Coral reef research. Coral exoskeleton (left) next to laboratory equipment. Corals are microscopic marine polyps that form colonies and secrete minerals to build an exoskeleton structure, as seen here. These samples are being prepared for a technique called denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), which separates DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) fragments to create a genetic fingerprint of the community being studied. Here, the sample is of the bacteria within the coral mucus. This is being done as part of a project to study the biology and health of coral reefs. Photographed at the University of Newcastle, UK.
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