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Producing a new Reference Material for Paralytic Shellfish Toxin Monitoring

Saxitoxins, produced by species of harmful algal blooms (HABs), cause paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) when contaminated seafood is consumed. For nearly 50 years the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has provided a saxitoxin dihydrochloride standard to state shellfish laboratories and others who monitor seafood safety, and has distributed it as a National Institutes of Standards […]

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NCCOS Provides Training to a Centralized Algal Toxin Testing Laboratory for Southeast Alaskan Tribes

NCCOS scientists provided training and technical guidance to scientific staff of the Sitka Tribe of Alaska Environmental Regulatory Laboratory (STAERL) on the extraction and detection of Paralytic Shellfish Toxins (PST). The NCCOS-developed receptor binding assay being taught, an Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference (ISSC) accepted method, can help secure the food supply against these potent toxins. […]

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U.S. Harmful Algae Symposium Highlights Latest NCCOS Research

NCCOS co-sponsored the Eighth Symposium on Harmful Algae in the United States, held this past November in Long Beach, California. The biennial event provides a forum for scientific exchange and technical communication on all aspects of harmful algal bloom (HAB) research in the U.S. NCCOS scientists, managers, and sponsored researchers led sessions on: bloom prediction, forecasting, […]

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‘Smartphone Microscopes’ Help Provide Early Warning of Harmful Algal Blooms in Lake Erie

Citizen scientists are using “smartphone microscopes” to identify harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie. The NCCOS Phytoplankton Monitoring Network, in collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, supplied volunteers in Western Lake Erie with the new generation of “smart” microscopes, which have built-in tablets. Each smartphone tablet is pre-loaded by NCCOS scientists with “Phyto”—an application that […]

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Expanding Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring in Western Lake Erie

The NCCOS Phytoplankton Monitoring Network, established to monitor phytoplankton and harmful algal blooms (HABs), is partnering with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to expand into the Western Basin of Lake Erie.  Monitoring stations were selected with input from NOAA’s Ecological Forecasting Services to provide strategic sites to support the NCCOS Lake Erie Experimental Forecast. Recently, the […]

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Assessing the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary: Blog Post

by Jen Maucher Fuquay During the past week I’ve  been a part of the Ecosystem Assessment Survey cruise through the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) aboard the NOAA ship Nancy Foster.  Everyone has been working hard around the clock (literally!) collecting various sample types that will be analyzed as indicators of the health of […]

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NCCOS Methods Transferred to Algal Toxin Testing Laboratory in Oman

NCCOS researcher Tod Leighfield trained three scientists with Oman’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in standard sample preparation and toxin detection methods as part of an International Atomic Energy Agency–funded project to establish a harmful algal bloom testing laboratory in the Arabian Gulf region. The training included assistance with set up of the laboratory and instruction on […]

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New Partnerships in the Florida Keys Strengthen Early Warnings of Harmful Algal Blooms

A grant from the Ocean Reef Conservation Association (ORCA) to the Marine Resources Development Foundation enabled expansion of NOAA’s Phytoplankton Monitoring Network (PMN) monitoring sites in the Florida Keys. The Marine Resources Development Foundation has been an active volunteer group with PMN since 2012. With this ORCA grant and technical guidance from PMN, the Marine Resources […]

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