Florida lab wraps up red-tide research project
The longest and most cohesive scientific study looking at how humans are affected by the "red tide" phenomenon in Florida, USA, was officially completed on 24 March 2011.It concluded at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota with a meeting of 22 investigators from eight organizations who have been studying the human health effects of the algae causing the tide, Karenia brevis, since 2000.
Red tide, which also occurs in the Middle East and other areas, often causes shutdown of desalination and other seawater abstraction plants.
The US$ 15.8 million National Institute of Environmental & Health Sciences (NIEHS) project was based on a "beach-to-bedside" model designed to reveal the effects of naturally occurring chemical toxins by incorporating numerous scientific disciplines -- everything from medical professionals and oceanographers to chemists and pharmacologists. Official results of the project are due back to NIEHS in June.
Discoveries it will contain include:
The study was led by Dr Daniel G Baden, director of the Center for Marine Science at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, with field research led by Dr Barbara Kirkpatrick, based at Mote Marine Laboratory. The study also included lead investigators from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), the Florida Department of Health, the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Sciences and Miller School of Medicine, Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute - New Mexico, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and the Mount Sinai Medical Center, Miami.