Last year, this coral reef was teeming with life. Now it's dying - and it's up to us to save it

Coral reefs are among the most biodiverse places on the planet. Like rainforests, they are teeming with species that live symbiotically with one another. They cover less than 1% of the ocean floor yet harbour a quarter of all known marine species. As well as astonishing beauty, this biodiversity provides spawning and nursery grounds that economically important fish populations need to thrive. They protect coastal communities from storm surges. They provide millions of jobs through tourism, fishing and recreational activities - and they are also important sources of new medicines being developed to treat cancer, arthritis, bacterial infections, Alzheimer's, heart disease, viruses and other illnesses. If coral reefs go, this will all disappear.

One Place Like Home: Space Station Has Same Microbes as Your House

UC Davis microbiologists have analyzed swabs taken by astronauts on the International Space Station – and found pretty much the same types of microbes as in a home on Earth, according to an analysis published today (Dec. 5) in the journal PeerJ. The work was part of Project MERCCURI, a collaboration between UC Davis and other organizations including Science Cheerleader, a group of current and former professional cheerleaders pursuing careers in science and math.