Researchers working with the British Antarctic Survey have found signs of life in samples of mud from ice-covered Lake Hodgson.
Researchers working with the British Antarctic Survey have found signs of life in samples of mud from ice-covered Lake Hodgson on the Antarctic Peninsula.
In a lab, they were able to grow microbes from the sediment taken from 305 feet deep, at the bottom of the lake.
The fossilized DNA fragments of other organisms that used to live in Lake Hodgson were also found.
The new discovery might help researchers understand how life began to form on Earth, and how life on other planets might exist in extreme conditions.
David Pearce, the author of the study who is now working at the University of Northumbria, said: “It's the first time any subglacial lake sediment has been studied. What would actually be surprising would be if we looked in these places and they were completely sterile.”
Signs of life have been found in other subglacial lakes in Antarctica, like traces of bacteria that were discovered in Lake Whillans, over 26 hundred feet under the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.
Researchers think that the species found in these lakes will likely be previously undiscovered.
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