Scientists are drilling down in to the Antarctic ice to seek life in a lake deep beneath the surface.
The British research team will use a special drill that pumps hot water at high pressure to delve deep down below the Antarctic ice sheet and reach Lake Ellsworth. The project has been in planning for years and aims to determine what, if anything, is living in the isolated environment below the ice.
"The most likely organisms to be found will be bacterial - they're everywhere," said microbiologist David Pearce. "If there's nothing there, that will tell us the limits for the existence of life on Earth."
"British scientists plan to start drilling in Antarctica totday in their quest to discover whether life exists in a lake that's been isolated for hundreds of thousands of years 3 kilometres (2 miles) below the ice."
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