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Sun Jan 13, 2013, 01:33 PM

Russian scientists get first ice samples from Antarctic Lake Vostok

Source: The Voice of Russia

Lake Vostok is considered to be the largest of several hundreds of reservoirs located under the Antarctic ice. With an area of 15,000 square km it is slightly smaller that Ladoga Lake in Russia, which is considered to be the largest in Europe.

For millions of years Lake Vostok was isolated from earth atmosphere. The thickness of the ice layer above the lake varies between 3,700 up and 4,200 meters. On January 10, the members of the Antarctic expedition received first ice samples from that lake. The samples will be brought to St. Petersburg in mid-May when the research ship “Academician Fyodorov” is back from the expedition. We hear from Valery Lukin, the head of Russia's Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) in charge of the mission.

"Thеn (in May) these samples will be taken to our laboratories for micro-biological and chemical analysis. We are going to study the biodiversity of an absolutely unknown object. So far no one else in the world has managed to take sample from that lake. If we find some microorganisms in those samples we will probably get new data about evolution laws because such organisms lived in such a unique environment."

Read more: http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_01_13/Russian-scientists-get-first-ice-samples-from-Antarctic-Lake-Vostok/

19 replies, 2681 views

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Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply Russian scientists get first ice samples from Antarctic Lake Vostok (Original post)
littlemissmartypants Jan 2013 OP
Canoe52 Jan 2013 #1
samsingh Jan 2013 #2
leftyohiolib Jan 2013 #3
ninjanurse Jan 2013 #4
pediatricmedic Jan 2013 #5
paleotn Jan 2013 #8
DryRain Jan 2013 #6
muriel_volestrangler Jan 2013 #7
happyslug Jan 2013 #12
dipsydoodle Jan 2013 #16
muriel_volestrangler Jan 2013 #17
mopinko Jan 2013 #9
littlemissmartypants Jan 2013 #10
mopinko Jan 2013 #11
dipsydoodle Jan 2013 #15
AnnieBW Jan 2013 #13
Baclava Jan 2013 #18
AnnieBW Jan 2013 #19
Bandit Jan 2013 #14

Response to littlemissmartypants (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 01:59 PM

1. This is so cool! (no pun intended)

I've been following the discovery of the lake for a few years and am looking forward to seeing what they find.

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 02:26 PM

2. kick

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 03:02 PM

3. it turned out to be full of fracking fluid

 

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 03:38 PM

4. scary

What if the Old Ones are down there?

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Response to ninjanurse (Reply #4)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 03:57 PM

5. Don't worry

They are are more scared of us.

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Response to pediatricmedic (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 09:09 PM

8. Ha!

...ain't that the truth.

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 04:12 PM

6. Fascinating! I hope they didn't contaminate the lake

 

while taking the sample from it.

I wonder how long it will be before we know what they find.

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 07:12 PM

7. Do they mean 'water samples'?

'Ice samples' would, presumably, be anything in the column above the lake. I know this is translated, but you'd think the translation of Russian words for 'water' and 'ice' would be easy.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #7)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 11:01 PM

12. I keep remembering the story of the first computer translates in the 1950s and Water Sheep.

They had a program to due computer translations, the reason for this was simple. The US had plenty of German, French and Spanish translators, but few Russian translators (And many of the people who did speak Russian, the Pentagon did not trust, we are talking about the 1950s).

Anyway, a scientific paper was typed into the Computer Translator, it was translated into Russian and then back into English. The resulting paper was about "Water Sheep". The scientists attending this meeting and reading this paper took a few minutes and realized the paper was about "Hydraulic Rams".

This is one of the problems of translation, how to differentiated between words that have different meanings depending on their context? i.e Water is English, as is Hydraulic. Both deal with WATER. Sheep and rams deal with Sheep. Sheep can get into water. On the other hand, the use of FLUIDs is the key to Hydraulics (water is a fluid, but one of many), and the term Ram not only includes sheep, but objects that is used to bang things against each other (Like two male sheep, rams, ramming into each other fighting over who will have access to the Ewes).

Just double use is common is all languages and a cause of a lot of mistranslations. It was discovered it was cheaper just to hire a Translator (and train people to be translators) then to get a computer to do it, and then have someone edit the results.

This was NOT a total loss, the research into the translator ended up being used to develop the first computer languages, Cobol and FORTRAN. to translate Machine language into something people could use without having to write every on and off switch in the program.

Now, in recent years, computer translators have come back, but are using a completely different format and are just doing a much better job then the above translators did in the 1950s. Such translators still have problems, but the problems are problems we can live with, unlike the problems of the translators of the 1950s.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #7)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 12:44 PM

16. Wouldn't it be the case

that its water at that depth of the lake due to the pressure but ice when it reaches the surface ?

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #16)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 01:15 PM

17. I was going to say 'no', but then I checked a pressure-temperature diagram for water

http://www.sv.vt.edu/classes/MSE2094_NoteBook/96ClassProj/examples/triplpt.html


and, at a temperature a bit below 0 Celsius, going from a pressure of about 400 atmospheres (which I think it would roughly be, at a depth of about 4000m) to 1 could indeed going from liquid to ice - I didn't know the ice-liquid boundary curved leftward as you go up in pressure from the triple point (or I had forgotten - doing a web search now, I see arguments about whether the pressure under ice skates is what melts a small amount of ice to allow them to slide easily, which I had heard of, back in school).

And what they did was allow the water to expand up the hole, wait for it to freeze, and then take it, lessening the chances of contamination:

Now it seems that perseverance may have paid off. By withdrawing the drill last year the scientists were able to allow the high pressure water in the lake to expand up into the borehole where it then froze. A strategy designed to minimize the chances of contaminating the lake from above.
...
“The first core of transparent lake ice, 2 meters long, was obtained on January 10 at a depth of 3,406 meters. Inside it was a vertical channel filled with white bubble-rich ice,”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/14/lake-vostok-water-ice-sample-antarctica_n_2471782.html

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 10:45 PM

9. i thought that this was halted

since there were not adequate controls on the possible backflow of water while taking samples.

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Reply #10)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 10:58 PM

11. yup.

doh

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Response to mopinko (Reply #9)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 12:40 PM

15. That was a different one.

.

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 11:11 PM

13. Why do I have a bad feeling about this?

Like, isn't that where Chthulhu was imprisoned, or something like that?

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Response to AnnieBW (Reply #13)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 01:30 PM

18. The Elder Ones


Mountains of Madness: Scientists Poised to Drill Through Antarctic Ice and Into Gothic Horror

What might lurk beneath Antarctica’s 5 million square miles of ice was the subject of speculation by sci-fi writers in the 1930s. One of the icy products this subgenre of Antarctic Gothic horror spawned is HP Lovecraft’s novella, At the Mountains of Madness, in which scientists drill beneath Antarctica’s ice — only to discover horrid things preserved there. Now, scientists are finally enacting Lovecraft’s scenario: Over the next several weeks they are drilling into three subglacial lakes hidden beneath thousands of feet of ice in Antarctica.

What they will find as they sample the lakes and send cameras into their bellies remains to be seen. But one thing is already clear: Lovecraft was actually right about far more than his readers could have realized.

In Lovecraft’s story, a team of researchers from Miskatonic University flies into an unexplored region of Antarctica and bores through the ice. They discover fossil dinosaur bones with disturbing puncture and hacking wounds that cannot be attributed to any predators known to science. Soon after, they uncover the source of some of those wounds: fossils of a leathery-skinned beast with a “five-ridged barrel torso … around the equator, one at central apex of each of the five vertical, stave-like ridges are five … flexible arms or tentacles.” The beast’s body is topped by a “five-pointed starfish-shaped” head.

The fossils aren’t quite dead.

As they thaw in the sun, the beasts reawaken. They slaughter 12 members of the expedition, carefully dissecting one of them and carting away another as a brown-bag lunch.

Two surviving members of the expedition find an ancient city entombed in the Antarctic ice sheet which once belonged to the beasts. There, they discover a disturbing truth: This race of five-armed Elder Ones had arrived from space over 600 million years ago. They spawned all life on Earth, including that destined to evolve into humans … in order to provide a source of food.


http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/12/antarctic-gothic-horror/

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Response to Baclava (Reply #18)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 09:17 PM

19. Bingo!

While I'm not a big fan of the Mythos, I am somewhat familiar with it. So yeah, that's why I have a bad feeling about it.

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 12:39 PM

14. "we will probably get new data about evolution laws"

Notice ........"Laws" and not "Theories"

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