Glow in the dark corals

I went along to the Royal Society Summer Exhibition to meet coral expert Jorg Wiedenmann and to see his collection of glow in the dark corals…

  • Tropical corals live all over the world including the Great Barrier Reef, the Caribbean and Fiji.
  • The corals glow in a wide range of colours including various shades of green, yellow and red.
  • Corals are in fact animals and belong to the same species group as jellyfish and sea anemones.
  • Corals in a colony will extend their tentacles in unison to capture prey such as tiny crustaceans or little fish and then use stinging cells similar to jellyfish and sea anemones before feeding on them.
  • The sensitivity of corals to changes in their environment means that they are ideal for studying human impact on the climate.
  • Glowing pigments can be used as a fluorescent dye in biomedical research to understand how diseased cells work and to test new drugs.

 

You can listen to the full interview for the Naked Scientists here.

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