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Anti-HIV Protein Found in Cnidarians

A recent chance discovery by scientists that were thumbing through the National Cancer Institute’s extract repository, has produced a possible anti-HIV protein from the coral phylum Cnidaria. The proteins discovered were then purified and tested on HIV cells and scientists found that these proteins attached themselves to HIV cells inhibiting the transfer into the human bodies T-cells (the most targeted cell by HIV). Senior investigator of this study Barry O’Keefe adds: “The natural products extract repository is a national treasure, you never know what you might find. Hopefully, discoveries like this will encourage more investigators to use this resource to identify extracts with activity against infectious disease.” Read more here!ElecMicro of HIV Retrovirus serum isolate Samp HM47 Anti HIV Protein Found in Cnidarians

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Coral Larvae Remaining Closer to Home

A new study performed by partners of the ARC Center for Excellence Coral Reef Studies (Coral CoE) has found that with increases in ocean temperatures coral larvae are remaining closer to home. “We found that at higher temperatures more coral larvae will tend to stay on their birth reef,” said the lead author of the study Dr Joana Figueiredo from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University. With global warming affecting environments far and wide this is “good news in an otherwise cloudy picture for isolated reefs, because in the future they will be able to retain more of their own larvae and recover faster from severe storms or bleaching events,” added Figueiredo.

140429092727 large Coral Larvae Remaining Closer to HomeWhile it is clear the more larvae that remains near a reef will colonize that reef, it is very apparent that the dispersal of larvae throughout the vast ocean currents is reduced as a result. “The loss of connectivity can make reef systems such as the Great Barrier Reef  more vulnerable, so interconnected reef systems that depend on the recruitment of coral larvae may take more time to recover after a disturbance, such as a cyclone, because fewer larvae will disperse from other reefs to the disturbed reef.” Photo Credit: Andrew H. Baird -Goniastrea aspera is shown releasing egg sperm bundles. Read more here!

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Leptoseris: A Stunning Newcomer to the Reefkeeping Scene

leptoseries 300x169 Leptoseris: A Stunning Newcomer to the Reefkeeping SceneWhen you have been in the hobby a long time, you tend to see a lot of the same things over and over again. I often become desensitized to some of the most beautiful fish in the world because I’ve seen them so many times over the course of 30 years (mandarin dragonets, for example). When something new comes along, it almost is immediately eye-catching. After all, it’s not that common to have a completely novel fish or coral emerge in the trade. We are fortunate now to have a relative newcomer to the hobby available—the coral Leptoseris. The common name for Leptoseris is “wrinkle coral”; however, I have never heard anyone refer to it as such. More: Leptoseris: A Stunning Newcomer to the Reefkeeping Scene

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The Problems with Testing Aquarium Water

4484Hanna Instruments Phosphate Readings The Problems with Testing Aquarium Water Phosphate levels have long been the debate of reef keeping aquarists, with folks generally falling into one of two categories. Most hobbyist have the persisting opinion that elevated phosphate concentrations are generally bad because they fuel algae growth and prevent coral calcification. The other group takes almost an entirely opposite approach. They actually welcome slightly elevated phosphates because of a plethora of reasons, including the desire to avoid chasing numbers, to avoid using certain types of artificial controls, or simply because their phosphate levels have had a beneficial impact on their coral growth and haven’t led to other issues. Regardless of which side of that aisle you fall on, there is a big underlying problem with determining the amount of phosphate in your aquarium water…it just cannot be done accurately by the tools readily available to the aquarium trade. Phosphate checking in the aquarium hobby is tackled with two different methods. The longest standing method is based on titrating a water sample with a couple of chemicals and comparing the color change to a scale of phosphate concentrations. This method is quick and easy to use, but it doesn’t offer the resolution that aquarists often need. Most of the time, if the phosphate isn’t really high, it shows as zero on the scale and aquarium keepers are lulled into a false sense that their water is phosphate-free MORE: The Problems with Testing Aquarium Water

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Giant Green Moray Eel, Gymnothorax funebris

ac9fMoray 1 457x303 Giant Green Moray Eel, Gymnothorax funebrisGood morning guys and gals, we are super busy here at Substation Curacao today and I just finished my first of two dives. On my way back I ran into our little 6-foot long green buddy (above) and it kind of caught me off guard! This giant lives here in our little lagoon but I rarely see him out swimming during the day like he was here, maybe he was coming back from a long night out on the reef, who knows!! I got off a few shots and then he took off down into the darkness of the reef. Moray eels are cosmopolitan eels of the family Muraenidae. The approximately 200 species in 15 genera are almost exclusively marine, but several species are regularly seen in brackish water, and a few, for example the freshwater moray (Gymnothorax polyuranodon), can sometimes be found in fresh water MORE

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“6″ is a New Movie Exposing Illegal Wildlife Trafficking and Mass Extinction

 The production team that filmed “The Cove”, a popular documentary that brought to light the extreme dolphin slaughtering in Japan, is back with a brand new movie that will focus on the larger issues of illegal wildlife trafficking and the possibility of mass extinction that are both taking place in oceans and seas across the globe as we speak. Simply called “6″, this movie utilizes state-of-the-art equipment and undercover tactics to expose the black market trading of endangered species, such as products made from whale sharks, giant clams, and hundreds of others. The trailer for the movie, posted above, shows some of the guerrilla reporting tactics used by the team, as they scour the streets of various Asian communities exposing black market dealers, who obviously aren’t always thrilled to find out they’re being investigated by the production team. Also displayed in the brief promo is a more positive side effect of the team’s efforts…a public awareness campaign involving a mobile projector, a fast car, and one very talented NASCAR driver. The trailer shows Leilani Munter driving a Jaguar fitted with a video projector around various parts of what we presume to be cities in the United States. The projector blasts imagery of marine life onto surrounding buildings, no doubt captivating pedestrians and drivers alike. Since increasing public awareness about travesties such as those currently taking place on the black market is so paramount to sparking a change. MORE: “6″ is a New Movie Exposing Illegal Wildlife Trafficking and Mass Extinction

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Distinct Waves of Fish Colonized Reefs Millions of Years

Two distinct waves of colonization by fish on reefs have been identified in a recent study performed by Samantha Price, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Evolution and Ecology at UC Davis. In this study she has found that before the mass extinction event there was a defining wave of reef fish colonizing reefs that occurred between 70 and 90 million years ago. clown fish reef lg Distinct Waves of Fish Colonized Reefs Millions of YearsAfter the mass extinction event which occurred around 66 million years ago, a second wave of colonization began, and by around 50 million years ago the reefs were homes to most the fish we are familiar with today. “If you were able to dive on a coral reef 50 million years ago, the fishes would seem familiar, you would recognize it as similar to a modern reef,” she said. Read more here

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Maxspect Celestial C35 Spotlight Announced in Three Colors

6171Maxspect Celestial Maxspect Celestial C35 Spotlight Announced in Three Colors It’s been almost a year since it’s MACNA 2013 debut to the aquarium keeping world, but the Maxspect Celestial LED spotlight is finally close to a public release and its announcement is being accompanied by a whole bunch of new information. What we already known over the past several months was that the Celestial was a pendant-style LED light that incorporated the tiny Maxspect controller right into body of the light. What we weren’t expecting, however, was the fact that it would be available in three different models. The Celestial C35, so named for its 35watts of power consumption, will come in a full-spectrum RGB model that has a total of four channels of independent control, along with a dual-channel actinic version and a dual-channel algae friendly version for growing algae in a refugium. The flagship model, in all likelihood, will the be Celestial C35-F, the full spectrum version. The full-spectrum nature of the light will make it a great choice for illuminating just about every marine aquarium out there, and the robust control will let users fine tune the color to their liking. Across its four channels, this multi-chip LED light features: Channel A: Super Actinic (x2)410nm, (x2)420nm, (x2)430nm Channel B: Blue (x2)445nm, (x2)465nm, (x2)485nm Channel C: White (1)5000k Cool White, (1)3000k Warm White, (1)660nm Hyper Red Channel D: White (1)5000k Cool White, (1)3000k Warm White, (1)500nm Cyan The other sure-to-be popular model is the Super Blue Actinic C35-S. As its name suggests, it emits a whole bunch of blue light MORE: Maxspect Celestial C35 Spotlight Announced in Three Colors

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