Research at the intersection of limnology and public health is showing that toxins produced from cyanobacteria act as an environmental trigger for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. Additional linkages are being made between cyanobacteria and Parkinson's and several acute illnesses and neurological disorders. A primary obstacle in advancing our understanding of linkages between cyanobacteria blooms, toxicity, and human health is water quality information on the presence, extent, magnitude, and intensity of these harmful algal blooms in freshwater bodies. Little to no exposure data is available to the public health community which has created an opportunity and innovation gap. Remote sensing science has now advanced to the point where operational assessment of cyanobacteria and water quality is feasible. The innovation of this NIH SBIR Phase 1 is the development of an operational cyanobacteria indicator tool (Cyano-Map) that utilizes NASA satellite remote sensing platforms and state-of-the-art geosciences methods. Cyano-Map will be capable mapping and monitoring phycocyanin (PC) abundance and cyanobacteria (i.e., microcystis, anabaena, and planktothrix) over space and time for inland waters. Cyano-Map will utilize multiple NASA platforms to extract the strengths of multiple sensors for the optimal spatial, temporal, spectral and radiometric resolutions.
Indicators and risk maps for cyanobacteria blooms in water systems and mapping environmental triggers for ALS and Parkinson's Disease.
|Torbick, Nathan; Hession, Sarah; Stommel, Elijah et al. (2014) Mapping amyotrophic lateral sclerosis lake risk factors across northern New England. Int J Health Geogr 13:1|