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Updated: 03/14/2014 08:06:12AM

Microscopic menaces

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This aerial view shows Coquina Beach, Fla., with an algae bloom off shore Aug. 23, 2006. A $4.7 million federal grant will allow scientists to focus on nutrient runoff from farms, coastal development and factories as a possible cause of southwest Florida's persistent red tide problem. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association awarded the five-year grant to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Researchers from around the state will focus on the relationship of nutrients, including fertilizer and phosphorus, and red tide. (AP Photo/Tampa Tribune-News Channel 8, Paul Lamison)

PHOTO COURTESY OF MOTE MARINE

This microscopic image shows cells of Karenia brevis, the organism that causes Florida's red tide.

By Lee Anderson

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Red tide.

I must apologize for typing those two words to start out this column. People can go crazy when they hear those words, or at least overreact a little bit. I was in line at Publix the other day and heard a couple talking about how they heard that red tide is up in Sarasota and is making its way down south. Yes, red tide can be nasty, but gossip and false information can be even worse.

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