The chemicals that help corals and sponges survive are also helping people. Halaven, a drug derived from a sea sponge compound came on the market in Nov. 2010, and has improved survival among women who have metastatic breast cancer. NBC's Anne Thompson reports.
The Staghorn coral population has been decimated by warming oceans and disease. The Nature Conservancy scuba team is working to regrow coral in nurseries on the ocean floor.
Caption: The Earth's oceans are natural medicine chests and scientists derive medications from sea sponges to treat diseases like breast cancer. Dr. Linda Vahdat, Director of the Breast Cancer Research Program at Weill Cornell Medical College, discusses Halaven, a new cancer drug.