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

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

Sweden’s submarine war against Germany – Rear-Admiral confesses to armed robbery
2014 04 15
On April 8, 2014, Swedish combat forces stormed the HQ of German submarine builder Thyssen’s offices in Sweden and walked away with blueprints for the next generation submarine A26. Immediately after the event, the head of security at Thyssen was fired. Aside one or two initial reports about what in effect was an armed robbery, a blanket of silence has been put ...
Black Ring Above England: New Evidence
2014 04 15
New explanations for the ’black ring’ as seen in England this week have been submitted by members since we highlighted the case. [Experts baffled after strange black ring appears in sky above England] As otherworldly a phenomenon it seems to be, it’s almost certainly due to very worldly reasons. Officials are still stumped as to the origin of the ring as recorded by ...
Sars Research Lab Loses 2,000 Tubes of Killer Virus
2014 04 15
A prestigious research institute in France said it had lost thousands of tubes of samples of the deadly Sars coronavirus. A routine inventory check at Paris’ Pasteur Institute revealed that 2,349 tubes containing fragments of the virus responsible for the deaths of 774 people in 2002 were missing, the centre named after French chemist Louis Pasteur said. The institute was quick to ...
10 odd facts about Abraham Lincoln’s assassination
2014 04 15
It was 149 years ago tonight the President Abraham Lincoln was shot while watching a play at Ford’s Theater. Lincoln died the next morning, and in the aftermath, some odd facts seemed to pop up. Why wasn’t General Ulysses S. Grant in the theater box with Lincoln, as scheduled? Where was the President’s bodyguard? How many people were targeted in ...
Dag Hammarskjöld Assassination: Plane may have been shot down
2014 04 15
Newly declassified 1961 cable called for grounding of Belgian mercenary hours after UN secretary general crashed in Africa Hours after a plane carrying the UN secretary general, Dag Hammarskjöld, crashed over central Africa in September 1961, the US ambassador to Congo sent a cable to Washington claiming that the aircraft could have been shot down by a Belgian mercenary pilot. In the ...
More News »