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Tue Jan 29, 2013, 10:17 PM

First Evidence of Life in Antarctic Subglacial Lake - Discover

First Evidence of Life in Antarctic Subglacial Lake
By Crux Guest Blogger | Discover
January 29, 2013 9:40 am





<snip>

The search continues for life in subglacial Lake Whillans, 2,600 feet below the surface of the West Antarctic Ice Sheetóbut a thrilling preliminary result has detected signs of life.

At 6:20am on January 28, four people in sterile white Tyvek suits tended to a wench winding cable onto the drill platform. One person knocked frost off the cable as it emerged from the ice borehole a few feet below. The object of their attention finally rose into sight: a gray plastic vessel, as long as a baseball bat, filled with water from Lake Whillans, half a mile below.


The bottle was hurried into a 40-foot cargo container outfitted as a laboratory on skis. Some of the lake water was squirted into bottles of media in order to grow whatever microbes might inhabit the lake. Those cultures could require weeks to produce results. But one test has already produced an interesting preliminary finding. When lake water was viewed under a microscope, cells were seen: their tiny bodies glowed green in response to DNA-sensitive dye. It was the first evidence of life in an Antarctic subglacial lake.


(A Russian team has reported that two types of bacteria were found in water from subglacial Lake Vostok, but DNA sequences matched those of bacteria that are known to live inside keroseneócausing the scientists to conclude that those bacteria came from kerosene drilling fluid used to bore the hole, and not from Lake Vostok itself.)

In order to conclusively demonstrate that Lake Whillans harbors life, the researchers will need to complete more time-consuming experiments showing that the cells actually growósince dead cells can sometimes show up under a microscope with DNA-sensitive staining. And weeks or months will pass before it is known whether these cells represent known types of microbes, or something never seen before. But a couple of things seem likely. Most of those microbes probably subsist by chewing on rocks. And despite being sealed beneath 2,600 feet of ice, they probably have a steady supply of oxygen.

<snip>

More: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/crux/2013/01/29/first-evidence-of-life-in-antarctic-subglacial-lake/#more-2732






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Reply First Evidence of Life in Antarctic Subglacial Lake - Discover (Original post)
WillyT Jan 2013 OP
1620rock Jan 2013 #1
Logical Jan 2013 #4
bluedigger Jan 2013 #2
DJ13 Jan 2013 #3
WillyT Jan 2013 #6
longship Jan 2013 #5
WillyT Jan 2013 #7
NBachers Jan 2013 #8

Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 10:31 PM

1. Life is one tough cookie. Betting on life on Mars.

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Response to 1620rock (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 10:37 PM

4. Past maybe. Not current. n-t

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 10:34 PM

2. I expect to find wenches on Craigslist, not from Discover magazine.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 10:34 PM

3. Didnt they watch "The Thing"?

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Response to DJ13 (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 10:41 PM

6. Oh Hell No...Nobody Would Even Try !!!






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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 10:39 PM

5. Whoa! Good shit here. nt

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Response to longship (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 11:12 PM

7. I Agree...




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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 11:36 PM

8. Triumph of the Science Geeks - I love this shit

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