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Lake Vostok mysteries: Biologists find over 3,500 life forms in isolated Antarctic basin

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posted on Jul, 7 2013 @ 09:44 AM
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Lake Vostok mysteries: Biologists find over 3,500 life forms in isolated Antarctic basin


rt.com

Scientists have discovered more than 3,500 unique gene sequences in Lake Vostok – the underground Antarctic water reservoir isolated from the outside world for 15 million years – revealing a complex ecosystem far beyond anything they could have expected.

"The bounds on what is habitable and what is not are changing," said Scott Rogers, Bowling Green State University professor of biological sciences, who led a genetic study of the contents of half a liter of water brought back from the lake after it was drilled by Russian scientists last year.
(visit the link for the full news article)


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posted on Jul, 7 2013 @ 09:44 AM
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I did a search for this, but the posts I found were before the drilling.

For a bit of background for those who don't know, Lake Vostok is the largest subglacial lake in Antarctica, and some scientists believe that it could mirror the environment of Jupiter's moon Europa. The finding of these microbial life in such an isolated area could totally change nature in what we previously thought and perhaps solidify the theory of life on other planets.

Finally a ray of sunshine in a stream of doom and gloom



rt.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Jul, 7 2013 @ 10:01 AM
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I remember hearing about the drilling last year, nice to see they were succesful.

Although it's not a real surprise, life adapts in crazy ways.

Too bad it's just fungi tho, but maybe there's more to see.



posted on Jul, 7 2013 @ 10:09 AM
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reply to post by Skaffa
 


Actually it was microbes, but it still amazes me how a group of creatures can be sealed away for millions of years, and have so much diversity.



posted on Jul, 7 2013 @ 10:21 AM
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Originally posted by TheToastmanCometh
For a bit of background for those who don't know, Lake Vostok is the largest subglacial lake in Antarctica, and some scientists believe that it could mirror the environment of Jupiter's moon Europa. The finding of these microbial life in such an isolated area could totally change nature in what we previously thought and perhaps solidify the theory of life on other planets.
You could have worded that a bit better. I suspect what you mean is it can change what we thought about nature, not that it could change nature.

While this may change the views of some, I've heard enough about the possibility of life on Europa that I'm not sure how much this really changes the possibility. Seems like we thought it might be possible, and this confirms it's possible? Not really a big change from my view, but a nice confirmation to have nonetheless.



posted on Jul, 7 2013 @ 10:28 AM
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I saw this movie...

I had a Hollywood ending but I am sure if it didn't it wouldn't have ended well...



posted on Jul, 7 2013 @ 10:52 AM
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Some of the organisms found in Lake Vostok commonly exist in ocean environments (in the digestive systems of fish and crustaceans) suggesting that the reservoir was once connected to a bigger body of saltwater.

But Rogers believes “two huge drops of temperature” cut it off and conserved it in its present state.

Yet the study is not excluding the possibility of startling discoveries.


So nothing exciting to report. Thats a shame it seems they havent discovered anything that dosent fit in the laready established tree of life that all life from earth originates from.

So still abiogenesis has only ever happened once on this planet as far as we can tell which proves that life spotaneously happening is more complicated than most people would like to think.



posted on Jul, 7 2013 @ 10:55 AM
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This only shows, that life is resilient and finds ways to survive. Even when it gets isolated and blocked from the energy of the Sun.
It also proves that these species of microbes evolved isolated from the rest of the world, as that is what their genetic material shows. That's another big clue about how life survives beyond the years that even stone will vanish from the scene.

I do feel a bit bad about what they did to get that bit of Vostok water...

They have at least polluted probably the only unpolluted lake in the world with chemicals, and they also introduced modern day germs in the water.

Maybe the life in there will be wiped out by this, however.... Maybe we will be wiped out by one of these microbes instead.

Exciting ideas huh...

I actually hoped they would find Atlantis down there, but there is still hope. Antarctica has more then enough ice to cover up an ancient utopia



posted on Jul, 7 2013 @ 11:11 AM
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Originally posted by TheToastmanCometh
reply to post by Skaffa
 


Actually it was microbes...


That's because they couldn't fit a flesh eating alien monster in a half liter of water.


Great news about the lake!



posted on Jul, 7 2013 @ 01:10 PM
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Originally posted by PhoenixOD


So still abiogenesis has only ever happened once on this planet as far as we can tell which proves that life spotaneously happening is more complicated than most people would like to think.


Its probably just a pet peeve of mine and this could easily be considered a gratuitous aside (i.e. rant) , but I'm glad you qualified this with "as far as we can tell" - such sweeping statements usually fail to include such a thing, and always gives me a grinding feeling of wanting to raise my hand and say "but wait, you mean as far as we know at this time, right???".

I always find it somewhere between pretentious to outright misleading when people - especially experts - state the "abiogenesis/life has only ever arisen once on this planet" and the myriad similar statements on what has and hasn't happened in history, or is and isn't possible in reality, because of course humans in the 21st century know absolutely everything and can make such declarations with absolute certainty. :-)

Granted I'm not a biologist or an expert in a related field, but it seems to me to be hopelessly small minded when humans state most of the absolutes they do, failing to remember all the times that then-current theories have been proven inadequate or wholly inaccurate, and that science is constantly being revised as new data are discovered.

In the case of Life's origins as currently & generally accepted, there are other ideas than that it just happened once here, from the theory that perhaps life originated elsewhere elsewhere entirely and came here on comets or such (Panspermia) given how soon evidence of life turns up after the planet is thought to have developed, to the idea that life may not always have unique characteristics and thus several "go lives" may not be as distinguishable as currently theorized, or even the more survival of the fittest-esque ideas that life may have developed many, many times but that any evidence of it has simply yet to be discovered or was devoured by the existing dominant life, or that it somehow combined with the existing life to make new, even advanced combined forms.

It's like reading the people who authoritatively state UFOs cannot possibly be from another world because the distances to travel are too great to overcome, and that the chances of any alien life just happening to stumble across earth to be astronomical. On the latter, in the just the past few years humans have developed technology to find other planets that are likely to have conditions suitable for life as we know it, something generally thought impossible mere decades ago. For the former, even Einstein didnt know everything, and it takes just one discovery to revolutionize human thought on what is and isn't possible (which is quite distinct from what truly is and isn't possible, though it seems few can make that distinction). And that's while ignoring that they base that on the very limited human life span, human current technology (could be robotic probes, bioengineered forms piloting them with life spans fantastically long, they may have discovered loop holes (erm worm holes) to limitations to space travel -limitations that may only exist in the minds of some humans rather than as an absolute objective reality. But such exceptions never even seem to occur to these people, who believe themselves qualified to make such sweeping declarative statements. Argh! :-)

I recently read a humorous - or perhaps sad, depending on how one views such things - in which the Astonomer Royal in 1956 declared "space travel is utter bilge" with the first man in space a scant 5 years later. It underscores the fact that even experts - the cream of the crop even - can be completely wrong about what is possible or at the very least should qualify their comments to what is possible as being accurate only at the time such comments are made, and that's assuming they are privy to the very latest cutting edge experimentation and data on the subject. But to do so would presumably undermine their position as the de facto expert, something their egos simply would not, apparently, allow. I feel that is a serious disservice to their fellow man who rely on them for accurate info given their position as a leading authority on whatever topic or field on which they are dictating.

Perhaps a pet peeve, but I think if an expert isn't humble enough to preface declarative statements on what is and isn't possible or what has and has not happened in the whole of existence, with a simple "as is currently agreed upon by knowledgeable experts in relevant fields of study" - that its good to remember to include it with your own acceptance of such statements. :-) Then we might have greater numbers of people thinking outside the box, and humanity as whole advancing much faster than we seem to now be. :-)



posted on Jul, 7 2013 @ 02:21 PM
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Originally posted by NewtonDKC
I always find it somewhere between pretentious to outright misleading when people - especially experts - state the "abiogenesis/life has only ever arisen once on this planet" and the myriad similar statements on what has and hasn't happened in history, or is and isn't possible in reality .......

....... it seems to me to be hopelessly small minded when humans state most of the absolutes they do, failing to remember all the times that then-current theories have been proven inadequate or wholly inaccurate, and that science is constantly being revised as new data are discovered.


Agree with you NewtonDKC. A hidden possibility in this case is that abiogenesis did indeed happen more that once in Lake Vostok, or on Earth, perhaps often, but because of the prevailing environment, produced life forms that resembled each other and seem to be related to a common source.

It might be like physics. While materials, organic and inorganic, obey the laws of physics irrespective of form, perhaps too, there are probably some rules of lifeforms that define what spontaneous combinations are successful and what not, so they will have a common thread. And even if life on Earth was seeded from somewhere in space, that just shifts the boundaries to beyond Earth, if indeed there should be boundaries, and then the only impossibility become the impossibility of considering all the possibilities ....



posted on Jul, 7 2013 @ 02:45 PM
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Great news, however I am only slightly familiar with this lake and the things going on there. ATS is my news source for those kind of things.

Anyone know if it has been discusses dropping a camera on a tether or a micro submersible vehicle down there ?
I would be interested in seeing if anything swims by, like in the videos of the deep ocean where they will catch a fleeting glimpse of a giant squid or some new fish species.

That concept excites me the most, the possibility of viewing new life forms in our own back yard



posted on Jul, 7 2013 @ 02:56 PM
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reply to post by TheToastmanCometh
 


Double S & Single F for you. A major victory for biology and science in general. And yet another victory for POWDERED TOOOOOAST MAAAAAN!



posted on Jul, 7 2013 @ 03:08 PM
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reply to post by KenArten
 




Agree with you NewtonDKC. A hidden possibility in this case is that abiogenesis did indeed happen more that once in Lake Vostok, or on Earth, perhaps often, but because of the prevailing environment, produced life forms that resembled each other and seem to be related to a common source.


We are not talking about things that resemble each other. DNA holds hard coded sequences that show where any life form has originated from and its place in the established family tree of life. The DNA code shows what family any life form belongs to and what it evolved from. You can mistake that kind of data.



there are probably some rules of lifeforms that define what spontaneous combinations are successful and what not, so they will have a common thread


This pure speculation based on zero evidence.

All we really know about life is that everything fits into a single family tree and its very verasitle. Also its on easy to start life from nothing, you can just have the right conditions and checmicals and it happens. If that was the case we would have more examples of it right here on earth that dont fit into the family tree.

edit on 7-7-2013 by PhoenixOD because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 7 2013 @ 04:06 PM
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What about the magnetic and gravitational anomalies associated with the area, Lake Vostok, any information regarding those?
edit on 7-7-2013 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 7 2013 @ 06:40 PM
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Originally posted by TheToastmanCometh
reply to post by Skaffa
 


Actually it was microbes, but it still amazes me how a group of creatures can be sealed away for millions of years, and have so much diversity.



If humans and all other forms of life were wiped out those microbes could have been the beginning of new intelligent life.



posted on Jul, 7 2013 @ 06:55 PM
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reply to post by andy06shake
 


It didn't say anything in regards to that, but I will have to check it out sometime.



posted on Jul, 7 2013 @ 06:56 PM
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reply to post by voudon
 


Possibly...

If it indeed is the case, one can hope they would be much better than we were.



posted on Jul, 7 2013 @ 07:19 PM
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Good thing there weren't 10,000 new life forms. We might not have heard about it in our lifetime.

Just maybe if they started reporting after they found 100.... Why the secrecy??

Some scientist finds a volcano on a faraway moon. Damn if I was allowed to look at those videos, maybe I'd have a volcano named after me. Boo scientists..
edit on 7-7-2013 by SpectateSwamp because: (no reason given)
edit on 7-7-2013 by SpectateSwamp because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 7 2013 @ 10:30 PM
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Originally posted by PhoenixOD
So still abiogenesis has only ever happened once on this planet as far as we can tell which proves that life spotaneously happening is more complicated than most people would like to think.

These findings don't speak to that, and there's no way we could know how many times abiogenesis has occurred.

This lake has only been frozen over for 15 million years or so. That sounds like a long time but is really just the blink of an eye in the history of the Earth, or even the history of life on the Earth.

Harte





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