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

6,000-Year-Old Temple with Possible Sacrificial Altars Discovered
2014 10 21
A 6,000-year-old temple holding humanlike figurines and sacrificed animal remains has been discovered within a massive prehistoric settlement in Ukraine. Built before writing was invented, the temple is about 60 by 20 meters (197 by 66 feet) in size. It was a "two-story building made of wood and clay surrounded by a galleried courtyard," the upper floor divided into five ...
What happened to Journalist Serena Shim? Assassinated? Find out what happened to Serena, Press TV director calls on Turkey
2014 10 21
Press TV news director Hamid Reza Emadi says the “suspicious death,” of the news channel’s correspondent in Turkey is a tragedy for “anyone who wants to get the truth.” Emadi made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Sunday following Serena Shim’s death across the border from Syria’s Kurdish city of Kobani, where the ISIL terrorists and Kurdish fighters ...
Ancient Roman Nanotechnology Inspires Next-Generation Holograms for Information Storage
2014 10 21
The Lycurgus Cup, as it is known due to its depiction of a scene involving King Lycurgus of Thrace, is a 1,600-year-old jade green Roman chalice that changes colour depending on the direction of the light upon it. It baffled scientists ever since the glass chalice was acquired by the British Museum in the 1950s, as they could not work ...
Rapid Geomagnetic Reversal Possibility: Confirmed
2014 10 21
From the video: "The scientists who conducted the study are still unsure why the magnetic field is weakening, but one likely reason is the Earth’s magnetic poles are getting ready to flip, said Rune Floberghagen, the ESA’s Swarm mission manager. In fact, the data suggest magnetic north is moving toward Siberia." Tune into Red Ice Radio: Ben Davidson - Suspicious0bservers: Space Weather ...
Georgia Guide Stone 2014 cube stone removal
2014 10 21
From: Youtube: Was it all just a gag? it seems the cube stone just happens to be made out of the same Elberton granite that the rest of this morbid monument is made from.
More News »