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New Life on the Titanic
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A film on the current status of degradation of the Titanic wreck, contributed to the scientific debate at the UNESCO Scientific Colloquium in Brussels, Belgium (December 2011), which took place in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the 2001 Convention
The Royal Mail Seamship (RMS) Titanic was a British passenger ship that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on 15 April 1912 at 2.20 am after colliding with an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York City. Its sinking caused the deaths of 1,514 people in one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in history. She was the largest ship afloat at the time of her maiden voyage and carried many well-known persons. She was built in Belfast, where a museum will now open remembering this. The wreckage of Titanic was discovered on 1 September 1985, during a joint French/U.S. expedition lead by Jean-Luis Michel of the French Research Institution for the Exploration of the Seas (IFREMER) and Dr. Robert Ballard. It was found approximately 340 nautical miles off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada 3,800 meters beneath the water.
In 1986 Dr. Ballard returned to the Titanic wreck site using a manned submersible, the Alvin, which enabled him and his team to view the sunken ship. The scientists observed that the ferrous-iron structures of the wreck, such as cast iron, wrought iron, and steel were corroded and covered by rust-like precipitates. Ballard named them "rusticles" because they hung like icicles but looked like rust. In June 1991, a group of Russian, Canadian, and American ocean scientists returned to the Titanic wreck site to produce the IMAX documentary movie "Titanica". On this dive, they collected samples of water, sediment cores and rusticles. In the years following the attempt to isolate different bacteria which reside in and form the rusticles was undertaken. Due to different mini environmental niches which exist in the rusticles one species was isolated and identified as Halomonas titanicae. This species is characterized as holo-philic and gram negative. This species can affect marine industry by corroding structures like oil rigs, oil and gas pipelines etc. It can also be used to dispose of old merchant and naval ships and oil rigs in the ocean after they have been cleaned of toxins and oil based products.
The present film has been produced under the direction of Mrs Henrietta Mann, renowned scientist at Dalhousie university.
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