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:11/28/2016)... 2016 "The biometric system ... The biometric system market is in the growth ... near future. The biometric system market is expected to ... a CAGR of 16.79% between 2016 and 2022. Government ... technology in smartphones, rising use of biometric technology in ...
(Date:11/22/2016)...   MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based eClinical ... research, is pleased to announce that the company has ... Sciences Awards as "Most Outstanding in eClinical Solutions" ... of recognition and growth for MedNet, which has effectively ... iMedNet ™ , MedNet,s flagship eClinical ...
(Date:11/17/2016)... , Nov. 17, 2016 Global Market Watch: ... Biobanks (Disease-Based Banks, Population-Based Banks and Academics) market is to ... for Private Biobanks shows the highest Compounded Annual Growth Rate ... region during the analysis period 2014-2020. North ... of 9.95% followed by Europe at ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2016)... , Nov. 30, 2016  GenomOncology today announced the ... President of Medical Affairs.  Dr. Coleman will ... the company,s proprietary knowledge-enabled platform. The GenomOncology software suite empowers ... genetic sequencing data and clinical decision support, from quality control ... , ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... - Portage Biotech Inc. ("Portage" or "the Company") (OTC: ... announce the formation of EyGen, Ltd. a new ... through proof of concept. EyGen,s lead asset is ... Limited and being developed for topical ophthalmic delivery ... diseases. This agent has the potential to become ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... 2016  The Allen Institute for Cell Science ... publicly available collection of gene edited, fluorescently tagged ... cellular structures with unprecedented clarity. Distributed through the ... are a crucial first step toward visualizing the ... makes human cells healthy and what goes wrong ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... Nov. 30, 2016  Tempus, a technology company ... and Penn,s Abramson Cancer Center have partnered to ... response to immunotherapy treatment based on next generation ... part of a research collaboration, Tempus will provide ... cancer patient data to Penn. Utilizing next-generation sequencing, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: