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IF you saw the BBC’s amaz­ing Blue Planet II, you’ll know how much dan­ger the world’s coral is in.

How­ever, there was po­ten­tial good news for coral reefs this week, as sci­en­tists re­vealed a clever tech­nique that can boost coral pro­duc­tion.

A study in Sci­en­tific Re­ports showed how a cheap ce­ment tetra­pod (the four-pronged thingy in the pic­ture above) can be coated with coral lar­vae in a lab. The tetrapods are then jammed into reefs by scuba divers (be­low). The four prongs help to keep the tetrapods in place, al­low­ing coral to grow more quickly than nor­mal.

Re­searchers are now work­ing on ways of in­creas­ing the suc­cess rate of the tech­nique, as well as try­ing different ma­te­ri­als for the tetrapods.

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