Coral Reefs: Nature's Underwater Pharmacies
Biologists have begun to discover just what a treasure trove the oceans' coral reefs are in terms of finding potential cures to some of humanity's worst diseases, despite threats to the reefs' existence.
What's the Latest Development?
Biologists have begun to discover just what a treasure trove the oceans' coral reefs are in terms of finding potential cures to some of humanity's worst diseases. Tens of thousands of chemicals have already been identified and, of those thousands, hundreds are currently under medical investigation. "Sponges are particularly rich sources of chemicals," said professor Callum Roberts, a marine conservation biologist at the University of York, "particularly anti-cancer chemicals. Many have been shown to be tumor suppresents and one has already been licensed for use in the treatment of leukemia."
What's the Big Idea?
Coral reefs naturally represent nature's largest pharmacy thanks to evolutionary processes which have endowed a wide variety of species with vastly different and highly complex chemical makeups in their intense competition for a limited amount of underwater real-estate. Currently, however, coral reefs are under pressure from a variety of man-made hazards including pollution, over-fishing and climate change. "To lose those possible treatments through the destruction of coral reefs would be an unparalleled act of folly," said Roberts.
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
The Canadian professor has an extensive collection posted on his site.
- Peterson's Great Books list features classics by Orwell, Jung, Huxley, and Dostoevsky.
- Categories include literature, neuroscience, religion, and systems analysis.
- Having recently left Patreon for "freedom of speech" reasons, Peterson is taking direct donations through Paypal (and Bitcoin).
Cosmologists propose a groundbreaking model of the universe using string theory.
- A new paper uses string theory to propose a new model of the universe.
- The researchers think our universe may be riding a bubble expanded by dark energy.
- All matter in the universe may exist in strings that reach into another dimension.
Despite incredible economic growth, it is not necessarily an investor's paradise.
- China's stock market is just 27 years old. It's economy has grown 30x over that time.
- Imagine if you had invested early and gotten in on the ground floor.
- Actually, you would have lost money. Here's how that's possible.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.