Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/8/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Previously thought sterile, Lake Vostok could hold untold organisms, even fish

Previously thought to be sterile and inhospitable to life, some American scientists now believe that Antarctica's largest and deepest underground lake, Lake Vostok could contain thousands of different tiny organisms -- even fish. A computer analysis of DNA sequences from ice samples proved that Lake Vostok contains a diverse set of microbes, as well as some multi-cellular organisms.

The icy darkness of Lake Vostok, cut off from the outside world for 15 million years, kept under 3,700 meters of ice, provides a glimpse of Earth before the Ice Age.

The icy darkness of Lake Vostok, cut off from the outside world for 15 million years, kept under 3,700 meters of ice, provides a glimpse of Earth before the Ice Age.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/8/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Lake Vostok, Antarctic, DNA, life forms, organisms, Bowling Green, Kentucky


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The icy darkness of Lake Vostok, cut off from the outside world for 15 million years, kept under 3,700 meters of ice, provides a glimpse of Earth before the Ice Age.

Researchers from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, now suggest that the lake harbors plenty of life from bacteria, to complex organisms.

Over 3,500 DNA sequences were identified in samples of ice extracted from the ice, of which 95 percent were associated with types of bacteria. The remaining five percent of the samples contained hints of more complex organisms, called eukaryokes. Two of them were linked to one-called organisms called archaea.
 
Bowling Green State University professor of biological sciences, Dr. Scott Rogers along with his colleagues found sequences that are similar to types of fungi as well as water fleas, arthropods and a mollusk.

Some of the bacteria discovered were commonly found in "fish guts," suggesting that there could be fish in the subterranean lake, according to the research published in the PLOS ONE journal.

"The bounds of what is habitable and what is not are changing," Rogers said.

Located 800 miles from the South Pole and 35 million years ago, when the climate was warmer, Lake Vostok was thought to have been open to the air and surrounded by forests.

"At that time, the lake probably contained a complex network of organisms," researchers said. They think that the organisms were sealed in the lake, which is around a quarter of a mile deep, by the thick ice approximately 15 million years ago.

"While the current conditions are different than earlier in history, the lake seems to have maintained a surprisingly diverse community of organisms.

"These organisms may have slowly adapted to the changing conditions in Lake Vostok during the past 15 to 35 million years when the lake converted from a terrestrial system to a sub glacial system."

Several of the sequences are similar to organisms that live near deep sea thermal vents, leading researchers to believe that Lake Vostok might contain similar features in its icy depths.

"Hydrothermal vents could provide sources of energy and nutrients vital for organisms living in the lake," the scientists said.

The researchers are adamant that they took great pains to prevent contamination of their samples and said that the various sequences were the type that many scientists expected to see in a sub glacial lake.

"Most of the organisms appear to be aquatic (freshwater), and many are species that usually live in ocean or lake sediments," Rogers said.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Green

You'll never believe what these scientists found in space! Watch

Image of An artists rendering of the 300 light year long gas bubble that encloses our solar system.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A study published last month appears to suggest that our entire solar system is enclosed within a giant gas bubble. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The entire bubble is about 300 light years long (roughly 1,764,000,000,000,000 miles) and its walls are made of gas ... continue reading


UNITED NATIONS: Global warming could be irreversible Watch

Image of Ocean acidification, which comes from the added carbon absorbed by oceans, will also harm marine life, the report says.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

International experts say that for most intents and purposes, it's too late - global warming is real and could very well be irreversible. A draft of a new international science report released by the United Nations outlines the options that mankind has left. ... continue reading


Satellite confirms fears, ice sheets are melting fast Watch

Image of An artist's impression of Cryosat 2. The ESA mission has confirmed that massive ice sheets are melting fast.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The European environmental satellite Cryosat 2, has independently confirmed what scientists have been saying for some time - the ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland are melting. The blame for this melting is laid squarely on global warming and correlates with global ... continue reading


Safe, sane ways to get rid of pests - without poison Watch

Image of First off, the adage of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Those who keep pets face a special challenge: with pet food being readily available at all times, many homes with pets sometimes attracts mice and rats as well. These unwanted "pets," or more correctly pests, are usually done away with poisons - that frequently ... continue reading


NEANDERTHALS LIVED WITH MODERN MAN: Researchers say there is new evidence they interbred Watch

Image of It was a given scientific belief that Neanderthals were inferior in intelligence to modern humans, which led to their demise. New evidence has proven that they cooperated with each other, took care of the sick and elderly, carried out elaborate burial rituals and used symbolic language and art to express ideas.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It was previously believed that Neanderthals vanished instantaneously and didn't interact what would later become known as Modern Man. However, new evidence shows the wider population overlapped with present-day humans across Europe for up to 5,400 years before ... continue reading


ICE CAPS MELTING: Antarctica, Greenland losing ice mass rapidly Watch

Image of This data was the first to use information from the European Space Agency's CryoSat platform. The satellite was launched in 2010 with a sophisticated radar instrument specifically designed to measure the shape of the polar ice sheets.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

At times, it appears that the entire world will be submerged underwater in the space of a few years. Greenland is losing about 375 cubic kilometers of ice annually. Coupled with the discharges coming from Antarctica, Earth's two big ice sheets are now dumping ... continue reading


DISCOVERY SUGGESTS LIFE ON OTHER PLANETS: Ecosystems found in Arctic lakes surprises researchers Watch

Image of It came as a most welcome surprise, as scientists were not on a life-hunting expeditions. The indirect sampling process later raised questions about those results.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Arctic regions of our Earth, where there is very little marine or animal life seem at first incapable of sustaining organisms. However - recent discoveries at both Lake Vostok and Lake Whillans have uncovered healthy ecosystems of microbial life. According ... continue reading


Glacial retreat may halt Chinese dam projects Watch

Image of Tibetan glaciers supply hundreds of millions of people with water, and feed into rivers that run through China, India and much of Southeast Asia.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Tibetan plateau has become warmer over the past 50 years than at any stage in the last millennia, a Chinese newspaper reported. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This report, published by the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, ... continue reading


Humans are doing WHAT? Watch

Image of A glacier in the Alps, one of the largest in the world.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study released on August 14 reports that man-made greenhouse gas emissions are the dominant cause of glacial melting in the Alps and Andes mountains. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The study, published in the journal Science, reveals that human emissions ... continue reading


NEW SPECIES: 'Graveyard' reveals 47 skeletons of new species of pterosaur Watch

Image of What separates the latest find from others of their species is that the pterosaur Caiuajara dobruskii had a large bony crest on the top of its head that changed from being small when it was young, to large and steep in adults.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A colony of previously unknown flying reptiles that lived around a desert lake in Brazil around 100 million years ago have been uncovered by scientists. The fossilized remains of at least 47 pterosaurs with wingspans ranging from two to eight feet, were ... continue reading


All Green News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 1:1-9
1 Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 145:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
2 Day after day I shall bless you, I shall praise ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 24:42-51
42 'So stay awake, because you do not know the day ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 28th, 2014 Image

St. Augustine of Hippo
August 28: St. Augustine of Hippo is the patron of brewers because of his ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter