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The Bacteria That Made Life Possible Are Now Killing Us

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Channel: MinuteEarth
Categories: Archeology / Paleontology   |   Biology   |   Health   |   Science  
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Thanks to the St. Croix Watershed Research Station for sponsoring this video! To learn more about their work, visit

Aquatic cyanobacteria first oxygenated earths air, making human life possible; now, due to our actions, cyanobacteria are madly blooming once more, poisoning our coasts in the process

Thanks also to our Patreon patrons and our YouTube members.


To learn more, start your googling with these keywords:
Cyanobacteria: aquatic photosynthesizing bacteria often erroneously call blue-green algae
Blue-green algae: incorrect name often used for cyanobacteria because they are blue-green in appearance and can be confused with algae
Dead zone: coastal area where cyanobacteria blooms lead to anaerobic conditions, killing fish and other organisms
Mycrosystins: a class of toxic compounds released by certain cyanobacteria

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Credits (and Twitter handles):
Script Writer: Peter Reich
Script Editor: David Goldenberg (@dgoldenberg)
Video Illustrator: Sarah Berman (@sarahjberman)
Video Director: David Goldenberg (@dgoldenberg)
Video Narrator: Julin Gmez (@ittakesii)
With Contributions From: Henry Reich, Alex Reich, Kate Yoshida, Ever Salazar, Julin Gmez, Arcadi Garcia Rius
Music by: Nathaniel Schroeder:



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Tromas N et al. Characterising and predicting cyanobacterial blooms in an 8-year amplicon sequencing time course. ISME J 11:1746-1763 (2017)

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