Microbiologists often hope to answer key questions – which microbes are present, and what are they doing? – in non-destructive ways. After all, if you’re changing the very system you’re hoping to analyze, how can you be sure that your measurements reflect native conditions?
The importance of non-destructive analyses takes on a new dimension when objects of cultural significance are involved. Disruptive techniques won’t merely perturb the natural system, but could destroy a priceless a