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NCCOS Research Featured in EPA Webinar Series on Inland Harmful Algal Blooms

On Jan. 14, NCCOS researchers Steve Morton and Rick Stumpf were featured speakers at an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) webinar focused on inland harmful algal blooms. The event was part of an EPA webinar series intended to build awareness about the effects of nutrient pollution and harmful algal blooms on the environment. Dr. Morton provided […]

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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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Ocean Acidification Promotes Disruptive and Harmful Algal Blooms on Our Coasts

The general decline in ocean pH (i.e., more acidic conditions) from the increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) is well documented. Also well documented are increased nutrients entering coastal waters often promoting excessive and ecosystem disruptive algae blooms, including harmful algal blooms. The decay of these coastal blooms promotes bacterial respiration resulting in increased CO2, […]

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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 Identifies Cause of Large Fish Kills in North Carolina Estuaries

In recent years, North Carolina estuaries have experienced large fish kills often associated with rains and moderate temperatures. Most of the dead fish have exhibited large, open skin ulcers. Scientists at NCCOS analyzed the ulcerated fish collected by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR) and the Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation using molecular assays […]

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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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New Research in the Gulf of Maine Improves Red Tide Forecasting

Scientists from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science recently teamed with sponsored partners to collect sediment samples in the Gulf of Maine needed to find cysts of the harmful algae Alexandrium fundyense. The data collection took place on Nov. 6–11 aboard NOAA’s research ship Okeanos Explorer—the first time a NOAA ship has been used […]

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