Many organisms found on reefs produce chemical compounds that have been used in treatments for cardiovascular diseases, ulcers, leukemia, lymphoma, and skin cancer, and many more remain undiscovered. More than half of all new cancer drug research focuses on marine organisms, many of which can be found on coral reefs.

There is still much to be understood about coral reef organisms, and scientists believe there is still a wealth of medical knowledge that remains undiscovered. Preserving coral reefs will likely lead to future medical breakthroughs.

Neon gobies (Elacatinus lobeli) on brain coral. Photo by CORAL staff
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