The Coral Cryobank is the first global effort to help preserve coral species from the world’s struggling reefs that is being spearheaded by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). The Coral Cryobank aims to protect the future of coral species diversity by placing corals in a deep freeze in liquid nitrogen.
The Coral Cryobank is a natural evolution to a recent breakthrough in regenerating frozen tissue where scientists are now able to take a 1-2mm biopsy from a coral, freeze the sample and then thawing it and regenerating the biopsy into a polyp. The ZSL and proposed similar coral cryobanks from other institutions such as the Smithsonian Institute, are hoping to do this with every coral species. The recent climbing CO2 levels are causing researches to estimate the destruction of most of the world’s coral reefs by 2040. We hope that as a planet we can reduce the impact of acidification on the reefs so this becomes a never-used backup plan.
Although the researchers behind the Coral Cryobank call this a “Plan B” to saving corals in the reefs where they occur, we reefers know that this is actually a “Plan C” since we’ve been doing our part to propagate corals throughout the world for almost two decades now. Besides, we highly doubt that the ZSL and the Coral Cryobank would be inclusive enough to take biopsies of Purple Deaths, Purple Nurple and Gorilla Nipples.