass
6. Scientists find brown fat master switch
7. Weizmann Institute scientists develop a general control switch for protein activity
8. U-M researchers discover gene switched off in cancer can be turned on
9. Babies able to tell through visual cues when speakers switch languages: UBC study
10. Exercise pill switches on gene that tells cells to burn fat
11. Structural basis for photoswitching in fluorescent proteins brought into focus

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:9/30/2019)... ... September 30, 2019 , ... ... of innovative human mesenchymal stem/stromal cell (hMSC) biomanufacturing systems, today announced it ... “Ready-to-Print” (RTP) cellular product formats (patent number AU 2015259373). This new patent ...
(Date:9/25/2019)... ... 25, 2019 , ... The esteemed dental implant specialists at ... for a variety of procedures, including single tooth replacement, new “teeth-in-a-day” immediately functioning ... implants offer patients permanent tooth replacement solutions that look and function very ...
(Date:9/25/2019)... ... September 25, 2019 , ... ... collaboration and dialogue, today announces its inaugural South CEO conference to ... Louisiana. , Co-produced by Tulane University, this invitation-only meeting convenes biopharma executives ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2019)... ... October 10, 2019 , ... R3 Stem Cell announces it has added ... 18-19th, 2019 in Las Vegas with spots still open. , The speaker, Dr. Ian ... Ivy League universities including Cornell, Harvard and Dartmouth. He currently serves as the Chief ...
(Date:10/8/2019)... ... 2019 , ... Erchonia Corporation, the global leader in the ... the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted the company 510(k) market ... chronic neck and shoulder pain of musculoskeletal origin. , Erchonia continues to be ...
(Date:10/3/2019)... ... 2019 , ... Cheyenne is a beautiful and strong Quarter Horse and a ... Rebel’s Run , which offers riding lessons and trail riding in Afton, Virginia. ... Mimi describes her as her “go to horse.” Thus, you can imagine ...
(Date:10/3/2019)... Va. (PRWEB) , ... October 02, 2019 , ... eKare’s ... prestigious NHS Digital Health Accelerator run by the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network ... the adoption of technology in NHS by providing support to develop and deploy solutions ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: