Author: Jonathan Pearlman
Source: The Telegraph 
October 19, 2012
"In an “astonishing” discovery, two scientists in Queensland found that the protein mixture triggers an acute allergic reaction and causes the crown-of-thorns starfish to break apart and die within as little as 24 hours.
Scientists have been struggling to prevent further damage by the starfish along Australia’s famous Great Barrier Reef, which has lost half of its coral cover in the past 27 years. The starfish have been blamed for more than 40 per cent of that loss – and they can damage up to 90 per cent of a reef’s coral. Recent outbreaks have been reported in the Barrier Reef, as well as Guam, French Polynesia, Papua New Guinea, and the central Indian Ocean. A female can release more than 50 million eggs a year, though the survival rate is usually low.
Researchers at James Cook University in Queensland made the breakthrough after examining a bacteria which occurs naturally in the starfish."
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