- News Home
17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
- About Us
ScienceShot: Coral Genome Reveals Tiny Helper
24 July 2011 1:00 pm
The first full sequencing of a coral genome has revealed that corals originated much earlier than previously thought, and at least one important species is far more fragile than environmentalists had feared. Today, scientists from Japan's Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology announced that they've sequenced the genome of Acropora digitifera, a spindly reef-building coral that populates much of the Indo-Pacific oceans. Researchers identified 23,688 protein-coding genes. Comparing the coral's genome with its cnidarian relatives—jellyfish, sea anemones, and hydras—they found that corals emerged some 500 million years ago, which is 250 million years earlier than their earliest known fossil records. The researchers also discovered that A. digitifera lacks the enzymes necessary to produce an essential amino acid, cysteine. That means the coral likely relies on microscopic symbiotic organisms called dinoflagellates to biosynthesize cysteine for it, making the coral particularly susceptible to changing climate conditions that endanger its tiny helpers.
See more ScienceShots.