Beautiful blue glow in Hong Kong seas is harmful

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Marine biologists are concerned by the beautiful yet disturbing and potentially toxic blue glow in the Hong Kong seas. Eerie fluorescent blue patches of water glimmer off Hong Kong’s seashore; they look magnificent and may even attract tourists, but they are an indicator of harmful algal bloom. They are created by the algae, Noctiluca scintillans, nicknamed Sea Sparkle. It looks like algae and can act like algae. But it’s not quite. It is a single-celled organism that technically can function as both animal and plant. These type of blooms are triggered by farm pollution that can be devastating to marine life and local fisheries. Noctiluca is a type of single-cell life that eats plankton and is eaten by other species. The plankton and Noctiluca become more abundant when nitrogen and phosphorous from farm run-off increase. Unlike similar organisms, Noctiluca doesn’t directly produce chemicals that can attack the nervous system or parts of the body. Noctiluca’s role as both prey and predator can eventually magnify the accumulation of algae toxins in the food chain, according to oceanographer R. Eugene Turner at Louisiana State University.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-01-magnificent-blue-hong-kong-seas.html#jCp

This article is based on materials provided by: http://phys.org/news/2015-01-magnificent-blue-hong-kong-seas.html

Disclaimer: This articles does not reflect any personal views of the authors/editors

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Scientist-entrepreneur-manager-journalist: -Co-founder, Author; Former Assistant Editor and Director, Biotechin.Asia, Biotech Media Pte. Ltd.; -Founder & CEO, SciGlo (www.sciglo.com); -Programme Management Officer, SBIC, A*STAR (former Research Fellow). --Sandhya graduated from University of Madras, India (B.Sc Microbiology and M.Sc Biotechnology) and received her Ph.D from the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She worked on oxidative stress in skin, skeletal, adipose tissue and cardiac muscle for a decade from 2006-2016. She is currently working as a Programme Management Officer handling projects and grants at Singapore Bioimaging Consortium (SBIC), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). Earlier to this she was a Research Fellow in the Fat Metabolism and Stem Cell Group at SBIC. Sandhya was also the Vice President and Publicity Chair of A*PECSS (A*STAR Post Doc Society) (2014-2016). Recently she founded a platform for scientists - SciGlo (www.sciglo.com) and is a startup mentor at Vertical VC (Finland). She is an ardent lover of science and enjoys globe trotting and good vegetarian food.