Scott A Rice

Associate Professor, Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering
  • Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering
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  • Singapore

About Scott A Rice

A/Prof. Rice’s research programme is centered on how and why bacteria form matrix encased biofilms. The goal of such research is to define the molecular pathways that control the biofilm life-cycle, with a particular interest in those processes that regulate the switch between planktonic and biofilm growth. Such knowledge can be used to manipulate the biofilm in a directed fashion to either encourage or discourage biofilm formation as needed. His group works on a variety of biofilm systems, ranging from single species populations to increasingly more complex multispecies systems, which are more representative of natural biofilms. Current projects include the continued development and investigation of a simple three species biofilm consortia, focusing on the mechanisms and consequences of microbial interactions. He is also keenly interested in how bacteriophage may contribute to the development of biofilms, as opposed to their role as killing agents. Predation is a primary environmental factor responsible for the killing of bacteria and A/Prof. Rice is investigating how bacteria respond to predators. Another aspect of his research focuses on the application of nitric oxide, a bacterial signal, to control biofilm formation for medical and industrial applications.

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Oct 11, 2015
Hi Romona, Indeed, such comparisons are good, especially for the general public who may not have the background or time to work out some of the complexities of biological systems. Both Hans-Curt Flemming and Roberto Kolter have written reviews using similar analogies, so those could give more inspiration. Perhaps the cities should be underwater, where the bacteria can swim to the biofilm city, which is slightly more accurate than flying through the sky to inhabit the city. I am not quite sure about the context you are using these, but it is also very good to relate to real world biofilms, e.g. The gunk that grows around the edge of a sink drain (at least in my university share house back in the day), or the slimes that make things slippery at the waters edge. People relate to those pretty well even though they are small.