Steel and steel and the Titanic microbe

A scientist named Steel helped later scientists understand a previously-unknown species of bacteria found living in the steel and former steel of the wreck of the cruise ship HMS Titanic. The relevant publications (one of which cites the other), are:

1. “Halomonas titanicae sp. nov., a halophilic bacterium isolated from the RMS Titanic,” Cristina Sánchez-Porro, Bhavleen Kaur, Henrietta Mann and Antonio Ventosa, Int J Syst Evol Microbiol, 2010. (Thanks to investigator Michael Siegert for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at University of Sevilla, Spain, Ontario Science Centre, Canada, and Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada, report:

“A Gram-negative, heterotrophic, aerobic, non-endospore-forming and motile by peritrichous flagella bacterial strain, designated strain BH1T, was isolated from a rusticle sample, a consortium of microorganisms, collected from the RMS Titanic wreck site….”

2. Cowan, S. T. & Steel, K. J. (1965). Manual for the Identification of Medical Bacteria, London: Cambridge University Press.

BONUS: A review of Steel’s manual.

BONUS: Karen Hopkin’s podcast, for Scientific American, about the Titanic wee microbe.

Improbable Research