Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ancient Microbes Found in Buried Antarctic Lake

This image shows a scanning electron micrograph of very small (about 0.2 micron) and numerous bacterial cells found inhabiting icy brine channels in Antarctica's Lake Vida, which lies in the Victoria Valley, one of the northernmost of the Antarctic dry valleys. 

 

Beneath the icy surface of a buried Antarctic lake, in super-salty water devoid of light and oxygen that is also cold enough to freeze seawater, researchers have now discovered that a diverse community of bacteria has survived for millennia.

The findings shed light on the extreme limits at which life can live not just on Earth, but possibly alien worlds, scientists added.

Researchers analyzed Lake Vida, which lies encapsulated within ice at least 60 feet (18 meters) beneath Antarctica's surface. Past studies revealed the brine in the lake has been isolated from the surface for at least 2,800 years.

For the rest of the story: http://www.livescience.com/25032-ancient-antarctic-microbes-found.html

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