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Earth Science

Lake Vostok Found Teeming With Life 62

jpyeck writes "Lake Vostok, Antarctica's biggest and deepest subsurface lake, might contain thousands of different kinds of tiny organisms — and perhaps bigger fish as well, researchers report. The lake, buried under more than 2 miles (3.7 kilometers) of Antarctic ice, has been seen as an earthly analog for ice-covered seas on such worlds as Europa and Enceladus. It's thought to have been cut off from the outside world for as long as 15 million years. But the latest results, reported in the open-access journal PLOS ONE, suggest that the lake isn't as sterile or otherworldly as some scientists might have thought. More than 3,500 different DNA sequences were identified in samples extracted from layers of ice that have built up just above the surface of the lake."
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Lake Vostok Found Teeming With Life

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08, 2013 @01:56PM (#44217487)

    I do metagenomics in a Deep Biosphere project and have to wonder how this article even got published. I mean, 80% contamination rate is just insane. We've been plagued by contamination as well (1-3% that I can tell). Sure, it's easy to filter out e.g. human sequences from the data, but what about the 1,000 or so bacterial species that live on the human skin? They conveniently skip this part in the article..

"The urge to destroy is also a creative urge." -- Bakunin [ed. note - I would say: The urge to destroy may sometimes be a creative urge.]