Author Topic: Antarctic Lake Vostok yields 'new bacterial life'  (Read 396 times)

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Offline One Above All

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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Antarctic Lake Vostok yields 'new bacterial life'
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2013, 01:22:35 PM »
There's still some doubt over this report. Later reports gave the comment
Quote
However, Vladimar Korolev, the laboratory head of the study at the same institution, said that the bacteria are a contaminant that use kerosene — the antifreeze used during drilling— as an energy source, and they would have to wait for pure water samples to be retrieved next year.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Vostok#Bacteria
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Offline Robob 123

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Re: Antarctic Lake Vostok yields 'new bacterial life'
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2013, 06:39:39 PM »
Sorry, I'm not very sciency, but what would the bacteria show about life?

Offline One Above All

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Re: Antarctic Lake Vostok yields 'new bacterial life'
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2013, 06:41:42 PM »
Sorry, I'm not very sciency, but what would the bacteria show about life?


Finding life forms that don't match our own could mean that said life forms came from outer space, or that life started in two points on the globe at roughly the same time, or a bunch of other things.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
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Offline Robob 123

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Re: Antarctic Lake Vostok yields 'new bacterial life'
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2013, 06:55:16 PM »
Oh I see, although, it would seem unlikely that we could, as scientists be able to identify the newly discovered bacterial colony to be ... Bacteria. It seems that if it were from elsewhere, its traits and components would be different, mightn't you think? I dunno. It's worth talking a bit about these things. A different environment would make a different life form.

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Re: Antarctic Lake Vostok yields 'new bacterial life'
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2013, 07:20:55 PM »
Obviously they will have to get more samples next year, away from the contamination caused by making the hole. If things are relatively normal, science-wise, I would expect them to find a huge number of new species, bacterial and otherwise. But they are probably life forms whose DNA matches known material enough to clearly be related.

It would be cool if they find otherwise, though. Unless the new life form is a deadly parasite and destroys all known life on planet earth. Which would be a bummer. I think.  :-[
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Re: Antarctic Lake Vostok yields 'new bacterial life'
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2013, 10:19:42 PM »
Oh I see, although, it would seem unlikely that we could, as scientists be able to identify the newly discovered bacterial colony to be ... Bacteria. It seems that if it were from elsewhere, its traits and components would be different, mightn't you think? I dunno. It's worth talking a bit about these things. A different environment would make a different life form.

Welcome to the forum, Robob 123.

I think you're right. Given that scientists have sequenced the entire genome of various organisms, a hypothetical extraterrestrial bacterium (even assuming it could survive on Earth) would probably have differences that would be pretty obvious when analyzed closely. AFAIK, no Terrestrial life yet known even hints at a significantly different biological lineage.

Which of course is why isolated environments like Lake Vostok are valuable. Even if (as is likely) there's nothing beyond bacteria and algae down there, those local organisms have been separated from the rest of the world for perhaps over 10,000 years. Comparing them to related organisms elsewhere would give insights into the rate of evolutionary change, the role of various environmental conditions in natural selection, even future efforts to look for life under the ice of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn.
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Offline neopagan

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Re: Antarctic Lake Vostok yields 'new bacterial life'
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2013, 03:26:51 PM »
I've always heard to be careful of contamination around iceholes.
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