A recent study(freePDF) from Stanford University published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) considers how some reef building corals resist the stress of warmer waters that has caused coral bleaching around the world.
Using comparative genomics, researchers found that the heat tolerant corals have prepared for heat by switching on a set of 60 particular genes. Other coral species have also been found to switch on these genes but only after stress has already occurred. Resilient Samoan corals, however, have these genes switched on all of the time.
The results of the study show that some corals have the ability to withstand future increases in ocean temperature and highlight efforts to protect these resilient places.
Learn more at: http://www.oceansciencenow.com/wp/. The full PNAS article can also be found online here.