FlowCam® - Flow Imaging Microscopy Blog

Tackle Taste and Odor with Proactive Water Quality Monitoring

An article featured this month in the American Water Works Association (AWWA) publication Opflow describes the challenges currently facing water utilities across the country, and lays out a strategy to proactively monitor for cyanobacteria and taste & odor causing algae.

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Topics: Freshwater Research, Harmful Algal Blooms, Municipal Water (Drinking/Wastewater), User Spotlight

Expanded Marine Taxonomic Libraries for the FlowCam

After fielding many requests from FlowCam users, we are happy to announce that we have made available expanded taxonomic libraries. These example libraries illustrate some common genera found in Casco Bay (in the Gulf of Maine) and show examples of how users may organize libraries for their own unique area. The 42 libraries cover 37 different taxa.

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Topics: Marine Research, Harmful Algal Blooms, FlowCam Technology, Aquatic Research

FlowCam Used for Analysis of Diazotrophic Organisms in High-Nitrogen Water

A long-term study undertaken by Chaffin et al. at Ohio State University monitored nutrient levels and phytoplankton growth in the Lake Erie central basin from 2014 until 2017. The purpose of the study was to determine the primary limiting nutrient determining phytoplankton growth, and determine if multiple limiting nutrients existed during this time period. The FlowCam was used to image and analyze phytoplankton species and to estimate biomass and biovolume of the species under consideration.

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Topics: Freshwater Research, Harmful Algal Blooms, User Spotlight, Aquatic Research

An Integrated Approach to Monitor Taste and Odor Producing Cyanobacteria: a Webinar

"Most drinking water utilities enter high-alert mode upon testing positive for microcystin. Staff at the city of Wichita Falls, Texas, Water Purification Laboratory responded calmly when they received that dreaded phone call in July 2018 because of their progressive approach to monitoring cyanobacteria. Climate conditions are conducive to harmful algae blooms (HABs) and taste-and-odor events with increasing frequency and intensity. As a result, US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) regulations are moving toward requiring cyanobacteria monitoring. Proactive drinking water utilities are seeking a streamlined approach to monitoring cyanobacteria and nuisance algae." Adams et. al. "Use an Integrated Approach to Monitor Algal Blooms" Opflow Dec 2018

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Topics: News and Events, Harmful Algal Blooms, Municipal Water (Drinking/Wastewater), User Spotlight

Introducing the FlowCam Aquatic Image Galleries

We are happy to announce that we have made available curated galleries of our favorite aquatic images from around the world, in a variety of applications. Are you curious what your water samples would look like when analyzed on the FlowCam? Check out all of the images in our galleries, or peruse below for a sampling of what's available. This is only a small sampling of what the FlowCam is capable of; please contact us if you'd like to see more.

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Topics: Algae Technology, Marine Research, Freshwater Research, Harmful Algal Blooms, Municipal Water (Drinking/Wastewater), Aquaculture, Aquatic Research

Top Research Studies Comparing the FlowCam to Light Microscopy

Most organizations who are considering the purchase of a FlowCam ask themselves this question: how does the FlowCam compare to traditional light microscopy? They know that using a FlowCam is faster than using a microscope, and it's possible to produce larger amounts of data, but is the FlowCam as accurate?

Can it correctly calculate biomass, biovolume, and identify organisms? We don't want you to take our word for it, so we have gathered a selection of published studies that explore this very question. Please enjoy these summaries, and feel free to contact us for access to the full papers.

Top Studies Comparing FlowCam to Light Microscopy

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Topics: Marine Research, Harmful Algal Blooms, Municipal Water (Drinking/Wastewater), User Spotlight, Aquatic Research

Our Most Popular Blog Posts of 2019

We use our Flow Imaging Microscopy blog as a platform to bring you relevant news and academic research, as well as highlighting developments and new uses of FlowCam technology. This year we published 68 blog posts on a large variety of subjects. Keep reading to see the countdown to the most popular post of 2019.

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Topics: Industrial Applications, Protein Therapeutics, Marine Research, News and Events, Harmful Algal Blooms, FlowCam Technology, Aquatic Research, Biopharmaceutical Research

The FlowCam Cyano for automated analysis of algae and cyanobacteria

Based on proven FlowCam® technology, the FlowCam Cyano automatically identifies cyanobacteria from other algae and particles in aquatic samples. Using a patent-pending combination of excitation wavelength, phycocyanin fluorescence measurement, and image recognition software, the system automates what was previously done using manual microscopy. After differentiating the cyanobacteria from the other algae in the sample, VisualSpreadsheet and Advanced Classifier software can be used to further characterize specific types of algae found in the sample using 40+ physical parameters. 

Keep reading to view our new video and see the inner workings of the FlowCam Cyano, as well as a detailed demonstration of VisualSpreadsheet's automated classification process.

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Topics: Harmful Algal Blooms, FlowCam Technology, Municipal Water (Drinking/Wastewater), Aquatic Research

Answering Your FAQs about Analyzing Microcystis with the FlowCam

FlowCam customers frequently ask us how to optimize analysis of Microcystis, a globally pervasive colonial cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) which is seen in source water systems and recreational lakes. The colonies can range in size from a few microns up to several thousand microns in diameter. Customers are concerned about losing part of the sample or not being able to capture a quality image due to the colony’s size and density. Dense colonies superimpose cells in the image, making it easy to underestimate cell counts, while large colonies can make it challenging to determine what objective is best used to image the sample.

Question:  What protocol does Fluid Imaging recommend to analyze colonies and scums of Microcystis?

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Topics: Freshwater Research, Harmful Algal Blooms, FlowCam Technology, Municipal Water (Drinking/Wastewater)

Using the FlowCam to Study Harmful Algae Blooms Around Sanibel Island, Florida

It's hard to imagine a more picturesque location from which to perform one's research than Sanibel Island, Florida. However, as can be seen in the picture at the right, our most beautiful places are not exempt from the effects of climate change. Pictured here is what is commonly known as "red tide", but to Dr. Eric Milbrandt and the researchers at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) is known to be an algal bloom caused by the phytoplankton Karenina brevis.

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Topics: Marine Research, Harmful Algal Blooms, User Spotlight, Aquatic Research