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February 13 2013

Life Confirmed in Buried Antarctic Lake


Blobs and smears of microbial life growing in clear plastic disks are confirmation of a community living in a lake buried beneath the Antarctic ice, scientists studying the lake have said.

Water retrieved from subglacial Lake Whillans contains about 1,000 bacteria per milliliter (about a fifth of a teaspoon) of lake water, biologist John Priscu of Montana State University told Nature News. Petri dishes swiped with samples of the lake water are already growing colonies of microbes at a good rate, Nature News reported.

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