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October 20 2012

No Life Found In Lakes Beneath Antarctic Glaciers—Yet

Earlier this year, a decades-long drilling program came to completion. Russian scientists had aimed to punch through nearly 2.4 miles of ice over Antarctica’s subglacial Lake Vostok, and in February the scientists announced that they had made it through to the water hidden below. Cut off from the rest of the world beneath the crushing ice, with no access to the atmosphere for the past 15 million years, Lake Vostok is a truly isolated system. Scientists are hoping to find life in the deep, in the form of extremophilic bacteria that can survive on what little nutrients and energy made it into the lake.

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