Two adult bottlenose dolphins and one calf swim close to a sandy seafloor that’s dotted with coral.
Study Suggests Dolphins Use Coral Mucus as Medicine
Researchers observe that dolphins in a pod in the Red Sea regularly rub against certain corals and sponges, perhaps to sooth their skin by prompting the invertebrates to release mucus that contains antimicrobial compounds.
Study Suggests Dolphins Use Coral Mucus as Medicine
Study Suggests Dolphins Use Coral Mucus as Medicine

Researchers observe that dolphins in a pod in the Red Sea regularly rub against certain corals and sponges, perhaps to sooth their skin by prompting the invertebrates to release mucus that contains antimicrobial compounds.

Researchers observe that dolphins in a pod in the Red Sea regularly rub against certain corals and sponges, perhaps to sooth their skin by prompting the invertebrates to release mucus that contains antimicrobial compounds.

corals
sunlit coral reef
Corals and Sea Anemones Turn Sunscreen into Toxins—Understanding How Could Help Save Coral Reefs
Djordje Vuckovic and Bill Mitch, The Conversation | May 6, 2022
Researchers have long suspected that an ingredient in sunscreen called oxybenzone was harming corals, but no one knew how. A new study shows how corals turn oxybenzone into a sunlight-activated toxin.
Illustration showing coral health outcomes in response to bleaching events
Infographic: How Corals Remember the Past, Prepare for the Future
Amanda Heidt | Feb 14, 2022
Scientists have documented examples of corals “remembering” prior exposure to heat stress in the field, and are now simulating these phenomena in the lab to better understand their cellular and molecular underpinnings.
Collage of images including sperm, bacteria, coral, and an illustration of a researcher
Our Favorite Cell and Molecular Biology Stories of 2021
Jef Akst | Dec 2, 2021
Beyond The Scientist’s coverage of COVID-19’s molecular underpinnings were many other stories highlighting the advances made in scientists’ understanding of the biology of cells.
corals in water with fish
First Immortal Cell Line Cultured for Reef-Building Corals
Amanda Heidt | Jul 1, 2021
Lab-grown cells from the reef-building coral Acropora tenuis provide new opportunities to study bleaching, symbioses, and biomineralization.
Infographic: How Scientists Are Creating Coral Cell Lines
Amanda Heidt | Jul 1, 2021
Stable, long-term cell lines will enable scientists to study everything from coral bleaching to biomineralization, knowledge that may help protect corals from ongoing climate change.
Close-up shot of smooth cauliflower polyps
Comprehensive Atlas of Reef-Building Coral’s Cells Created
Christie Wilcox | May 13, 2021
Single-cell RNA sequencing helps to catalog the dozens of cell types present in a stony coral, including its elusive immune cells.
Certain Color Varieties of a Coral Are More Protected from Bleaching
Lisa Winter | Feb 25, 2021
In yellow-green and purple versions of the reef-building Acropora tenuis, the genes that code for particular fluorescent and other colorful proteins become more active in the summer, protecting symbiotic algae from thermal stress and resisting bleaching.
coral reef, Great barrier reef, parachute science, research
Q&A: Parachute Science in Coral Reef Research
Asher Jones | Feb 24, 2021
Scientists who study the marine ecosystems have frequently failed to involve local researchers in projects, a study finds.
Slideshow: Restoring Coral Reefs
Hanna R. Koch, Erinn Muller, and Michael P. Crosby | Feb 1, 2021
By growing mountainous star corals in the lab and outplanting them to dying reefs, we were able to grow sexually mature corals that could help reef recovery.
Restored Corals Spawn Hope for Reefs Worldwide
Hanna R. Koch, Erinn Muller, and Michael P. Crosby | Feb 1, 2021
Novel technologies establish a new paradigm for global coral reef restoration, with in situ spawning of mature, environmentally resilient corals in five years instead of decades.
Infographic: How to Accelerate the Growth of Restored Corals
Hanna R. Koch, Erinn Muller, and Michael P. Crosby | Feb 1, 2021
Our novel technique involves planting several small fragments of slow-growing corals onto dead coral heads. The fragments eventually fuse, forming a large colony in a fraction of the time that it takes wild corals to build reefs.
Image of the Day: Symbiotic Algae
Emily Makowski | Jan 13, 2020
Anemones keep their algae populations in check.
Photos of the Year
Emily Makowski | Dec 26, 2019
From bubbling plants to endangered whales, here are some amazing images from The Scientist in 2019.
Image of the Day: Microscopic Creatures
Emily Makowski | Dec 12, 2019
View the top three winners of this year’s Nikon Small World in Motion Competition.
Image of the Day: Coral Disease
Emily Makowski | Oct 7, 2019
A mysterious illness is causing tissue loss in many species.
Image of the Day: Stress-Resistant Corals
Emily Makowski | Sep 19, 2019
Some corals can adjust to a range of temperatures, but this ability may be limited in a consistently warmer environment.
Image of the Day: Synchronous Spawning
Emily Makowski | Sep 9, 2019
Groups of corals release all of their eggs and sperm once a year, but the timing of their spawning is under threat from climate change.
The sponge Mycale grandis overgrowing coral on the reef in K?ne?ohe Bay
Image of the Day: Cooperative Sponges
Nicoletta Lanese | Aug 15, 2019
Mycale grandis teams up with microbes housed inside it to gather nutrients.
Marine scientist photographing bleached corals
Coral Deaths Spurred by Pollutants From Land
Nicoletta Lanese | Jul 17, 2019
Runoff and waste may be more harmful to the animals than climate change.