Extreme Life on Earth Can Hint to Life ElsewhereBy Steve Casimiro on December 20th, 2012
It’s possible that a race to find out if there’s life under 1.2 miles of ice in Antarctica could yield amazing results; whatever lives in three sub-ice lakes at the bottom of the earth could tell scientists about life throughout the universe or in our own solar system, where no light, and extremes of cold may not be enough to stifle forms that only need water to survive. Of course nobody knows yet, but Russia, Britain, and the United States are all on the ice now and are in varying stages of their search. In November, the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reported that subglacial Lake Vida — which is smaller and closer to the surface than other subglacial lakes — does indeed support a menagerie of strange and often unknown bacteria. The microbes survive in water six times saltier than the oceans, with no oxygen, and with the highest level of nitrous oxide ever found in water on earth. Via National Geographic.
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