LISTEN: 'Taurus' Helps USF Bull Its Way Into The Deep Ocean

ST. PETERSBURG, FL -- The University of South Florida and Florida Institute of Oceanography have run their first engineering tests on a deep-sea remote vehicle that's among the most powerful of its kind in the world.

USF says no other university on the U.S. mainland has a vessel with such advanced capabilities. It says the Taurus can reach depths of two and a half miles, allowing it to explore extremely remote areas of the ocean and potentially discover new species, as well as fishing and mineral resources and "bioprospecting" that could lead to treatments for human illnesses.

Dr. Monty Graham, director of the Institute, says Taurus will be used later this year on a mission to explore restoration of deep Gulf coral affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010, as well as a mission to gather information on deep ocean sharks by using a non-lethal spear gun to take a biopsy. It's a tool developed by students at a California college.

Find out more about Taurus by playing our Beyond the News podcast below, featuring an interview with Dr. Graham.

Photo: USF - Clifford McBride

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