August 30, 2010 6:33 AM

Spread of 'didymo' algae perplexes California scientists

On a sunny stretch of the Bear River near Colfax, Calif., the cool water carries a nasty surprise for swimmers and fishermen. About 10 miles of the Bear River is infested with a strange algae called "didymo," short for its scientific name, Didymosphenia geminata. So-called "nuisance blooms" of didymo are being reported with increasing frequency around the world. Experts don't know why, but suspect everything from climate change to a genetic mutation in the algae itself.

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