1. Ancient Microbes Discovered in Antarctic Lake

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    Research field camp on Lake Vida, located in Victoria Valley, the northern most of the McMurdo Dry Valleys. Credit: Photo Courtesy Desert Research Institute, Alison Murray

    Scientists have uncovered a community of bacteria nearly 65 feet beneath the icy surface of Antarctica’s remote Lake Vida. This discovery of life existing in one of Earth’s darkest, saltiest and coldest habitats helps increase our limited knowledge of how life can survive in extreme environments on Earth. The study also provides new clues about the potential for life on other worlds, such as icy moons like Jupiter’s Europa and Saturn’s Enceladus.

    The project was partially funded by the NASA Astrobiology Program in collaboration with the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Desert Research Institute . The paper , “Microbial life at −13 °C in the brine of an ice-sealed Antarctic lake,” was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) Early Edition.

    Source: [NASA Ames]