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Dr. Rachel Noble of the UNC-Chapel Hill Institute of Marine Sciences, examines water samples in her lab taken from a beach near Morehead City.

Rachel Noble of Carolina’s Institute of Marine Sciences talks about her rapid water quality tests and how they can help North Carolinians stay safe during hurricane season.

Back in 2004, with E. coli commanding attention in the media headlines, Carolina researcher Rachel Noble and partners made a discovery that changed the way the EPA approached water quality testing. While existing methods to measure E. coli in water took 18 to 24 hours for results, Noble’s method could return results in 45 minutes to an hour.

Now she’s working to develop a rapid test to measure bacteria like Vibrio that can be harmful to human health, particularly as they become more prevalent and easier to come into contact with after hurricanes or tropical storms.

As hurricane season kicks off, we talked with Noble about her water quality tests that can be used to keep North Carolinians safe.

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Originally published June 3, 2019.



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