The Great Barrier Reef has lost half its corals in just 20 years, study says

The population of corals within Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has plummeted by 50 percent in the last two decades, according to a new study published on Wednesday.

Researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in Queensland, Australia, assessed the colony size of corals in the reef — the world’s largest — between 1995 and 2017, and found a drastic depletion in the population of small, medium and large coral.

“The decline occurred in both shallow and deeper water, and across virtually all species, but especially in branching and table-shaped corals,” study co-author Professor Terry Hughes said of the findings, published in the Royal Society journal.

These specific corals are especially important in providing a habitat for marine life such as fish that inhabit the reef, the researchers said, meaning their loss also results in a decline in reef biodiversity. Despite covering less than 0.1 percent of

Read More

Everyone can play a part in conserving Australia’s World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef — ScienceDaily

Many Australians do not know what they can individually do to make a difference to the health of the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef (GBR), according to a survey led by QUT researchers.

The researchers found most Australians are not making a connection between climate change and reef health and say there is more individuals could do on this front, both in the home and to influence government policies.

Senior Research Fellow Dr Angela Dean conducted the online survey of 4,285 Australians with Professor Kerrie Wilson, Director of QUT’s Institute for Future Environments, and Dr Robyn Gulliver from the University of Queensland.

The resulting paper, “Taking action for the Reef?” — Australians do not connect Reef conservation with individual climate-related actions, has been published in Conservation Letters: a journal of the Society for Conservation Biology.

“While there are many threats to reef health, including poor water quality stemming from

Read More

Baby Coral Deaths Threaten the Great Barrier Reef’s Recovery

(Bloomberg) — The mass death of young and old corals in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is threatening the recovery of the largest living structure on Earth. 



underwater view of a coral: An undated handout photo received from the ARC Centre of Excellence Coral Reef Studies on October 14, 2020 shows a damaged part of the Great Barrier Reef - the vast World Heritage-listed reef off Australia's northeastern coast.


© Bloomberg
An undated handout photo received from the ARC Centre of Excellence Coral Reef Studies on October 14, 2020 shows a damaged part of the Great Barrier Reef – the vast World Heritage-listed reef off Australia’s northeastern coast.

The bleaching of corals off Australia’s northeastern coast due to ocean warming and acidification is happening across all species and to specimens of all ages, according to a new study that analyzed coral demographics. The study, led by Andy Dietzel at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in Australia, confirmed the Great Barrier Reef lost half its corals between 1995 and 2017.

“We measured changes in colony sizes because population studies are important for understanding demography and the corals’ capacity to

Read More

Flood barrier successfully protects Venice from high tide

VENICE, Italy (Reuters) – A long-delayed flood barrier system successfully protected Venice from a high tide for the first time on Saturday, bringing big relief to the lagoon city after years of repeated inundations.



a large ship in a body of water: Mose flood barrier scheme is used for the first time, in Venice


© Reuters/MANUEL SILVESTRI
Mose flood barrier scheme is used for the first time, in Venice



a large ship in a body of water: Mose flood barrier scheme is used for the first time, in Venicece


© Reuters/MANUEL SILVESTRI
Mose flood barrier scheme is used for the first time, in Venicece

“Today, everything is dry,” mayor Luigi Brugnaro said on Twitter. “Pride and joy.”

The network of 78 bright yellow barriers that guard the entrance to the delicate Venetian lagoon lifted from the sea bed as the tide, driven by strong winds and rain, started to climb.

City officials had forecast a tide of 130 cm (4.27 ft), well below the devastating the 187 cm tide that battered Venice last November, but enough to leave low-lying areas deep under water.



a ship in a body of water: Mose flood barrier scheme is used for the first time, in Venice


© Reuters/MANUEL SILVESTRI
Mose flood barrier scheme

Read More

New study opens avenues for studying or targeting the main barrier to a cure — ScienceDaily

The latent reservoir is the last bastion of HIV’s resistance to a cure. But it is difficult to destroy because it is invisible: the cells in the reservoir harbor virus that is dormant, so they don’t have any viral proteins on their surface that would give them away.

As a result, scientists have struggled to learn what the reservoir looks like in individuals with HIV. And without this knowledge, they harbor little hope of being able to target the reservoir with therapies that could eliminate or reduce it, thus ridding people of HIV infection for good.

To fish out reservoir cells, scientists have to reawaken the virus by activating cells they collect from infected individuals. Once awake, the virus produces proteins that mark the surface of its host cells, which gives researchers a handle to find and study these cells. However, the very process of reactivating the virus leads to

Read More

UC Riverside-led study is the first to show how tofacitinib rescues gut barrier function from overactive immune cells — ScienceDaily

A team of researchers led by biomedical scientist Declan F. McCole at the University of California, Riverside, has found that the drug tofacitinib, also called Xeljanz and approved by the FDA to treat rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis, can repair permeability defects in the intestine.

“Our work could help improve identification of patients who will be better responders to this drug,” said McCole, a professor of biomedical sciences in the School of Medicine.

Study results appear in the Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis.

Affecting roughly 1 million Americans, ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease, is a chronic disease of the large intestine, in which the lining of the colon becomes inflamed and leaky.

A single layer of cells that plays a critical role in human health, the intestinal epithelium provides a barrier while also allowing nutrient and water absorption. Intestinal epithelial cells are critical for regulating immune function, communicating with

Read More

Scientists Just Visited The Depths Of The Great Barrier Reef For First Time

Scientists recently visited the deepest portions of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The Marine Park exists within the Coral Sea and encompasses the world’s largest coral reef ecosystem (larger than Italy). During their expedition to the depths of the Marine Park, scientists discovered multiple undescribed species, observed a rare fish, collected several samples, and mapped a large expanse of seafloor.

A remotely operated vehicle, the ROV SuBastian exists

Read More