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News Link • Biology, Botany and Zoology

Buried Antarctic Lake Shows First Signs Of Life

•, Jennifer Welsh
 And now, Discover Magazine writer Douglas Fox announced on The Crux that these samples contain signs of living bacteria, the first seen from a subglacial lake.

The team, Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling (WISSARD) has been drilling into Lake Whillans, which is buried 2,600 feet below the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

Liquid water samples were first removed from the lake Monday, Jan. 28, at 6:20 a.m, Fox reports.

They squirted the lake water into dishes of nutrients and food, hoping something would grow, a test that will take weeks.

They also performed a much quicker test — they dyed the water, labeling any genetic material (DNA) that was inside with a marker that glows green. And green it did glow. They could see individual cells in the water glowing green with the dye, Fox reports. More intensive testing will follow to determine if these cells are alive, and if they are new types of microbes.

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