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December 16 2012

Searching for Life Under the Antarctic Ice Sheet


The scientific community is on edge. On Wednesday, a British team of scientists and engineers will use a special hot water drill to bore through to a lake buried under three kilometers of Antarctic ice. Sediments taken from the lake bed could revolutionize what we know about past climates and the fortitude of life forms.

Life on Earth can sometimes seem unvanquishable. It blossoms even in the deepest oceans and on the highest mountains. It thrives in boiling hot springs and inside cold rocks. At least when it comes to microbes, it seems like they find almost nowhere too extreme, too toxic or too dark to live in. Or is there?

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