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No Microbes In First Sample From Lake Vostok

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the what-about-ancient-sea-monsters dept.

Earth 60

ananyo writes "A first analysis of the ice that froze onto the drillbit used in last February's landmark drilling to a pristine Antarctic lake shows no native microbes came up with the lake water, according to Sergey Bulat of Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute (Russia). The very uppermost layer of Lake Vostock appears to be 'lifeless' so far, says Bulat, but that doesn't mean the rest of it is. Bulat and his colleagues counted the microbes present in the ice sample and checked their genetic makeup to figure out the phylotypes. They counted fewer than 10 microbes/ml — about the same magnitude they would expect to find in the background in their clean room."

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Davidoff.... (2, Funny)

vikingpower (768921) | about 2 years ago | (#41705865)

...will now buy the lake, for its water to serve as the main and sole ingredient in its "Cool Water" perfume.

Re:Davidoff.... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#41706191)

...or you could probably sell it as a 100% natural laxative.

Not fooled (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41706025)

Humans are involved, so something EVIL must be going on! I refuse to believe they aren't raping some delicate ecosystem and I demand full civil rights be afforded ANY microbe adversely affected by this sinister activity! And now, if you please, I need to finish watching FernGully for the 4th time today followed by reruns of Captain Planet.

Re:Not fooled (2)

RobbieCrash (834439) | about 2 years ago | (#41706113)

Good point, we should just rush in to things like this assuming there's nothing that could go wrong. What could possibly go wrong with that plan!

Re:Not fooled (0)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#41706627)

Microbe rape? did you just invoke internet rule number 35?

Re:Not fooled (5, Interesting)

plover (150551) | about 2 years ago | (#41706889)

You could watch the original Fern Gully, but I also like the 2009 remake, "Avatar".

Seriously, line them up. They're both animated movies about a foreign environment, rich in resources valuable to humans. You've got a human male protagonist, who is originally a member of the first wave of humans planning to harvest the natural resources without concern for the natives. Through some external technical wizardry, protagonist changes size and ends up in the middle of the new environment, where he meets a beautiful native female. As the human initially navigates his way around the environment with his new size and point of view, predictably comedic results occur. Overconfidence quickly leads him in over his head into a near-fatal situation, where the native female uses her intimate knowledge of the environment to rescue him from his own ineptitude. The male is attracted to the female, who rejects him. Over time the human discovers the previously ignored beauty of the ecosystem and learns to respect the environment; which enables the female to grow attracted to him. The female is conflicted, though, and consults with her wise parent, an important elder of the natives. The human continues to learn the native ways, culminating with taming and flying on the native flying animals. The massive wave of normal sized humans then arrive in giant machines to harvest the resources. The movies climax when the protagonist fully changes sides and defends the environment from the encroaching humans, using his knowledge of the human systems and ways to organize the natives to defeat the invaders. The female finally acknowledges her love of the male.

Even the scenery is the same. Both movies have large trees that are important to the natives. Both feature loops of stone reminiscent of magnetic flux lines.

The only thing missing from Avatar is the Robin Williams character, Batty. The human sidekick in Avatar isn't nearly as humorous.

Re:Not fooled (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41706923)

How long have you been waiting for someone to mention Fern Gully on Slashdot?

Re:Not fooled (2)

plover (150551) | about 2 years ago | (#41708157)

What, you didn't see the resemblance when you watched Avatar?

I think maybe Fern Gully just stuck with me more because it was one of the first movies I took my son to.

Re:Not fooled (3, Insightful)

Chickan (1070300) | about 2 years ago | (#41708653)

I think AC's statement was addressing how long winded your response was. While I do not disagree with your thesis, your argument was quite thorough for a simple comparison. This leads AC and myself to believe you've spent a LOT of time thinking about this. Carry on.

What do you do for a living? (1)

drainbramage (588291) | about 2 years ago | (#41709147)

I might want to hire you to explain thing I've said.
You're probably very busy during the campaign season.
-----
Anyway, well said.

Re:Not fooled (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41707043)

And the older(newer?) remake Pocahontas.

Re:Not fooled (2)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 2 years ago | (#41707343)

Wow that's highly original. No one has ever noticed that before, well other than all the people who ranted about it in 2009 of course.

Re:Not fooled (1)

P-niiice (1703362) | about 2 years ago | (#41707713)

I thought it resembled John Carpenter's "The Thing".

Re:Not fooled (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41707381)

Maybe you missed the part where Jake, the "hero" of Avatar only succeeds in getting everyone killed, and that it's can't see what's actually there, right in front of them. It's lampshaded in the scene with Grace trying to tell Corporate Dickbag Dude about how Eywa is a planet-scale mind residing in a neural network in the trees, and all he can grasp is "stupid tree-hugging hippies hate me for making money!"
  It's also aptly demonstrated by all the dorks on the internet who can't see the Navi, or Eywa, or the movie itself for what it is, and instead can only see Dances with Smurfs, because South Park told them so.

Re:Not fooled (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about 2 years ago | (#41708613)

Maybe you missed the part where Jake, the "hero" of Avatar only succeeds in getting everyone killed [...]

Jake didn't really seem to be imparting too much of his knowledge of Human weaponry to the Navi--or helping them plan strategy. The Navi ground attack was particularly ridiculous in my eyes--you guys are good at running around the trees, but everybody is going to attack from the ground? Who's bright idea was that?

There are two deleted scenes from the DVD which were interesting. In one, Tsu'tey is talking to Jake about how the humans have no honor because they use their machine guns and rockets from far away rather than getting up close and personal. Of course, Bill Maher got fired from ABC for saying something like that. So the idea that they might hide in the trees and snipe might not be honorable to them. There's another scene where Trudy is explaining to a bunch of Navi where the vulnerable points on the helicopter are (while various Navi are painting her helicopter). So, in theory, there was some communication. On the other hand, she was talking about how to disable the helicopter and the Navi seemed to be aiming for the pilots.

So it could possibly be inferred that Jake was more the inspirational spiritual leader and less the actual tactical leader.

Random aside, it's worth renting the extended DVD for the deleted scenes. There's a bit you see in the trailers where that "control center" gets attacked and you get to see how that actually worked out.

Re:Not fooled (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41707671)

Well fuck, somehow my post got mangled. Let's try this again.

Maybe you missed the part where Jake, the "hero" of Avatar only succeeds in getting everyone killed, and that it's Grace that's the real hero of the film. When she gets uploaded, she helps Eywa to understand the invaders and their tech, and rally its planetary resources to repel them like an immune system. Pandora is not the primitive place you think; it's built on an incredibly advanced bio-technology.

On of the major themes of Avatar that people often overlook is about how people often only see what they expect to see, and can't see what's actually there, right in front of them. It's lampshaded in the scene with Grace trying to tell Corporate Dickbag Dude about how Eywa is a planet-scale mind residing in a neural network in the trees, and all he can grasp is "stupid tree-hugging hippies hate me for making money!"
    It's also aptly demonstrated by all the dorks on the internet who can't see the Navi, or Eywa, or the movie itself for what it is, and instead can only see Dances with Smurfs, because South Park told them so.

Re:Not fooled (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41709309)

On of the major themes of Avatar that people often overlook is about how people often only see what they expect to see, and can't see what's actually there, right in front of them. It's lampshaded in the scene with Grace trying to tell Corporate Dickbag Dude about how Eywa is a planet-scale mind residing in a neural network in the trees, and all he can grasp is "stupid tree-hugging hippies hate me for making money!"

We're nerds. We're probably the only ones who remembered playing Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri.

Re:Not fooled (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 2 years ago | (#41709227)

You could watch the original Fern Gully, but I also like the 2009 remake, "Avatar".

I thought Avatar was a remake of "Dances with Wolves"

Re:Not fooled (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41711047)

Spoilers!!!! Where are the spoilers ????? That movie was on my list !

Re:Not fooled (1)

Adam Appel (1991764) | about 2 years ago | (#41722863)

I noticed this about a year ago when my kids were watching Fern Gully. They are almost exactly the same movie.

Re:Not fooled (4, Funny)

ChatHuant (801522) | about 2 years ago | (#41708053)

so something EVIL must be going on!

Yeah, I think the right question is: what lurks there under the sleeping waters of lake Vostok that ate EVEN the microbes?

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtag'n!

NOT FOLAD (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41706081)

HUMANS R INVOLVAD SO SOMETHNG EVIL MUST B GONG ON1!!1!!!! WTF LOL I R3FUSE 2 BLEIVA THEY AERNT RAPNG SOM3 DELICAET ECOSYST3M AND I DEMAND FUL CIVIL RIGHTS B AFORDED ANY MICROB ADVERS3LY AFECTED BY THIS SINISTER ACTIVITY!11!!!11 OMG WTF LOL AND NOW IF U PLZ I NED 2 FINISH WATCHNG FERNGULY FOR TEH 4TH TIEM 2DAY FOLOWED BY R3RUNS OF CAPTANE PLAENT
1111!1 LOL

Re:NOT FOLAD (1, Flamebait)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#41706621)

So what's it like being a functioning retard?

Re:NOT FOLAD (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41707599)

So what's it like being a functioning retard?

AS A RILLY AUTISTIC PERSON IM DAFINIETLY QUALIFEID 2 ADRES TEH 2PIC OF MYTHS ABOUT AUTISM AND M3NTAL RATARDATION1111111! DA FIRST MYTH I WUD LIEK 2 ATAK IS TAHT 75% 2 80% OF AL PAOPL3 WIT AUTISM R MENTALY RETARDAD111!! OMG LOL SOME PROFESIONALS HAEV REDUC3D TAHT NUMBR 2 50% B/C SO MANY OF TEH U CHILDR3N NOW BNG DIAGNOS3D HAEV ASPERGER’S SYNDROM3 OR HIGH FUNCTIONNG AUTISM11!!!1! OMG LOL SEVANTY-FIEV 3IGHTY OR FIFTY – THEY R AL WRONG!11! WTF THOSE OF US WHO DON’T SPEAK OR SPEAK 3CHOLALICALY R COUNTAD AS RETARD3D111!!!1 WTF W3 ALSO SCORE IN DA R3TARDAD RANGE OF IQ111!! T3STS SO IT IS REASONABLA TAHT W3 R ASUMED 2 B RETARD3D11!111 OMG WTF WUT WE HAEV FOUND THROUGH US3 OF FACILITAETD COMUNICATION IS TAHT THASE LOW FUNCTIONNG P3OPLE HAEV AT LAAST NORMAL INTELIEGNCE WIT LOTS OF MOV3M3NT PROBLEMS MASKNG THEYRE INTELACT!!111 OMG WTF

IM A GREAT AXMPLE!1111 OMG LOL WITHOUT FACILITATION I STIL T3ST AS A R3TARDED P3RSON B/C I CAN’T MANIPULAET OBJECTS 2 PAS A NON-V3RBAL INTALIEGNC3 T3ST!!!11! OMG WHEN ALOWED 2 TYPE WHICH I CAN DO IND3P3NDENTLY I CAN ANSW3R TEH SMA QUESTIONS!!!!!11 FOR 3XMPLA WHEN ASK3D 2 PUT SIMILAR CARDS 2GETH3R I CUDN’T DO IT!!!! WTF LOL BUT WHEN DA CARDS WERA LAEBLED A B C D ETC1!!!1!1 OMG LOL I WAS ABLE 2 TYP3 WHICH CARDS BLONGED 2GETHAR11!1 OMG WTF CLAARLY I UNDERS2D DA TASK AND CUD ANSWER CORECTLY BUT NOT IN TEH STANDARD WAY!111 OMG WTF LOL

FOR THOSA OF U WHO DON’T KNOW MA IM A JUNIOR AT WHITEIR COLEG3 WIT AN A- GPA AND A M3MBR OF DA HIS2RY HONOR SOCEITY!1!11! WTF LOL I TYPE INDEPEND3NTLY WIT MAH STAF 3SP3CIALY IN CLAS AND WHEN I MET WIT MAH PROFASORS!1!!111 I USE PHYSICAL 2UCH WHEN IM DONG A LONG PAEPR AND NED SPED11!111 WTF LOL SO U HAEV A COLEGA STUD3NT SCORNG AS A R3TARDED PERSON ON STANDARDIEZD IQ!!!! LOL TESTS DUE 2 A MOVAM3NT DISORD3R
1!!111!
  MOVAM3NT DIFICULTEIS R DA BAEN OF MAH LIEF!!11! OMG WH3N PEOPLE SE ME AV3N FROM A DISTANC3 TH3Y IM3DIAETLY ASUME IM RETARD3D B/C OF DA WAY I MOV3!1111!1 WTF LOL WHEN TH3Y ASK ME 2 DO SOMATHNG AND I DON’T IMEDIAETLY RESPOND TH3Y R CONVINCAD IM RETARDAD1!!11111 OMG WTF TEH RILLY AWFUL THNG IS TAHT MAH BRANE WANTS 2 MOVE AND MAH BODY WON’T!1!1 OMG TEH MOV3MENT PROBLEM IS R3SPONSIBLE FOR MAH LAK OF SPECH!1!!!1! I HEAR WORDS PROPARLY IN MAH MIND AND CAN SAY THAM PROP3RLY IN MAH MIND BUT MAH MOUTH DOESN’T WORK11111!! WTF GRAAT IEDAS R ALWAYS IN MAH H3AD BUT GREAT WORDS DON’T COME OUT OF MAH MOUTH!!111!11 WTF LOL

  GREAT IEDAS W3RE NOT ALWAYS IN MAH HEAD1!!!!! OMG WTF IN FACT FOR DA FIRST THIRTEN YEARS OF MAH LIEF NO IEDAS W3RE IN MAH HEAD!!1!!!1! THIS MAY B AN 3XMPLE OF TRUA RETARDATION – NOT THINKNG1111! WTF BUT AFT3R I BGAN USNG FACILITAETD COMUNICATION MAH MIND GOT ORGANIEZD AND I BGAN 2 THINK!!!1 WTF I BLEIV3 A P3RSON’S AUTISM CAN PRAVENT HIM FROM THINKNG!!11! I ALSO BLEIVE A PERSON CAN L3ARN 2 THINK LIEK I DID!!!11 OMG WTF LOL IM SADLY AN 3XMPLE OF A PERSON WHO MUST ALWAYS EX3RCIES HER MIND OR I WIL QUIET DACIEDDLY RAGR3S 2 A NON-THINKNG P3RSON!!!!!! OMG LOL

  I WUD NEXT LIEK 2 TAEK 2 TASK DA MYTH TAHT PEOPL3 WIT AUTISM R LAKNG 3MPATHY!11!!11! OMG WTF I CAN’T SP3AK FOR ASPERG3R’S SYNDROME OR HIGH FUNCTIONNG AUTISTIC PAOPLE B/C THEY R VERY DIF3RENT FROM US BUT TEH PEOPLE I KNOW WHO R NON-VERBAL AND FC USERS LIEK ME R VERY 3MPATHETIC!!!!!!!1 WTF LOL IN FACT WE R DAFINIETLY SUKAD UP IN2 OTHER PEOPLE’S 3MOTIONS AND AXPEREINC3 TH3M AS IF THAY W3RA OUR OWN!!1! WTF LOL TEH FACT TAHT MAH FAEC DOASN’T SHOW DA EMOTION I FEL LEADS P3OPLE 2 BLEIV3 I M NOT EXPEREINCNG TEH 3MOTION
11!11 LOL
  TEH MYTH TAHT WE R IMPERVIOUS 2 PANE IS ANOTH3R AERA R3QUIRNG EXPLANATION1!!1!!!! WTF SOMETIEMS W3 RILLY DON’T FEL PANE – LIEK TEH TIEM I PULED OUT A HANDFUL OF HARE A F3W Y3ARS AGO!!!!!! LOL HOWEVER AT OTH3R TIEMS I FEL PANE MOR3 ACUTALY THAN NORMAL P3OPL3 – LIEK WHEN I BRUSH MAH TETH
!!11 OMG WTF
  DA LAST MYTH I WUD LIEK 2 D3STROY IS TEH ON3 TAHT WUD LIEK 2 LIMIT US 2 A LIEF OF BOR3DOM IN A R3STRICTED ENVIRONM3NT!1!!! MANY P3OPLE THINK TAHT B/C WE NED SUPORT 2 DO JUST ABOUT AV3RYTHNG WE DON’T D3SERV3 2 LIEV A NORMAL LIEF WIT FREINDS AND FREDOM 2 MAEK OUR OWN D3CISIONS111111 OMG WTF LOL W3 DO NED HELP BUT W3 LOV3 TEH SME THNGS U DO!!!11 OMG LOL WA WANT 2 LIEV IN OUR OWN HOUSE OR APARTMENT AND DO PRODUCTIEV WORK OR ATAND SKOOL AND B SUROUNDED BY PERS WHO LOV3 AND R3SP3CT US AS FREINDS AND INT3LACTUAL 3QUALS WHO JUST NED A LITLE H3LP!11!1 OMG WTF

Re:NOT FOLAD (2)

xevioso (598654) | about 2 years ago | (#41707791)

I, too, can use the L33T Translator...although the above person seems to have used a tard translator of which I am not aware.

Anyway, to wit:

"Ph0UR 5C0RE 4nD 5EVEN YE4R2 490 0uR pH47HeR2 8r0u9h7 ph0R7H, up0n 7H12 K0n71neN7, 4 nEw n4710N, K0ncE1ved 1N L18ER7y, 4Nd DED1C47Ed 70 7Eh Pr0P051710n 7h47 4LL men r Cre47ed equ4L.

n0w we R EN949eD 1N 4 9re47 C1V1l w4R, 7e571N' whe7HEr 7h47 n4710N, 0r 4Ny n4710n 50 k0NCE1ved, 4Nd 50 Ded1C47Ed, K4n L0n9 EnDuRe. wE r mE7 hERe 0N 4 9rE47 8477LEf1eLd 0F 7H47 W4R. wE h4vE k0Me 70 DEd1C47e 4 P0R710n 0f 17 42 4 Ph1n4L Re571n' pL4CE pH0r 7H02e WH0 HeRe 94Ve 7he1R L1Ve2 7H47 7h47 n4710N M19h7 L1VE. 17 12 4l709e7hER PH1771N' 4Nd pr0PEr 7H47 We 5H0Uld D0 7H12.

8U7 1n 4 l4R9er 5EN2e we k4n N07 dED1c47e - wE K4n N07 K0n5EcR47E - WE K4n n07 H4Ll0W 7h12 9r0und. 7eH 8R4ve MeN, L1v1N' 4nd DE4d, Wh0 57rU99LED, hEre, H4ve K0n5EcR47eD 17 ph4r 480VE 0UR P00r p0weR 70 4Dd 0r de7R4C7. 7EH w0rLD w1LL l177le n07E, N0R L0n9 reMem8er, Wh47 wE 54y HERE, 8u7 k4n neVEr ph0r9e7 WH47 7HeY D1D heRe."

Re:NOT FOLAD (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41707841)

FOUR SCORA AND S3VEN YAARS AGO OUR FATH3RS BROUGHT FORTH ON THIS CONTIENNT A NU NATION CONCAIEVD IN LIEBRTY AND DADICAETD 2 DA PROPOSITION TAHT AL MEN R CREAETD 3QUAL
NOW!!1!!111 WTF W3 R 3NGAEGD IN A GREAT CIVIL WAR TESTNG WHATHAR TAHT NATION OR ANY NATION SO CONC3IEVD AND SO DEDICAETD CAN LONG ENDUR3!111!!! LOL WE R MET ON A GREAT BATLE-FEILD OF TAHT WAR!11! WTF LOL WE HAEV COM3 2 D3DICAET A PORTION OF TAHT FEILD AS A FINAL R3STNG PLAEC FOR THOS3 WHO HERA GAEV THERE LIEVS TAHT TAHT NATION MIGHT LIEV!!1!1! OMG WTF LOL IT IS AL2G3THAR FITNG AND PROP3R TAHT W3 SHUD DO THIS
BUT!!!! LOL IN A LARGER S3NSE W3 CAN NOT D3DICAET WE CAN NOT CONSACRAET W3 CAN NOT HALOW THIS GROUND111111!! OMG WTF LOL DA BRAEV M3N LIVNG AND D3AD WHO STRUGLED HARA HAEV CONSECRAETD IT FAR ABOVE OUR POR POW3R 2 AD OR DETRACT1111!1! WTF LOL TEH WORLD WIL LITLE NOTA NOR LONG REM3MBR WUT WE SAY H3R3 BUT IT CAN NAVER FORGET WT DID H3R3!1!1! OMG WTF LOL IT IS FOR US TEH LIVNG RATH3R 2 B DEDICAETD H3RE 2 TEH UNFINISHED WORK WHICH THAY WHO FOUGHT HERE HAEV THUS FAR SO NOBLY ADVANCED!!!11!! WTF LOL IT IS RATHER FOR US 2 B HERE D3DICAETD 2 TEH GREAT TASK R3MANENG BFOR3 US—TAHT FROM TH3SA HONORED DAAD W3 TAEK INCREAESD DEVOTION 2 TAHT CAUSE FOR WHICH THAY GAEV TEH LAST FUL MEASURE OF D3VOTION—TAHT WE HARE HIGHLY RASOLV3 TAHT TH3S3 DAAD SHAL NOT HAEV DEID IN VANE—TAHT THIS NATION UNDAR GOD SHAL HAEV A NU BIRTH OF FREDOM—AND TAHT GOV3RNMENT OF TEH PEOPLA BY TEH PAOPLE FOR TEH PAOPLA SHAL NOT PERISH FROM TEH 3ARTH1111!!!! OMG

they are going about this all wrong (4, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#41706111)

they should be piping this water out for the high end bottled water market

"No Microbes In First Sample From Lake Vostok" is of course then the ultimate marketing tool

$9.99 for a 32 oz frosted white glass bottle with images of a pristine Antarctic mountain range.

Hire me Coca Cola!

Re:they are going about this all wrong (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41708011)

This is a case where "Good Enough" is not good enough.

Looking for microbes, any microbes, the clean room must be made a sterile room, Class 0, with zero possibility of contamination. In this case, it's doubtful they even tried to get as close as possible.

Microbes observed can be compared to microbes known in the testing environment. A similar process is used in Class 10 and better semiconductor clean rooms to evaluate and investigate contamination sources. An thorough DNA and RNA comparison would tell them where the microbes found most likely came from. Nothing mentioned suggests that was done.

If they are only concerned with statistics and not with real facts, they wouldn't bother with any of that. Statistics, in addition to politics and greed, has replaced real science. Real science is hard, tedious, boring work. Statistics is far easier and perfectly suited for the lazy and negligent.

But then again, they may be hiding the truth because of political pressure, greed or something.

The science renaissance is over. Science is institutionalized and controlled by the powerful. Same as government, society and religion.

Obligatory (-1, Offtopic)

Tablizer (95088) | about 2 years ago | (#41706161)

In Soviet Russia, microbes find you

Nutrients (2)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#41706179)

So what exactly do they suspect these bacteria have been eating down there in the deep dark cold?

Re:Nutrients (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41706303)

each other

Re:Nutrients (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41706331)

Anything spewed up by hypothetical hydrothermal vents on the bottom of the lake.

Re:Nutrients (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41706387)

They're expecting to get more microbes from the sediment at the bottom of the lake. Sediments are comparatively stuffed with nutrients, and the lack of light and cold aren't much of a problem (there is probably stuff growing [jamstec.go.jp] at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, just very slowly).

Re:Nutrients (4, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#41706575)

So what exactly do they suspect these bacteria have been eating down there in the deep dark cold?

Cthulhu has been feeding them bits of the Snickers bar he was given as campaign contribution... Or perhaps he's been feeding them bits of the campaign contributors themselves.

But seriously, a background of 10 critters / cc isn't all that 'clean' and

Bulat and his colleagues counted the microbes present in the ice sample and checked their genetic makeup to figure out the phylotypes. They counted fewer than 10 microbes/ml — about the same magnitude they would expect to find in the background in their clean room. And three of the four phylotypes they identified matched contaminants from the drilling oil, with the fourth unknown but also most likely from the lubricant.

points to one of the bigger concerns about this experiment - you are going to contaminate the lake at this point as the drilling technology is pretty primitive - basically pouring hot water into a hole.

Re:Nutrients (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41708165)

Why would they use drilling oil this time?

That just seems so bloody stupid and mission adverse.

Re:Nutrients (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | about 2 years ago | (#41781085)

As the AC mentioned: why are they using drilling oil and lubricants. I understood that the reason they were drilling a new hole (rather than the one the Russians started) was that they wanted it completely clean, with no oils or lubricants contaminating it.

Furthermore, if you're ruling out the "unknown" microbe you find as probably being from the lubricant, then what do you hope to achieve with the experiment?

Re:Nutrients (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#41706583)

magnetic field lines

Re:Nutrients (2)

Capt.Albatross (1301561) | about 2 years ago | (#41706743)

I think they are simply saying that the count is not statistically significant, as it is at about the background level of the clean room they are working in, and three of the four types identified match contaminants on the equipment.

Re:Nutrients (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#41707025)

Yes, and the reason that there is not a significant amount of bacteria in a clean room is because there is nothing for them to eat.

So really this shouldn't be a surprise since one should ask, if there are no nutrients in the water why should we expect there to be bacteria there?

Re:Nutrients (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41707069)

Great question. Perhaps thats what they are searching for?

Re:Nutrients (1)

plover (150551) | about 2 years ago | (#41707099)

The article is concluding that there are zero microbes down there, so any nutrients present would be irrelevant.

The article states that the 10 microbes per mL figure is likely due to contaminants being carried down on the drill or present in the measuring equipment, because it is similar to the levels found in a clean room environment.

Re:Nutrients (1)

Turbio (1814644) | about 2 years ago | (#41708239)

The article states that the 10 microbes per mL figure is likely due to contaminants being carried down on the drill or present in the measuring equipment, because it is similar to the levels found in a clean room environment.

My guess is that the unit of measure is wrong. It should be 10 microbes per MICROliter (not milliliter!), as 10000 microbes per microliter is actually very stinky water!!
Current regulations in Argentina allow for a maximum of 20 microbes per microliter in drinkable water (and zero enterobacteria).
The problem is that greek letters (eg: mu) are not easily displayed (as in this same post!).

Re:Nutrients (1)

SecurityGuy (217807) | about 2 years ago | (#41709455)

Miscalculation, there.

10 microbes/ml * 1 ml/1000 ul = 0.01 microbes/ul, not 10,000/ul.

So yeah, it's probably correct as originally written. I was a little surprised that 10 per ml is clean room levels, though, but I don't work in or near one.

Re:Nutrients (1)

Turbio (1814644) | about 2 years ago | (#41714575)

How silly I am! My mistake. And my point is weakened, but still valid.
Regulations in Argentina call for a maximum of "2 microbes / 100 mL". That is 0.02 microbes/ml and is correct (I hope this time it is!).
So at 10 microbes/ml = 1000 microbes / 100 mL the water from this lake is not allowed for dinking in Argentina.
I am a biologist working at a molecular biology lab. One test I did on water from a mountain river surrounded only by wildlife had 23 microbes / 100 mL, and that is clearly not a clean room! Another test on very stinky urban runoff water had 800 000 microbes per 100 ml.
At 1000 microbes / 100 ml, this lake has 43 times more microbes than a mountain river, but 800 times less than very stinky water.
If instead of ml it were ul, it would be 1 microbe / 100 ml, so it will be safe for dinking (provided there are no fecal coliform bacteria).

Re:Nutrients (1)

plover (150551) | about 2 years ago | (#41722199)

Yeah, I agree with you that number seems off. TFA has a little more insight, though. This is a sample from ice carried back on the drill bit, and they found a total of four microbes on it - three of which matched contamination from the drilling oil, and they suspect the fourth is as well. Maybe they only recovered 0.4 mL of water total - but then, why not report it that way?

Re:Nutrients (1)

plover (150551) | about 2 years ago | (#41722775)

My mistake too. I just re-read TFA - it's three out of the four phylotypes that matched, not three out of four total microbes.

Re:Nutrients (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#41708563)

The article is concluding that there are zero microbes down there, so any nutrients present would be irrelevant

If there is no food you will not find things eating said food.

Re:Nutrients (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41707115)

Yo momma's pussy.

TH3Y R GONG ABOUT THIS AL WRONG (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41706183)

TH3Y SHUD B PIPNG THIS W8R OUT FOR TEH HIGH END BOTLED W8R MARK3T
NO MICROBS IN FIRST SMPLE FROM LAEK VOS2K IS OF COURSE TH3N DA ULTIMAET MARKETNG 2L
$991111! OMG WTF FOR A 32 OZ FROST3D WHIET GLAS BOTL3 WIT IMAEGS OF A PRISTIEN ANTARCTIC MOUNTANE RANG3
HIER1111!!!1 WTF ME COCA COLA
!1!! WTF

Steamboy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41706185)

We should probably take the opportunity to make Steamboy [wikipedia.org] a reality now.

Arrogant Scientists (2)

SgtDink (1930798) | about 2 years ago | (#41706335)

Did they not see The Thing? Who knows the dangers in the dark of that lake.

Re:Arrogant Scientists (2)

rubycodez (864176) | about 2 years ago | (#41707413)

yes, and all antarctic camps are equipped with a length of copper wire, flamethrower and dynamite for that reason. Anyone refusing the copper wire blood test is incinerated as a precaution

More Importantly? (3, Funny)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about 2 years ago | (#41706399)

Did they find water on Antarctica?

Re:More Importantly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41706657)

Re:More Importantly? (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 2 years ago | (#41707571)

Did they find water on Antarctica?

Nah, just all this white stuff.

Continued Domininance (5, Funny)

3ryon (415000) | about 2 years ago | (#41706433)

I for one welcome our continued dominance of Earth.

Re:Continued Domininance (1)

davidbrit2 (775091) | about 2 years ago | (#41709971)

Yeah! Take that nature! There's plenty more where that came from!

Well... (no pun inteded) (1)

davcorp (465418) | about 2 years ago | (#41707615)

... I'm sure there's bacteria down there now from the Drill Bit.... DOH!

Re:Well... (no pun inteded) (2)

rogueippacket (1977626) | about 2 years ago | (#41708485)

Not quite - they have used tons (literally) of antifreeze and lubricants to achieve these depths, and then a pool of freon and a heated drill tip to breach the lake. These chemicals froze before reaching the lake, and I can't name too many bacteria which would survive the barrage of chemicals/hot/cold temperatures on the way down. So far so good!
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