FlowCam - Flow Imaging Microscopy Blog

Scientists help public avoid health risks of cyanobacteria

Dolichospermum_Crissum_FlowCamWe recently learned that Professor Rolf Vinebrooke and his colleagues at the University of Alberta are using a FlowCam for early detection of cyanobacteria in lakes and other freshwater environments. Toxic algae are starting to bloom in lakes around the world - and we're not even at the height of the summer season. Increases in atmospheric temperature combined with land nutrients are promoting the growth of harmful cyanobacteria in these bodies of water, damaging for not only the associated ecosystems, but also potentially for the people who visit the lakes.

"Our ability to rapidly detect the onset of outbreaks of potentially toxic cyanobacteria provides timely information to the public regarding the major lakes throughout the province," says Vinebrooke. "If the cell counts exceed the World Health Organization guideline of 100,000 cells per millilitre, we notify Alberta Health officials, who then post advisories at the lake in question." Read the full article on Phys.org

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Topics: Harmful Algal Blooms, Aquatic Research