a group of researchersItalian Institute of Technology (IIT) and ofUniversity of Milan-Bicoccawith the support ofAquarium of Genoa, found that curcumin, a natural antioxidant substance extracted from turmeric, can be successfully used to reduce coral bleaching, which is mainly caused by climate change. The discovery was published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.
To make this solution even more promising, researchers have developed a biodegradable biomaterial that allows for the administration of curcumin without harming the surrounding marine environment. Tests carried out at the Genoa Aquarium have demonstrated significant efficacy in Pstop coral bleaching Thank you for this innovative solution.
Threats to coral reefs and marine biodiversity
Coral bleaching is a worrying phenomenon that can lead to the death of these valuable organisms, which can have devastating consequences for coral reefs. These barriers are essential for the global economy, protection of coasts from natural disasters, and conservation of marine biodiversity. The symbiosis between corals and microalgae is vital to the survival of these organisms and their vibrant colors. However, climate change has caused ocean temperatures to rise, disrupting this delicate balance between coral and algae. consequently, corals turn white due to loss of algae, making them vulnerable to starvation and death. This dramatic situation has affected many of the world’s most important coral reefs, including Australia’s famous Great Barrier Reef. Urgent action is needed to find innovative solutions to protect these precious and fragile ecosystems, tackle the causes of climate change, and preserve their beauty and importance to our planet.
Curcumin: A New Hope for Coral Conservation
However, to date there have been no effective mitigation actions to stop coral bleaching without seriously jeopardizing the integrity of these habitats and the associated extraordinary biodiversity. But now, a new study has shed light on a possible solution. Recently published research has demonstrated the effectiveness of a natural molecule, curcumin, in preventing coral bleaching caused by climate change. The discovery may represent hope for valuable threatened coral ecosystems, paving the way for new strategies to protect and conserve the marine environment.
save corals from bleaching
As mentioned, curcumin, an antioxidant substance extracted from turmeric, may be the key to saving corals from bleaching caused by climate change. research has introduced Innovative Approach to Controlled Delivery of Curcumin to CoralsUsing a biomaterial based on zein, a protein derived from corn, that has been specifically designed to be environmentally safe.
As part of the tests carried out at the Genoa Aquarium, conditions of extreme heat of tropical seas were simulated, increasing the water temperature to 33 °C. In this extreme situation, bleaching has occurred in all untreated corals, as occurs in nature. However, it turned out that all coral samples treated with curcumin showed no signs of this phenomenon. the results are very promising and indicate that this method may be effective in reducing the sensitivity of corals to thermal stress, thereby protecting these fragile threatened marine ecosystems.
The study used the coral Stylophora pistillata, which is common in the tropical Indian Ocean and is listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
A promising technology for coral health
The discovery of curcumin as a potential remedy to prevent coral bleaching has generated much interest in the scientific community. Marco Contardi, first author of the study and an associate researcher in the Smart Materials Group of the Italian Institute of Technology and the Department of Environmental and Earth Sciences of the University of Milano-Bicocca Technology is the subject of a filed patent application, This shows that this discovery has great potential in the field of marine ecosystem conservation.
The next steps of the research will focus onApplication of curcumin in nature and on a large scale, with the aim of protecting endangered corals. In parallel, the use of other antioxidant substances of natural origin will be investigated, thus offering new approaches to counteract the bleaching process and preserve the precious coral reefs. These developments represent real hope for the health and survival of corals and the marine ecosystem as a whole.
biodegradable materials and natural substances
Simone Montano, DSAT researcher and deputy director of the MaRHE Center (Center for Marine Research and Higher Education) of the University of Milan-Bicocca, expressed her enthusiasm about the use of new biodegradable and biocompatible materials for coral ecosystem recovery. in Ingredients capable of releasing natural substancesSuch as curcumin, which appears to effectively reduce coral bleaching.
This innovation represents a significant innovation in the field of marine conservation. Montano firmly believes this could be a revolutionary approach. Significant changes in the development of strategies to protect and restore fragile marine ecosystems, With the use of these new materials, there is real hope of preserving the beauty and biodiversity of coral reefs, paving the way for a more sustainable future for our marine environment.