Sunday, January 9, 2011

Antarctic Lake

You may have read of the oxygen rich lake under all that ice. They have been dreaming up heated probes and much thought has gone into sterilizing any instruments which will be involved.

The Russians seem close:

The assumption being that the water with the ice upon it is under pressure it seems. Hmmmm.

Somehow that untouched world seems like it needs to remain untouched, I have little confidence in the technical methods, but what do I know. Those Russkies must have it all battened down. It's not that I don't think we should go, it's that I don't have confidence in how we are going.

Regarding extremophiles it seems that NASA may have been a little over-excited recently.

Ugh, the retractions should be as prominent as the headlines. That was a doozie:

On Thursday, the researchers issued a more modest claim. Instead of saying the microbes had completely substituted arsenic for phosphorus, a new statement says the arsenic replaced "a small percentage" of the phosphorus.

A number of biologists say they'll be surprised if even this stands the test of time.

The claims "do not follow from their results," said Simon Silver, a University of Illinois microbiologist who specializes in heavy-metal resistance in bacteria. "This conclusion is not merited from what they did and measured and I think it most likely is a mistake and should never have been claimed or published."

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