Monday 8 July 2013

News from Lake Vostok

Antarctic Lake Vostok 'might have fish'
here could be some complex animals living in Lake Vostok, which lies close to 4km below Antarctica's ice sheet.The possibility is raised by scientists who have sifted genetic material in ice drilled from close to Vostok's surface.They found signatures for organisms such as bacteria that are often associated with marine molluscs, crustaceans and even fish.But the team cautions in the PLoS One journal that this material may also represent past contamination.Scientists now recognise that Antarctica is underlain by a complex network of rivers, and many of the identified organisms, or their traces, could perhaps have been delivered to Vostok from the ocean. The lake is 200m below sea level.It is, nonetheless, another fascinating twist in the story of this deeply buried lake.

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