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The HAB Five

Posted by Stephanie A. Smith, Ph.D.on Fri, Jan 16, 2015 @ 12:00 PM

fab5docToday, I learned something from my Wolverine-loving business partner:  Michigan’s Fab Five of early-1990s fame changed the game of basketball as we know it.  Used to hearing wild claims from alumni of the School up North, I decided to verify this claim.  Indeed, if one considers baggy shorts and the now taken-for-granted ties of the NBA with hip hop culture, the Fab Five changed the game.   OK, I guess there were a few superstars, too.   Additionally, and Eric didn’t deny this, some shady deals and NCAA violations that involved members of the Fab Five had a toxic and long-lasting effect on Michigan’s basketball program.

Well, it ends up that some blue-green algae may be changing lakes as we know them, and like the Fab Five, not always for the better.  If you are familiar with harmful algal blooms (seems likely if you are reading this blog), then you’re familiar with the concept of blue-green algae growing as a consequence of nutrients that become available via agricultural runoff, for instance.  It ends up that the blue-green algae might also encourage nutrient enrichment of lakes, making these lakes more favorable for the blue-green perpetrators for years to come.  If you want the more sciency version of this story, the nice work by Kathryn Cottingham’s team at Dartmouth can be found here.

Of course, the toxic effect of blue green algae can be quite literally TOXIC.  This blog kicks off a series we will call the HAB Five.  In freshwater systems in the United States, blue-green algae make five toxins that are most frequently cause for concern:  microcystin, cylindrospermopsin, nodularin, anatoxin-a, and saxitoxin.  In coming weeks, we will feature five facts about each of the HAB Five, in hopes to raise awareness and understanding about these toxins.   Please follow Beagle Bioproducts on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter (@BeagleBio) so you’ll have the opportunity to find these blogs when they come out, and if you have any favorite facts you think we should include, go to those sites or www.beaglebioproducts.com to let us know!

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