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Test-Tube Coral Babies May Mend Reefs
Associated Press ^ | August 17, 2006 | Associated Press

Posted on 08/18/2006 12:46:17 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

KEY LARGO, Fla. — Marine scientists hope "test-tube coral babies" will take root to help restore a tract of reef ravaged by a 1984 ship grounding in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

A team of University of Miami marine science researchers is collecting coral eggs and sperm all this week during an annual reproductive ritual, dubbed coral spawning.

Looking like an upside-down, underwater snowstorm, most corals in the Keys, Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean release eggs and sperm into the water a few days after the full moon in August. In the wild, eggs and sperm randomly mix and fertilize to become larvae. Some take root to become foundation blocks for new coral.

Researchers led by Margaret Miller, an ecologist with the National Marine Fisheries Service, gather spawn in cone-shaped, tent collectors anchored over portions of the coral reef off Key Largo. The spawn is blended in jars and the portion that fertilizes is transported to a field laboratory.

"From that stage, we hope we have embryos," Miller said. "It's a fairly labor-intensive process over several days of siphoning off waste products and providing them fresh sea water for a week."

Beginning this weekend, Miller's team plans to take the larvae to the site of the M/V Wellwood, a 400-foot freighter that ran aground on Molasses Reef off Key Largo Aug. 4, 1984. The grounding destroyed nearly all corals in an area totaling about 5,000 square feet.

Using funds from fines paid by the ship's owners, much of the site was restored structurally in 2002, but there has not been evidence of hard coral growth.

Researchers will install fine mesh enclosure tents around limestone-based, artificial reefs and place free-swimming larvae inside. Miller hopes the larvae will attach to the reefs and mature into polyps, initial building blocks for a coral colony.

Even though coral maturation is extremely slow, growing anywhere from a third of an inch to less then four inches each year, success of the project could eventually mean hope for declining coral reefs around the world, said Miller, adding that currently there is a high mortality rate for lab-produced coral larvae.

"There's millions and millions of eggs even our team (off Key Largo) is able to collect," she said. "If we can learn how to enhance the survivorship of larvae to settle and become new corals on reefs, that is huge potential."

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; Mexico; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: climatechange; coastalenvironment; coral; environment; marinelife; oceans; reefs; science

1 posted on 08/18/2006 12:46:18 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

What's the translation of your user name in English?

2 posted on 08/18/2006 1:45:23 AM PDT by Jedi Master Pikachu (
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu

My moniker are the 3 first words of the German national anthem.

Einigkeit = Unity
Recht = Justice (or Rights)
Freiheit = Freedom (or Liberty - there actuallly is no word for liberty in German. The Statue of Liberty is the Freiheits Statue)

3 posted on 08/18/2006 2:03:01 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit (War is Peace__Freedom is Slavery__Ignorance is Strength)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
For your translation of your username from German into English, much appreciated.

Freiheit is the only one close to its English counterpart. Strange for a language that is considered Germanic.

4 posted on 08/18/2006 2:04:58 AM PDT by Jedi Master Pikachu (
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

wall. wall. wall.

5 posted on 08/18/2006 2:05:46 AM PDT by Jedi Master Pikachu (
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu

German is a difficult language to learn. If ou did learn it, you would suddenly begin to see something interesting things about English.

The latin and greek we use in English becomes readily apparent.

Actually the word "Recht" is almost exactly equivalent in English. It means "rights" "correct" and "Rechts" indicates a "right-hand turn for instance".

I used the term Justice, because that is what is closer to the meaning in the given circumstance, but "right" can also mean justice.

When you want to be as clear as possible in English, always better to use the word with Germanic routes. When you want to sound flowery, use the latin.

6 posted on 08/18/2006 3:04:51 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit (War is Peace__Freedom is Slavery__Ignorance is Strength)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu

Actually these 3 words are quite similar to their English cognates.
Einigkeit: Ein means one, and comes from the some root, as does the Latin root uno in "unity." Einigkeit means literally "one-ness."
Recht: Very similar to English "right," especially when you consider that the "gh" in the English word was once pronounced, sounding not unlike the German "ch".
Freiheit: Again, the root adjective "frei" is almost identical to the English "free." "Heit' and "keit" are simply German suffixes for converting adjectives to nouns.
The Angles, Saxons, and Jutes who brought English to Britain came from N. Germany and adjacent Denmark. I've read that Old English, Old German, and Old Norse were so similar that they were mutually intelligible.

7 posted on 08/18/2006 5:43:05 AM PDT by hellbender
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