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Picture of the Day

Understanding coral 'immune systems'

If this winter finds you stressed out and fighting a sinus infection, then you know something about what coral will endure in the face of climate change. They don't have sinuses, but these colorful aquatic animals do actually make mucus –- "coral snot" is a thing -- and the balance of different species of bacteria living in their mucus is very important, because it functions as an ad hoc immune system, keeping the coral healthy by keeping unfriendly bacteria at bay. Many questions remain about how coral immunity works. Researchers are still piecing together the complex role that microbes in and on human bodies play in human immunity, and how those microbes respond to stress.

Visit Website | Image credit: The Ohio State University