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Readers contemplate corals and more

Your letters and comments on the October 29, 2016, issue of Science News

6:00am, December 14, 2016

Corals in crisis

Algae that provide nutrients to corals turn toxic and lead the corals to “bleach” and sometimes die when ocean temperatures spike. Researchers are seeding damaged reefs with baby corals and breeding heat-tolerant corals to help these imperiled marine animals, Amy McDermott reported in “Rebuilding reefs” (SN: 10/29/16, p. 18).

Ronald Swager wondered if researchers could use genetic engineering to make heat-stressed algae nontoxic.

Gene-editing tools may help corals survive, but the research is still quite preliminary, says Janelle Thompson, an environmental microbiologist at MIT. Among the

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