Coral reefs are sometimes considered the medicine cabinets of the 21st Century.
The diversity of plant and animal species found on and around our coral reefs offer great promise for a treasure chest of pharmaceuticals and natural products which are able to combat many illnesses.
Coral reef plants and animals are important sources of new medicines being developed to treat cancer, arthritis, human bacterial infections, Alzheimer's and heart disease. Many new marine-based drugs have already been discovered that treat some types of antibiotic resistant staph infections, pain, asthma and inflammation.
NOAA and U.S. Department of Agriculture recently found that a fish-killing toxin has the potential to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells - even at very low concentrations.