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Quote of the day

When seen through the lens of technology, few resources are truly scarce; they’re mainly inaccessible. 

 

Peter Diamandis

Antarctic hides extreme ecosystem

RATE THIS! +12
Posted in Science on 21st Aug, 2014 12:34 AM by AlexMuller

While the underbelly of Antarctica may not exactly be teeming with life, it supports viable ecosystems. Scientists have pulled up thousands of types of micro-organisms from Lake Whillans, a body of water buried 800m under the ice sheet. It proves the dark, cold bottom of Antarctica is not a sterile domain. It raises the tantalising prospect that similar conditions could exist elsewhere in the Solar System. 

 

There are a number of icy moons around Jupiter and Saturn that would have a setting not dissimilar to that found in Lake Whillans. The haul of microbes is reported in Nature magazine this week by members of the US Wissard (Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling) project. They are not the first to acquire such samples; that was done by a Russian team at Vostok, another of the 400 or so subglacial lakes recorded under Antarctica. But what sets the American effort apart is the surety that its trove contained far fewer, if any, surface contaminants because of the ultra-clean drilling methods employed to get down through the ice to the lake body.

 


Tags: Antarcticalifebiologyecologyice

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Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-08-21
+1
Life forms evolve fast and colonise every corner on Earth - this has been well documented and fascinated explores for centuries. This finding of life firms in hostile areas resembling conditions of other planets is particularly interesting and increase chances of finally finding life in space Reply


 

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