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Scientific sleuths pinpoint the guilty coral killers
Date:11/23/2011

forensics, Mr Pollock has found a diagnostic method that can accurately detect and quantify the coral pathogens in a sample of diseased coral.

"The technology is called quantitative-PCR (qPCR) and is often used in human medical research. qPCR works as a genetic fingerprinting technique that both detects and quantifies a specific DNA molecule in a sample. It can detect pathogens at even very low levels as few as a couple of bacteria in a cup of seawater," Mr Pollock says.

Apart from testing corals for the presence of pathogens, researchers can also use the technology on water samples to gauge the general health of the wider coral reef environment, Mr Pollock says.

"This technology is sure to have many applications in the future", he says, "as marine environments are put under pressure by multiple impacts from rapid coastal development, declining water quality, and climate change".


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Contact: Joe Pollock
fjpollock@gmail.com
61-004-664-07141
ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies
Source:Eurekalert

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