It is permanently covered by a massive cap of ice up to 27 metres thick, is six times saltier than normal sea water, and at −13 °C is one of the coldest aquatic environments on Earth – yet Lake Vida in Antarctica teems with life. Scientists drilling into the lake have found abundant and diverse bacteria. Water samples from both trips yielded around one-tenth of the abundance of cells usually found in freshwater lakes in moderate climate zones. Some of the cells measured up to 1 micrometre in diameter – about normal for microbes – but the samples contained many more particles that were around 0.2 micrometres in diameter. Neither of these cell types represents a previously unknown life form. However, one abundant bacterium of normal size seems to have no close relatives among cultivated bacteria, and so may represent a new phylum. Nature news: http://goo.gl/UFJSW
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