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Life Found Deep Under Antarctic Ice for First Time?

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Sediments crumble as an underwater camera touches the bottom of Whillans Lake in Antarctica.
(image by Image courtesy Alberto Behar, JPL/ASU, and NSF/NASA)
For the first time, scientists believe they have collected life-forms from deep under the Antarctic ice. Last week, a team found and collected microbes in a lake hidden under more than a half-mile of ice. Among other things, the discovery may shed light on what lies under the icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn. The newfound life-forms have little connection to life on the earth's surface and many apparently survive by "eating rocks." That may explain how life on other celestial objects--such as on the moons of Jupiter and Saturn--survive in the absence of available carbon. "The conditions faced by organisms in Lake Whillans are quite parallel to what we think it would be like on those icy moons." "What we found tells us a lot about extreme life on Earth," and how similar life beyond Earth might survive.

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