Why Is Florida’s ‘Unprecedented’ Algae Bloom Toxic?

Massive blooms of potentially toxic cyanobacteria are washing onto beaches in Florida, keeping beach goers at home and raising concerns about possible impacts on public health.

The bacteria belong to the genus microcystis, meaning they are not technically algae, and are known to appear in areas with high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus. Both compounds leach into Florida’s Lake Okeechobee from industrial farming activities in the area. And when conditions are right, the blooms pr

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