New life forms found under sub-glacial Antarctic lake
2013-09-11 0:00

From: RT

Scientists from the British Antarctic Survey have found life in mud samples at the bottom of a sub-glacial lake in Antarctica. They found microbes dating back almost 100,000 years as well as organisms previously unknown to science.


The research team from the British Antarctic Survey and the universities of Northumbria and Edinburgh made their astonishing discovery at Lake Hodgson on the Antarctic Peninsula, and published their findings online in the journal Diversity.

During the last Ice Age the lake was covered by more than 400 meters of ice, but the ice sheet is becoming more exposed and is retreating and melting at an unprecedented rate. Due to rising temperatures in Antarctica, the emerging sub-glacial lake now has a thin covering of just 3 to 4 meters.

The team used a “clean core” drill style and used sterilized equipment to avoid possible contamination. They burrowed into and sampled sediments at the bottom of the lake, which is 93 meters deep and about 1.5 kilometers long by 1.5 kilometers wide.

The lake was believed to be too harsh an environment for any forms of life to survive, but the team found that many species of microbes were thriving in the extreme climate of the lake’s sediments.

The top few centimeters of the core contained current and recent organisms, but the layers of mud at the bottom represent a time capsule containing the DNA of microbes that have lived there throughout the millennia. Once the core reached a depth of 3.2 meters, the microbes dated back nearly 100,000 years.

“The fact that these organisms have survived in such a unique environment could mean they have developed in unique ways which could lead to exciting discoveries for us. This is the early stage and we now need to do more work to further investigate these life forms,” lead researcher David Pearce said in a statement.

The team found life in the form of fossil DNA, including a range of extremophiles, a species adapted to the most extreme environments, which use a variety of chemical methods to sustain life without oxygen.

One of the DNA sequences was related to one of the most ancient forms of life known on earth, but over 20 percent of organisms are previously unknown.

Twenty-three percent of this diversity could only be identified to “unidentified bacterium.” Many of these species are likely to be completely new to science.

[...]

Read the full article at: rt.com



Related Articles
Bone-eating worms thrive in the Antarctic
Antarctic Lake Vostok ’might have fish’
Antarctica Meteorites Contain Supernova Dust
Confirmed: There’s life in buried Antarctic lake
Extreme Drilling : Searching for Life Under the Antarctic Ice Sheet
Woolly mammoth with flowing blood found for first time, Russian scientists claim


Latest News from our Front Page

Gunman Storms Dutch TV Station Demanding Airtime
2015-01-30 23:32
Dutch authorities have released few details about the bizarre case of 19-year-old Tarik Zahzah’s attack on the main news studio of television station NOS on Thursday. To get the obvious question out of the way first, the police say there is no evidence that Zahzah, who is half-Egyptian, acted on behalf of organized terrorism. The authorities always say that on the ...
How Alan Dershowitz bullied rape victims to protect a serial child molester
2015-01-30 23:40
Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz always felt children were fair game for Israeli missiles. Now the question is whether he thinks they are fair game for the sexual exploits of his powerful associates and himself. Dershowitz and the UK’s Prince Andrew were accused in a recent court filing of raping a teenage girl who was forced into sexual slavery by ...
Alchemical Banksters
2015-01-30 22:39
This past week, the world's preeminent vultures, the economic power elite, met in Davos to discuss the maintenance of their global fiat hegemony. Highlights included furthering austerity, noting that the serf class can't have air conditioning and cars, as well as cheering on the death of privacy through the rise of technocracy. The degenerate elite, completely out of touch with ...
Men must prove a woman said ’Yes’ under tough new rape rules
2015-01-30 4:54
New guidance will be issued to all police forces and prosecutors as part of a ’toolkit’ to move rape investigations into the 21st century Men accused of date rape will need to convince police that a woman consented to sex as part of a major change in the way sex offences are investigated. The Director of Public Prosecutions said it was ...
4 beheaded in Saudi Arabia less than a week into King Salman's rule
2015-01-30 3:13
Comment: So when will the the "Human rights" promoting liberal west elite decide invade Saudi Arabia like they did Libya? Members of Magic Movement stage a mock execution scene in protest of Saudi Arabia beheading of eight Bangladeshi workers in October 2011. Four people have been executed in Saudi Arabia less than a week after 79-year-old King Salman assumed power following the ...
More News »