Scientists freeze Great Barrier Reef coral in a world-first trial

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    Context

    • Scientists working on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef have successfully trialled a new method for freezing and storing coral larvae they say could eventually help rewild reefs threatened by climate change.

    Need

    • The Great Barrier Reef has suffered four bleaching events in the last seven years, including the first-ever bleach during a La Niña phenomenon, which typically brings cooler temperatures.

    Preserving corals

    • Cryogenically frozen coral can be stored and later reintroduced to the wild but the current process requires sophisticated equipment including lasers.
    • A new lightweight “cryomesh” can be manufactured cheaply and better preserves coral. Cryomesh is a specially fabricated mesh used as a substrate in cryopreservation. The mesh technology will help store coral larvae at -196°C (-320.8°F).

    Source: TH