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Hidden Antarctic lake may contain samples of prehistoric life

Rick Docksai | Science Recorder | July 09, 2013

Hidden Antarctic lake may contain samples of prehistoric life

Lake Vostok is teeming with life, according to researchers.

Underneath several kilometers of ice, the conditions may be just right to give rise to marine life unlike any the world has ever seen. Lake Vostok, an Antarctic body of water that has spent the last few tens of millions of years underneath a two-miles-thick block of glacial ice, just may be home to a variety of hitherto-undiscovered marine life, possibly including fish, according to a study recently published in the journal PLOS One.

According to the PLOS One study, ice retrieved from Lake Vostok’s surface revealed more than 3,500 genetic traces for certain microbes. About 95% of the gene sequences matched those of certain types of bacteria, with another 5% showing the genetic sequences for multi-celled microbial life—indicating that the chain of evolution had at least progressed beyond single-celled life.

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