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Russian scientists are looking for unknown forms of life in the Antarctic ice

Russian scientists plan to find forms of microbial life yet unknown on Earth during the study of ice taken from the subglacial Lake Vostok in Antarctica.
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Samples of the frozen water of the subglacial Lake Vostok were taken to France in 2017, where DNA was extracted from them, said Sergei Bulat, head of the cryoastrobiology laboratory at the Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute (PNPI). After that the samples were transported to Russia to the laboratory of cryoastrobiology at the Kurchatov Institute for their DNA to be analysed. The purpose of the research is to detect unknown forms of microbial life.

New samples of ice, acquired by the Russian expedition to Lake Vostok, will be delivered to St. Petersburg in late April, said Bulat. «The material for research … is unique,» he emphasised.

The study will allow for a more thorough study of the Antarctica water basin, which is considered an earth counterpart of the subglacial oceans on the satellites of Jupiter (Europe, Ganymede, Kalisto) and Saturn (Enceladus).

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