HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Algae toxin identification unravels fish-kill mystery

A team of researchers from the Hollings Marine Laboratory in Charleston, S.C., has uncovered a subtle chemical pathway by which a normally inoffensive algae, Pfiesteria piscicida, can suddenly start producing a lethal toxin. The discovery, reported last week in Environmental Science and Technology,* could resolve a long-standing mystery surrounding occasional mass fish kills on the East Coast.

Pfiesteria has been implicated for years in a series of otherwise unexplained episodes of mass fish death throughout its range from roughly Delaware to Alabama, particularly in the Neuse River in North Carolina and the Chesapeake Bay. The single-cell organism can experience explosive growth resulting in algae blooms in coastal waters. While it has been suspected not only in fish kills but in incidents of human memory loss and other environmental and health-related effects, no one has ever conclusively identified the actual mechanism. Attempts to grow lethal Pfiesteria in the laboratory have had inconsistent results.

The Hollings Marine Laboratory is a joint institution of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the College of Charleston, and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). Lead researcher Peter Moeller of NOAA suspected that the presence or absence of heavy metals might be the missing factor accounting for Pfiesteria's lethality, and put together a multidisciplinary research team to identify the actual toxin and the conditions under which it is produced.

The work was complicated by the fact that the suspect toxin turns out to be highly unstable, decomposing rapidly once it's activated. Chemists from NIST and MUSC used an array of advanced spectroscopic techniques to determine that the toxin is characterized by the presence of copper-sulfur complexes. "NIST saved the day," Moeller said, "because we w
'"/>

Contact: Michael Baum
michael.baum@nist.gov
301-975-2763
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
19-Jan-2007


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Algae provide new clues to cancer
2. Algaes protein tails create motion and aid munching
3. New use for a cell toxin found to inhibit survival proteins in cancer cells
4. Children of smokers have more than 5 times higher levels of a nicotine toxin
5. Genome of Clostridium botulinum reveals the background to worlds deadliest toxin
6. Engineered protein effective against Staphylococcus aureus toxin
7. Anthrax paralyzes immune cells with lethal toxin, UF research shows
8. Gene that governs toxin production in deadly mold found
9. Bacterial response to oxidation studied as toxin barometer
10. Scripps research scientists: Compounds show significant promise against potential bioweapon toxins
11. Sea creatures toxin could lead to promising cancer treatment

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:8/21/2020)... ... August 19, 2020 , ... The 19th ... life science, data science, informatics and IT leaders goes VIRTUAL and announces its ... uncertainty and change, Bio-IT takes the leadership role of keeping our life science ...
(Date:8/12/2020)... SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (PRWEB) , ... August 11, 2020 ... ... Janssen R&D subsidiary based in Princeton, NJ, have entered into license agreements with ... discovery and development. Both Roche and J&J have annual Research and Development ...
(Date:8/7/2020)... ... August 06, 2020 , ... ... pleased to announce that Eric Chen and Jessica Wong have joined the company’s ... & Strategy, respectively. , Eric Chen heads development efforts for Alucio’s flagship product, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/22/2020)... ... ... Join experts from Reed Tech , Gary Saner, Sr. Manager, Information ... live webinar on Thursday, August 13, 2020 at 11am EDT (4pm BST/UK). ... Specifically, for medical devices, the NMPA has departments dealing with medical device registration (pre-market ...
(Date:7/18/2020)... ... July 16, 2020 , ... “We are thrilled to deliver this ... the only technology of its kind on the market and we were pleased that ... protective capacity of traditional cultured ingredients, creating a natural way to extend the shelf ...
(Date:7/18/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... July 17, 2020 , ... ... global consulting firm for the life sciences and food industries, is pleased to ... Director of Clinical Research – Business Development. , Charles is an accomplished and ...
(Date:7/10/2020)... ... July 09, 2020 , ... ... that Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has expanded the company’s exclusive license ... to move into the point-of-care diagnostic market, focusing initially on the SARS-CoV-2 ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: