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Antarctic ‘Alien’ Life: Russian scientists hunt for organisms in subglacial Lake Vostok

February 06, 13:42 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Research into ice samples from Lake Vostok, the largest subglacial lake in the Antarctic, can help scientists discover some unknown forms of bacterial life

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© Chris Larsen/NASA via AP

MOSCOW, February 6. /TASS/. Research into ice samples from Lake Vostok, the largest subglacial lake in the Antarctic, can help scientists discover some unknown forms of bacterial life, Sergei Bulat, laboratory chief at the St. Petersburg Institute of Nuclear Physics, told TASS on Tuesday.

Russian scientists have already begun studies of Lake Vostok samples in the laboratories of Grenoble, France.

"In June 2017, frozen water samples form the subglacial Lake Vostok were taken to the University of Grenoble in France where they were decontaminated and melted," Bulat said, adding that the DNA analysis is being conducted at the St. Petersburg Institute of Nuclear Physics.

He said that the new ice samples collected by a Russian expedition at Lake Vostok would be delivered to St. Petersburg in late April.

"This material is unique," the scientist pointed out.

A Soviet Antarctic expedition discovered Lake Vostok, which is 250 km long and 50 km wide, in 1987. The lake lies beneath some four kilometers of ice and it is considered to be an analogue of subglacial oceans located on the satellites of Jupiter and Saturn.

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