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Gulf of Mexico Algae Shield Themselves with Toxins When Hungry

A species of algae responsible for red tides plaguing Gulf coast communities protects itself by becoming highly toxic when it’s hungry and vulnerable to being eaten by predators, say scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and North Carolina State University. The red tide organism, called Karenia brevis, reacts to low levels of nutrients–particularly phosphorus–by […]

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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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Weather Service Debuts Florida Red Tide Alerts

As part of a pilot initiative known as “beach hazard statements,” NOAA’s National Weather Service in Tampa Bay began to issue red tide warnings to beachgoers in an area where a bloom  of algae is responsible for causing fish kills and breathing problems in people. While the announcement is new, the forecasts themselves are well […]

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United Nations Agency Maps Out Next Steps on Harmful Algae Detection

As part of a formal agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency, researchers from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science are providing guidance for developing strategies and recommendations for future technology transfer activities on harmful algal blooms at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Marine Environmental Laboratory in Monaco from 4-7 February 2013. By helping to build […]

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New Research Points to Better Method to Weigh Risk of Antibiotic Resistance in Bacteria | National Ocean Service

A recent study demonstrates a new approach that may allow scientists to better approximate the risks for bacteria to develop resistance to different families of antibiotics. In the study, conducted by NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina, resistance genes from E. […]

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Tests Help Fisheries Service Reopen Georges Bank for Shellfish Harvesting

NOAA Fisheries now allows clam harvests in an area of Georges Bank off limits for the last 22 years to protect people from getting ill from algae toxins. Their decision centers on a two-part testing protocol that commercial fishermen and labs will use before bringing a catch to market. Once the haul arrives at the dock, […]

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Ohio’s Lake Erie Algal Bloom Monitoring Strategy Refined

On Nov 19, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) researchers met with local partners working on restoring Lake Erie’s ecosystem to review the unusual 2012 algal blooms, and assess the 2012 bloom forecast. This year there were unusual blooms along the center of the lake, both in late winter and in early summer. The […]

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Your Couch is Trying to Kill You | The Scientist Magazine®

Some homes in the United States still teem with potentially dangerous chemicals that were banned years ago, researchers have found. And they’re coming from the most comfortable seat in the house. For example, the flame retardant PentaBDE, which belongs to a group of compounds called polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and was used to make sofas […]

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