Marine scientists may have found a way to deal with the dreaded crown of thorns starfish, which can destroy coral reefs. “A Crown of Thorns outbreak can destroy from 40-90 per cent of the corals on a reef,”says Dr Jairo Rivera Posada. “Over the past 50 years, it has caused more damage than bleaching.” But now researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University have discovered that a harmless protein mixture used to grow bacteria in a laboratory can destroy the starfish in as little as 24 hours. If tests show it is safe for other sealife, their breakthrough could yield a dramatic improvement in the ability to control starfish outbreaks. And it’s none too soon. A new outbreak is well underway on the Great Barrier Reef. Story here.