Quote:A Russian scientist over the weekend dismissed the claims of his colleagues that water pulled from a lake buried for millions of years beneath Antarctica contained a strange new form of microbial life.
But on Monday, those colleagues insisted that the bacterium they have discovered doesn't fall into any known categories.
The tiny creature in question came from a sample of water pulled by a team of Russian scientists from lake Vostok in February, 2012, after more than two decades of drilling, a major achievement hailed by scientists around the world. Vostok likes buried beneath Antarctica and hasn't been exposed to air or light in millions of years. One goal of the dig was to see whether some strange creatures lurked in that darkness.
Such a life form could lead to insights as to what forms life might take on other planets, as well as adding to our knowledge of the varied shapes organisms take here on Earth. On Thursday, Sergei Bulat, a researcher at the Laboratory of Eukaryote Genetics at the St. Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute, claimed victory.
“After excluding all known contaminants … we discovered bacterial DNA that does not match any known species listed in global databanks. We call it unidentified and 'unclassified' life,” Bulat said, according to a story on Russian news wire Ria Novosti.
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