The first samples of water from Lake Vostok were sterile

19/10/2012

Analysis of the first sample of water of the relic of the Antarctic Lake Vostok has shown that they are substantially free of micro-organisms and, therefore, the upper layers of water in the lake can be sterile, said Sergey Bulat, head of the Laboratory of Genetics Group krioastrobiologii eukaryotes Petersburg Institute of Nuclear Physics.


Russian scientists in February 2012 after many years of drilling for the first time managed to penetrate Lake Vostok, which over millions of years has been isolated from the outside world chetyrehkilometrovoy thick ice.

Scientists hope to find in the samples relic organisms that have adapted to a life of eternal darkness under the ice of the lake.

In February, the drilling was stopped, the scientists in December 2012 plan to return to "vyburit" svezhezamerzshuyu lake water. However, part of the lake water was frozen on the drilling assembly, the researchers looked at her now.

Bulat introduced the first "very preliminary" analysis results at a conference in Stockholm, said the publication Nature News.

Russian scientists have estimated the number of micro-organisms trapped in water samples, and conducted their genetic analysis. The number of bacteria in the lake water was less than 10 per milliliter. Approximately the number of microorganisms have been caught in the samples are in the lab.

However, three of the four types of microbes found in the genetic analysis of the water were used in the silicone oil drilling, and the fourth was unknown, but probably also related to the substance.

Bulat hopes to get pure samples of the frozen lake water in the well, but they get to St. Petersburg until May 2013, when the city will return Antarctic expedition.

Scientists emphasize that although microbes may not be in the upper layers of the lake water, they can be found in the sediments.

Earlier Bulat said that in the water of Lake Vostok may inhabit only brand new, not known to modern science of living organisms that are able to exist at an extremely high concentration of oxygen.

See also: the civilization in Antarctica, Weapons of ancient man.

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