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Texas Alerted to Toxic Pseudo-nitzschia Bloom in Galveston Bay

Volunteers with NOAA’s Phytoplankton Monitoring Network have reported a bloom of the diatom, Pseudo-nitzschia in Galveston Bay, Texas, and NOAA’s Analytical Response Team has confirmed that the bloom is producing domoic acid, a neurotoxin that can cause amnesiac shellfish poisoning. State managers of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Texas Department of State Health […]

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NCCOS-developed Method for Toxins Detection Approved for Regulatory Testing of Shellfish in the U.S

Earlier this year, the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference (ISSC) approved a new assay developed by the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) as an official method for identifying toxicity that could result in paralytic shellfish poisoning. This approval is the culmination of more than a decade of effort to find an alternative to live animal […]

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Common Brevetoxin Metabolite Found in Gulf of Mexico Oysters May Not be a Health Risk

Brevetoxin B2—an abundant shellfish metabolite of brevetoxin found in Gulf of Mexico oysters—does not readily pass through an intestinal barrier, rendering it unlikely to cause neurotoxic shellfish poisoning. The B2 metabolite is produced by oysters and many other animals by attaching the amino acid cysteine to the brevetoxin that is consumed by shellfish during blooms […]

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Bacteria Isolate Degrades Harmful Algal Toxins in Drinking Water

Cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (“cyanoHABs”) occur worldwide—causing detrimental effects to ecosystems and local economies—and can produce toxins that pose threats to human health and limit potable water supplies. Microcystis and other genera of cyanobacteria produce a compound known as Microcystin-LR (MCLR) that is toxic to the liver and inhibits nerve functions, muscle activity, and cellular metabolism. […]

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Decaying Harmful Algal Blooms Still Dangerous: New Model Predicts Toxicity to Humans

Declining (terminating) harmful algal blooms continue to pose health hazards. When some harmful algal blooms die and disappear, their toxicity continues to affect the air above the bloom-infested waters. Some dinoflagellates produce toxins—such as the brevetoxins from the Florida red tide (Karenia brevis)—that are readily aerosolized when nearshore blooms die and release their toxins into […]

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NCCOS Research in Today’s Rapidly Changing Global Environment

Two national science conferences recently highlighted NCCOS research: The theme at the 7th Symposium on Harmful Algae in the United States (Oct. 27–31, 2013; Sarasota, FL) was harmful algal blooms (HABs) in a changing world, especially a more acidic one. NCCOS HAB scientists and sponsored researchers  organized, advised,  chaired sessions, and presented some 13 oral […]

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NCCOS Contributes to European Union Workshop on Algal Toxin, Azaspiracid

NCCOS concluded its contribution to a three-year project funded by the Irish Marine Institute on the algal toxin, azaspiracid, with presentations at the final Dissemination & Stakeholder Workshop held in Galway, Republic of Ireland on September 10, 2013. The presentations focused on toxicological studies conducted in partnership with the University of Michigan-Dearborn that have identified […]

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High Tech Sensors Used to Investigate Harmful Algal Bloom ‘Hot Spots’ in California

NCCOS scientists and their partners from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) are investigating the causes of Pseudo-nitzschia blooms and toxicity in Monterey Bay, Calif. from Sept. 5 to Oct. 10. Under the right conditions, some Pseudo-nitzschia produce domoic acid, a potent neurotoxin. Domoic acid accumulates in fish and shellfish, has caused bird and […]

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