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Technology Transfer Between NOAA and France Improve Caribbean Ciguatoxin Detection

A PhD candidate from the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (IFREMER), Francesco Pisapia, is visiting the NCCOS Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research (CCFHR) for eleven weeks of intensive training on the method and technique of cytotoxicity assays to detect ciguatoxins (CTXs) and maitotoxins (MTXs) in fish tissue and cell cultures. […]

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Puget Sound Harmful Algal Blooms Linked to Seasonal Patterns and Survival Probability

In order to predict blooms and prevent undue economic loss of commercial shellfish in Puget Sound, NCCOS has sponsored research investigating the seasonal patterns and mechanisms of bloom formation of Alexandrium, a dinoflagellate that contaminates shellfish and causes paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) in humans. The study shows Alexandrium survives and spreads in Puget Sound in response to […]

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NCCOS Works to Track and Eliminate Freshwater Algal Toxins

A new study has documented the fate of microcystins—the most common of the freshwater blue-green algae toxins—and the challenges for monitoring them. The study is part of a larger NCCOS-sponsored project whose goal is to identify bacteria capable of degrading microcystins and to develop an affordable and efficient water filtration system to house such microorganisms. Microcystins inhibit and […]

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NCCOS Leads International Effort to Reduce Ciguatera Fish Poisoning

To reduce incidence of Ciguatera Fish Poisoning (CFP) and increase safety of seafood consumption around the world, scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) are leading international efforts to develop a global strategy to improve Ciguatera Fish Poisoning (CFP) monitoring and prediction. The strategy, endorsed by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, was one of […]

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Tenacity of Brown Tides Linked to Genetic Flexibility

The genetic flexibility of Aureococcus anophagefferens, the harmful alga responsible for “brown tides” off Long Island, allows it to thrive in conditions other algae cannot tolerate. NCCOS-sponsored scientists assessed this alga’s response to environmental stressors, such as low nutrients and low light, by looking at pieces of its RNA, which tell Aureococcus which proteins to […]

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Congress Reauthorizes National Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Legislation

On June 17, 2014, Congress passed a reauthorization of the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act (HABHRCA)—legislation last reauthorized in 2004. HABHRCA is critical for protecting the public from these environmental events, as well as furthering NOAA’s goals to maintain healthy oceans and build resilient coastal communities and economies. In a roll call […]

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Toxins Detection Workshop Promotes International Trade of Shellfish

NCCOS scientist Tina Mikulski recently led a workshop in Muscat, Oman, on the detection of paralytic shellfish toxins—which can accumulate in shellfish, causing human illness and death. Shellfish must be screened for these toxins (produced by harmful algae in the genus Alexandrium) prior to sale and consumption. The workshop was designed through a formal agreement between […]

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Forensic Genomics Used to Identify Causes of Ocean Mass Mortality Events

Fish and invertebrate mass mortality events are increasing in coastal zones worldwide, but in many cases it can be difficult to pinpoint the cause of death. Toxic spills, hypoxia (low dissolved oxygen), disease outbreaks, and toxin-producing harmful algal blooms possibly cause these events, but it is critical from a management and response perspective to accurately […]

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