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July 1 2013

How coral cures your ills


Next time you successfully fight off a nasty infection, give thanks to the Great Barrier Reef. A dramatic discovery by an Australian team of scientists has revealed that the ability of humans to resist bacterial diseases may go as far back in our ancestry as corals.

Researchers at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (CoECRS) have found three genes in Acropora (staghorn) corals which show a very fast, strong immune response to the presence of bacteria and the same genes also occur in mammals, including people.

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