Mysteries of East Lake: Scientists have confirmed more than 3,500 species of organisms




After lengthy debate and many scientific problems, scientists finally rendered the final verdict – life in Lake Vostok , hidden under the Antarctic ice shell thickness of 4 km, not just exist, but thriving.

Go to news of the possible existence of life under a thick layer of ice in the Antarctic lakes are always skeptical. Located at a depth of 4 km East Lake is even more inhospitable than the surface above it. Temperature here is -89 degrees Celsius. The pressure of ice on the lake just a huge and comparable to the pressure of the ice crust on the sixth satellite of Jupiter – Europe. Moreover, the ice does not transmit sunlight. In such extreme conditions, and without sunlight for millions of years, the existence of life seemed unlikely.

The discovery of life in isolated caves in active volcanoes, or even in the upper atmosphere would cause less of a surprise than the existence of life in Lake Vostok.

Back in March, scientists announced the discovery of Lake Vostok in a completely new type of bacteria. It is now known that this view is just one of the many other flourishing in these extreme conditions.

Due to the methods of metagenomics scientists were able to identify more than 3,500 different species of living organisms. Critics argue that most of the samples extracted from the ice may be contaminated or contain the remains of organisms that died long ago and survived only thanks to the thick layer of ice. Scientists, in turn, claim that the fossils were not able to store DNA and RNA even more so for a long time. Found most bacterial DNA indicate the existence of East Lake life as their half-life is too short to be a window in the past.

Most interestingly, the scientists discovered life is not just a bacterial. They also found a few hundred eukaryotic species, including more than 100 kinds of multicellular organisms. They also identified several types of organisms associated with shellfish and fish. A team of scientists reported that the lake can live fish.

The team also reported that among the thousands of different species of bacteria is responsible for updating the inventory of carbon. If this is true – evolution has done its job.

As noted earlier, these conditions exist under the ice shell satellite Europa. Some scientists think that life could exist there.

This discovery shows just how long life can exist in extreme conditions. Can living organisms survive the journey to the asteroid ? East Lake shows that the unfavorable environment is not always a reason for denying the existence of life.
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