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A tiny protein might save corals from global warming.

Coral & Ubiquitin

A clue to determining why some Ofu Island coral are so heat tolerant is the discovery of high levels of a protein called Ubiquitin in the algae of temperature resistantant individuals. As Ubiqitin is crucial in recycling damaged protein it is thought that efficiently removing these damaged molecules might somehow convey protection from high temperatures. More experiments are needed to determine whether high levels of this protein is the ultimate reason for heat resistance or merely a symptom of some underlying cause.

See the start of this research at "A natural global warming lab".

 References

Barshis, D. et al. (2008, May 22). Corals in hot water: physiological responses of Porites lobata in a diurnally fluctuation environment. PDF retrieved 15 September 2008 from http://www.nova.edu/ncri/11icrs/abstract_files/icrs2008-000765.pdf
 
Wikipedia. (2008, September 12). Ubiquitin System. Wikipedia. Retrieved 15 September 2008 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubiquitin
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