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Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute Scientists Find Corals’ Natural “Sunscreen” May Help Them Weather Climate Change

A recent study by Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute scientists found that the blue-hued chromoproteins in Hawaiian blue rice coral (foreground) may make it more resilient to UV rays and climate change than corals that are brown in color (background).

A recent study by Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute scientists found that the blue-hued chromoproteins in Hawaiian blue rice coral may make it more resilient to UV rays and climate change than corals that are brown in color.

A recent study by Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute scientists found that the blue-hued chromoproteins in Hawaiian blue rice coral may make it more resilient to UV rays and climate change than corals that are brown in color.

Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute scientists are one step closer to understanding why some corals can weather climate change better than others, and the secret could be in a specific protein that produces a natural sunscreen. As their name implies, Hawaiian blue rice corals sport a deep blue pigment, which is created by chromoprotein and filters out harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. Although UV damage may produce long-term impacts to reproduction in many coral species—including brown rice coral—it may not have the […]

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