Lake Vostok life to be studied

January 15, 2007

U.S. researchers say they will analyze microorganisms from a vast Antarctic lake to determine how life adapts to extremely harsh environments.

University of California-Riverside Assistant Professor of Environmental Sciences Brian Lanoil is leading the project that will investigate life found in Lake Vostok, the world's seventh largest lake -- a Great Lakes-size body of fresh water trapped under a 2 1/2-mile-thick polar ice sheet.

The goal is to reconstruct the genomes of the microorganisms that live in the lake to determine how they have been able to withstand bitter cold, total darkness, low nutrients and high oxygen levels during evolutionary and geologically significant lengths of time.

The lake is estimated to have been buried under ice for at least 15 million years and is thought to have been isolated from the external environment during the last 1.5 million years.

Lanoil will work with Craig Cary at the University of Delaware and Philip Hugenholtz at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. They will compare their results with a similar study conducted by Sergei Bulat at the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Lake ecologists see winter as a key scientific frontier

Related Stories

Lake ecologists see winter as a key scientific frontier

November 28, 2016

As long as ecologists have studied temperate lakes, the winter has been their off-season. It's difficult, even dangerous, to look under the ice, and they figured plants, animals and algae weren't doing much in the dark and ...

Mars ice deposit holds as much water as Lake Superior

November 22, 2016

Frozen beneath a region of cracked and pitted plains on Mars lies about as much water as what's in Lake Superior, largest of the Great Lakes, a team of scientists led by The University of Texas at Austin has determined using ...

A surprise from the depths of the Swiss lakes

September 6, 2016

A good 250 experts from the scientific and water-management fields as well as government administration and politics are coming together to hear about new findings and trends in lake research today, Tuesday 6 September. They ...

Some ancient Mars lakes came long after others

September 15, 2016

Lakes and snowmelt-fed streams on Mars formed much later than previously thought possible, according to new findings using data primarily from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Recommended for you

High-precision magnetic field sensing

December 2, 2016

Scientists have developed a highly sensitive sensor to detect tiny changes in strong magnetic fields. The sensor may find widespread use in medicine and other areas.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.