The climate is changing faster than many species can adapt, so scientists are trying to speed up evolution by fostering the spread of creatures who can take the heat. Think of it as natural selection with a little boost from humans — or, in some cases, robots.
To that end, Australian scientists Peter Harrison and Matthew Dunbabin recently teamed up for a world-first field experiment. A robot Dunbabin designed carried coral larvae that Harrison had gathered and dispersed them on part of the Great Barrier Reef. What makes these larvae unique — and the groundbreaking experiment especially promising — is that they are heat-tolerant, meaning they not only could survive, but flourish, in warmer waters.