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Bacterial Life Abounds in Antarctic Lake, Cut Off From the World for 2,800 Years

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Just over a month ago, word came back from a Russian research team that they had failed so far to find life living within the cold Antarctic Lake Vostok, a massive body of water that had been buried beneath glacier ice, effectively cut off from the rest of the world, for the past 15 million years. The lack of life was a blow to those hoping to find that the hardiness of life extended to even the most extreme environments. But now, says Nature, reporting on a new study led by Alison Murray, scientists have found an abundance of life in the frigid Antarctic Lake Vida, a mostly-frozen salt water lake. Unlike Lake Vostok, which is buried beneath thousands of meters of thick glacier ice, Lake Vida is more like a regular lake, just permanently frozen. From drilling missions conducted in 2005 and 2010, the scientists pulled water samples teeming with bacterial life.

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