Viable but nonculturable (VBNC) bacteria

"Viable-but-nonculturable (VBNC) bacteria are those in a state of very low metabolic activity and do not divide, but are alive and have the ability to become culturable once resuscitated." (Oliver 2009)


Oliver, James D. 2009. “Recent Findings on the Viable but Nonculturable State in Pathogenic Bacteria.” FEMS Microbiology Reviews.

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Interview with Prof. Rita Colwell

Prof. Rita Colwell’s career has been dedicated to providing safe water to rural communities, with a focus on cholera, after studying marine microbiology. Through her work, she and her team developed a model that employs satellite sensing to monitor the environmental factors associated with cholera. Prof. Colwell is also Director of the National Science Foundation and is a proponent of an educated society and increasing the number of women and minorities in STEM. For her, the most exciting aspect of her current work is assisting countries such as Yemen in predicting the risk of cholera outbreaks, however she believes one challenge that remains is the poor understanding of how effective the use of satellite sensos are for predicting the risk of such water borne diseases.