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NCCOS Transfers Toxin Detection Method to Maine Start-Up Company to Provide Testing of Paralytic Shellfish Toxins

Scientists from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) provided training on the NCCOS-developed receptor binding assay (RBA) for paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins to visiting scientist Darcie Couture, Lead Scientist from Resource Access International, LLC (RAI LLC) in Brunswick, Maine. The RBA for PSP toxins is a rapid, cost-effective test that measures algal […]

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Manatees Are Dying in Droves, Florida Says ‘Too Bad’ I TakePart.com Environment

‘Red tide’ and a loss of sea grass account for some manatee deaths, but researchers believe undiscovered factors are also at play.  A record number of endangered manatees are dying in Florida’s waterways. So far this year, 582 manatees have died, more than any year on record, according to preliminary numbers from the Florida Fish […]

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International Harmful Algal Bloom Panel Convenes to Decide Future HAB Activities

On April 28-30, 2013, Dr. Robert Magnien of NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) chaired the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission’s Intergovernmental Panel on Harmful Algal Blooms (IPHAB).  This year, IPHAB reviewed progress on harmful algae priorities and initiatives in partnership with other international organizations such as International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and the […]

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Blood Monitoring Aids Response and Rehabilitation of Algae-poisoned Seabirds

Seabirds in the Gulf of Mexico are subject to multiple hazards, such as pollutants and natural toxins, including algae-produced brevetoxin.  NCCOS scientists who have pioneered the measurement of brevetoxin in live animals from blood collection cards brought this method into operation with wildlife managers in Florida to support health assessment and rehabilitation. These cards were […]

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Funds Aiding Therapeutic Improvements for Manatees Afflicted by Red Tide

In order to develop better methods of treatment, a researcher from the Mote Marine Lab received harmful algal bloom Event Response Program funds to investigate the physiological effects of brevetoxin exposure on manatees. A persistent red tide bloom of algae that produces this substance is responsible for a record number of manatee deaths this spring. Mote is working with […]

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NOAA Test Method to be Demonstrated to International Shellfish Authorities

A NOAA method to test for paralytic shellfish toxins will be demonstrated to scientists, regulators, policymakers, and industry representatives in Sydney, Australia from March 18-22. The technique, which was recently accepted as an Official Method of Analysis by the Association of Official Analytical Chemists, is a candidate for replacing the current approach for regulatory testing […]

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Research Provides Parameters to Model Ciguatoxin’s Effects on Seals and Humans

A single-celled plant known as Gambierdiscus is responsible for the most common cause of harmful algae poisoning worldwide: ciguatera.  The algae’s potent neurotoxin–called ciguatoxin–is found in over 400 species of fish and is conservatively estimated to sicken more than 50,000 people every year. Two years ago, researchers from NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science […]

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Algal Toxin Causes Seizures by Damaging Olfactory Neurons

NOAA researchers discovered how a harmful algal toxin called domoic acid targets the brain to induce seizures. Using a rat epilepsy model for the California sea lion, a species susceptible to poisoning by the toxin, they showed that it causes extensive damage to the olfactory bulb, a specialized brain region responsible for the perception of […]

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