Flow Imaging Microscopy Blog

FlowCam Used to Track Larval Oysters with Goals of Population Restoration

In 2018, a research study was performed using oyster larvae from the Mobile Bay - Mississippi Sound system off the coast of Alabama. There have been concerted efforts to reestablish a flourishing population of oysters and oyster reefs in this area, in order to protect the shoreline and to save the population from rapid decline. An important piece of this puzzle is the ability to track larval transport (the movement of oyster larvae from birth to adult settlements), and this study's aim was to establish a method of tracking these larvae.

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Topics: Marine Research, Freshwater Research, Aquatic Research

Norwegian Research Group Studies Krill in Antarctica using FlowCam

In the Austral Summer of 2018-2019 a Norwegian research group aboard the RV Kronprins Haakon, an ice-breaking polar research vessel, traveled to the Antarctic on a research mission with two objectives: 1) to update the estimate of biomass and distribution of krill off the coast of West Antarctica and 2) to become educated on the marine environment in this area for the purpose of implementing a Feed-Back Management (FBM) system, allowing fishery managers to set catch limits based on current ecosystem health.

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Topics: Marine Research, User Spotlight, Aquaculture, Aquatic Research

Effects of Microplastics on Maine Lobster: New Maine Sea Grant Awarded to Bigelow Lab

A Maine Sea Grant has just been awarded to Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Science to study the effects on the lobster, one of Maine's most economically and commercially important resources. The ubiquity of marine microplastics is becoming well known. However, the impact of microplastics on ocean life remains poorly understood. 

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Topics: Marine Research, Aquatic Research

Top FlowCam Papers for Marine Research (Recent Publications)

The FlowCam was born from a dream to develop a faster flow cytometer for marine phytoplankton research. In the mid-1990s, the best method for analyzing phytoplankton was using optical microscopy or a slow flow cytometer that could only analyze a limited size range. By 1997, a few scientists from Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Science had developed the first FlowCam prototype and debuted it at the ASLO Aquatic Sciences Meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Today, 22 years later, the FlowCam has been used in over 230 aquatic science peer-reviewed publications. We've summarized our Top 4 recently published FlowCam for Marine Research Papers into one document.  The following papers are featured:

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Topics: Marine Research, Aquatic Research

Paleolimnologists Use FlowCam for Microfossil Research

Paleolimnologists study the diatoms, foraminifera, and other microfossils within sediment cores to reconstruct paleoenvironments and understand how they have changed over time. 

Diatoms are among the most common types of phytoplankton, and originated more than 200 million years ago.  They are commonly monitored when studying water quality, both past and present, because of their sensitivity to a variety of ecological conditions. 

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Topics: Marine Research, Freshwater Research, Aquatic Research

Combination Marine Sciences and Law Degree Offered by UNE and Maine Law

The University of New England and the University of Maine School of Law announced that they are offering a combined fast-track Marine Sciences Law Degree to be completed in only 6 years. 

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Topics: Marine Research, News and Events, Aquatic Research

Congress Asks for Robust Funding in 2020 to Support Harmful Algae Research

In December 2018, U.S. Congress submitted a letter signed by 61 Congressional Members to the Office of Management and Budget to lobby for increased funding to support harmful algal bloom (HAB) research in 2020.

HAB events are widespread and their effects are diverse. Coordinated studies released in 2017 by the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Geological Survey, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed that 39% of all lakes nationwide contained toxic algae, and cyanobacteria-produced toxins were present in 78% of those lakes at some point during the year. Additionally, 40% more HAB events were reported in 2018 than in 2017. 

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Topics: Marine Research, Freshwater Research, Harmful Algal Blooms, Aquatic Research

FlowCam and VisualSpreadsheet 5.0 Workshop at ASLO Puerto Rico 2019

We will soon be releasing VisualSpreadsheet (ViSP) 5.0, a significant advancement of the FlowCam software.  With ViSP 5.0 you will be able to organize your FlowCam files in a database format, allowing you to analyze multiple runs simultaneously as well as compare and contrast data sets.  This will be especially useful for time-series analyses, longitudinal studies, trend analysis, etc.

    

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Topics: Marine Research, Freshwater Research, News and Events

Most Popular Flow Imaging Microscopy Blog Posts of 2018

We use our Flow Imaging Microscopy blog as a platform to serve up the latest in relevant news, highlight novel uses of the FlowCam, and announce FlowCam technology developments. This year we blogged about 54 different topics. Below is a recap of the Top 10 Most Read Blog Posts of 2018. 

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

Fooled copepods ingest dimethyl sulfide-infused microplastics

December 2018 — Can microplastics be mistaken for algae? A recent study by the University of Plymouth and the Plymouth Marine Laboratory demonstrated that nylon microfibers can acquire dimethyl sulfide (DMS), a compound produced by algae, when environmentally exposed to the compound. The study also showed that Calanus helgolandicus, a chemosensing copepod that uses DMS to locate algae, their normal food source, more readily ingested microplastic fibers infused with DMS (Fig. 1).  The FlowCam was used to enumerate the microplastic fibers and evaluate microplastic fiber uptake during the experiment. 

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Topics: Marine Research, User Spotlight, Aquatic Research