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Saharan dust may cause harmful bacteria in Gulf

A population explosion of the flesh-eating bacteria, Vibrio, may just be one of the many realities the Gulf Coast will face in the future.

Every summer big dust plumes leave the Saharan and Sahel deserts in Africa and travel across the Atlantic. The dust eventually gets deposited in the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf ā€“ including coastal Texas.

Dr. Michael Wetz, Assistant Professor of Marine Biology at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, has secured a $220,758 grant that will allow him to provide insight into the effects of global climate change on growth of marine bacteria such as Vibrio. The grant, funded by the National Science Foundation, will provide the first look on how marine bacteria respond to the long term effects of Saharan Dust.

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