HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Dispute over life in Antarctic lake

CONTROVERSY has erupted over Lake Vostok, one of Earth's last unexplored frontiers, which lies deep under the Antarctic ice. Last week a team of Russian and French scientists claimed the lake is sterile. But American scientists insist that it is a potential source of undiscovered life forms, and are worried that Russian plans to drill right through the ice will contaminate it.

At the heart of the dispute is a small but diverse group of microbes found in the single core that has been drilled from the ice above the lake. The Russians and French say these are contaminants from the drilling and testing of samples in the labs. They also argue that the lake itself is too toxic to sustain life because of its extremely high levels of oxygen. If they are right, it would be the first lifeless water body found on Earth. As such, it could help us hone our techniques for the search for life under the polar ice caps on Mars, and in the oceans under the frozen surface of Jupiter's moon Europa. Lake Vostok hit the headlines in 1996 when its extraordinary size first came to light. Spanning some 14,000 square kilometres, and reaching a depth of nearly 800 metres in parts, it has been shut away from sunlight and the atmosphere for at least 15 million years.

There has been much speculation about the exotic ecosystems that might be found in this unique environment. French, Russian and American scientists looking for evidence of climate change began drilling through the ice sheet above the lake in 1989. But as they were not looking for life forms, the equipment was not sterilised and the samples were never properly stored. The drilling stopped 130 metres from the lake's surface to avoid contaminating it with antifreeze and the drilling fluid, kerosene. At this depth the ice is refrozen lake water, known as accretion ice. Four groups of researchers have found organisms in samples of this ice, suggesting that the lake supports a small but thriving microbial ecosystem. Bu
'"/>

Contact: Claire Bowles
claire.bowles@rbi.co.uk
44-207-331-2751
New Scientist
4-Aug-2004


Page: 1 2 3 4 5

Related biology news :

1. Design competition for new Antarctic Research Station
2. The Hunters Breath tells a story of adventure and discovery in Antarctica
3. Antarctic fish study may aid cardiac research
4. A lost world: Two previously unknown dinosaurs discovered in Antarctica
5. Abandoned penguin colonies may help refine Antarctic climate studies
6. British Antarctic Survey wins environment award
7. Explanation offered for Antarcticas blood falls
8. Antarctic penguins thrive in ocean oases
9. Huge iceberg wreaks havoc on Antarctic marine ecosystem, study finds
10. Huge Antarctic iceberg makes a big splash on sea life
11. Antarctic animals are under threat from illegal fishing

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:8/5/2020)... ... , ... Regenative Labs has received approval from the Centers for Medicare & ... first Wharton’s jelly allografts to be assigned a Q code and be approved for ... Wharton’s jelly allograft product to be recognized as a 361 HCT/P by CMS regulated ...
(Date:7/18/2020)... ... July 16, 2020 , ... A study has been published ... Neoasis™ active noise control device to attenuate typical noises in a simulated neonatal ... the alarm sounds from patient monitors, ventilators and other bedside devices that would ...
(Date:7/2/2020)... ... July 01, 2020 , ... AltruBio Inc. http://www.altrubio.com ... a biologic for the treatment of steroid-refractory acute graft-versus-host disease (SR-aGVHD), at European ... J Martin of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, this single-arm, open-label Phase ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/12/2020)... FARMS, Mich. (PRWEB) , ... August 12, 2020 ... ... Consulting Group, Inc. (EMMA International), a global leader in FDA compliance consulting ... of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents a unique look at ...
(Date:8/3/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... August 03, 2020 , ... ... collection, today announced Jim Corrigan, President and CEO has been named one of ... broad cross-section of industry sectors, PharmaVoice 100 honorees are selected based on how ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... July 29, 2020 , ... R3 Stem Cell International is ... $3950. With 50 million stem cells total, patients may choose which extremities they would ... for arthritic joints (BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2016). At R3 International, umbilical cord tissue is ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... July 29, 2020 , ... ... transmitter systems that can be configured to drive Klystrons, TWTs, IOTs, and magnetrons. ... drive one or two switches in a push-pull configuration; yielding fast fall time ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: