Russian scientists have uncovered a completely new type of bacteria in the subglacial Antarctic lake.
The team had been studying Lake Vostok, the largest freshwater lake in Antarctica, to determine what life (if any) could be found there given that it has been cut off from the outside world for upwards of half a million years. Samples retrieved from the lake indicated that bacteria was indeed present in the lake, but further study soon revealed something else - an unclassified and unidentified life form.
"After putting aside all possible elements of contamination, DNA was found that did not coincide with any of the well-known types in the global database," said geneticist Sergei Bulat. "If this had been found on Mars everyone would have undoubtedly said there is life on Mars. But this is bacteria from Earth."
"Russian scientists believe they have found a wholly new type of bacteria in the mysterious subglacial Lake Vostok in Antarctica, the RIA Novosti news agency reported on Thursday."
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