Life Found Deep in Antarctica’s Lake Vostok: Implications for Life on Other Planets

By Keith Cowing
December 9, 1999
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Researchers from Montana State University, the University of Hawaii, and NASA have discovered life in an environment which is very similar to what may exist on Jupiter’s moon Europa. NASA has been testing procedures at Lake Vostok that might be one day used on missions to explore Europa. The results of this research are published in the 10 December 1999 issue of Science magazine.

According to a MSU press release “A team has discovered bacteria in an ice core drilled from deep within a frozen Antarctic lake. The bacteria came from Lake Vostok, a subglacial body of water the size of Lake Ontario resting more than two miles under the East Antarctic ice cap.”

According to a University of Hawaii press release researchers “found bacteria within the “accreted” ice, which is believed to have refrozen from the liquid waters of the lake, suggesting that the lake can support life in an extremely cold environment, cut off from a ready supply of nutrients and light.”

° Press release, University of Hawaii

° Press release, Montana State University

° Press Release, NASA ARC

° Life in Extreme Environments, The Astrobiology Web

° Further stories – Astrobiology Web

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