So what kind of nasty critters will they drag out of the Vostok lakes? "Russian scientists are set to pierce through Antarctica’s frozen surface to reveal the secrets of an icebound lake that has been sealed deep there for the past 15 million years. " "Scientists are hoping the lake will reveal new forms of life and show how life evolved may have evolved in the times before the ice age. The lake could also offer scientists a glimpse of what conditions exist for life in similar extremes on Mars and Jupiter’s moon Europa." Whatever they drag out, I hope it's nothing like this:

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3 Comments: Trackback URL | Comments RSS

  1. Just Me Says:


  2. Punk Rock and Minerals Says:

    I would assume they would find mostly bacteria

  3. paul h Says:

    Most likely, just the same kind of bacteria as are found in hot spots or extreme cold conditions…thermophiles. Some bacteria have already been found in deep core drilling sites. And it’s questionable as to how old the lake and ice sheet are…some samples of baceria found in the deep core holes had intact membranes which seems to show they were alive fairly recently. Ancient maps like the Piri Reis also show Antartica before it was covered in snow and ice…within human timescales.

    ” Working in separate labs, Americans David M. Karl at the University of Hawaii at Honolulu and Priscu found strong signs; both detected hundreds, in some cases thousands, of bacterial cells per milliliter of ice. Some of the bacteria had intact membranes, so “they were alive fairly recently,” Priscu says. They concluded that Lake Vostok may support a viable population of microbes.

    In contrast, Sergey Bulat, a molecular biologist at Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute in Russia, and his French colleague Jean-Robert Petit, a glaciologist at the University of Grenoble (and lead author of the classic paper on the 420,000-year Vostok climate record), detected only a few cells per milliliter; in some specimens they found none at all. The ice was essentially “germ free.” One difference might have been in the samples: “It’s not like a mammoth bone where you saw it in half,” says Christner, a former student of Priscu’s. “Every centimeter of accreted ice represents a different zone of the lake.” More likely, the reason for the conflicting results was a difference in lab techniques. Resolution has to wait until biologists get hold of samples of the Lake Vostok water itself. There was one life-form that Petit and Bulat did consider a plausible lake resident: a thermophile, or heat-loving microbe. In the Vostok core sample, they found a DNA sequence related to a bacterium that thrives in hot springs, like those in Yellowstone Park. Hot spots under the cold of Lake Vostok, they suggested, could come from deep tectonic faults in its bed.”

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