Resurrected moss, biology, death, strange aeons…

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Researchers have demonstrated that, after over 1,500 years frozen in Antarctic ice, moss can come back to life and continue to grow. For the first time, this vital part of the ecosystem in both polar regions has been shown to have the ability to survive century to millennial scale ice ages. (1, 2)

According to the many, this provides exciting new insight into the survival of life on Earth.

For me, this reminds me of a great poet…

“That is not dead which can eternal lie
And with strange aeons even death may die”…

NE… hmmm… “new” life!! Yeaahhhh! (boring)

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Scientists thrilled to discover life in under-ice lakes! (1)

Wow.

I guess after discovering life in toxic environments or after realizing that some organisms can even survive space, the next big “discovery” was to find life in Antarctica.

Again. “Wow”….

(booooring)

Vostok, bacteria and personal agendas in Science: A sad tale…

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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. (1, 2)

“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,” Sergei Bulat (a researcher at the Laboratory of Eukaryote Genetics at the St. Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute) said.

But on Saturday, Vladimir Korolyov (Eukaryote genetics laboratory head) told the Interfax news agency that they did not find any life forms — just contaminants that remained from the drilling process. “We found certain specimen, although not many, but all of them belonged to contaminants (microorganisms from the bore-hole kerosene, human bodies or the lab). There was one strain of bacteria which we did not find in drilling liquid, but the bacteria could in principal use kerosene as an energy source,” Korolyov said. “That is why we can’t say that a previously-unknown bacteria was found,” he added.

I am really lost here.

Korolyov does not refute the claim that the bacteria DNA found has not been identified. So what is that “all of them belonged to contaminants” claim? And how can you know that the bacteria in the drilling liquid did not enter the liquid FROM the lake? And even if it didn’t, then we have STILL discovered a new form of life (even not in the lake, but in the drilling liquid). And how does a denial of this magnitude stand on “could”?

Even if I do not know what happened (as is the case with the scientists there too), I understand one sad thing: That politics play a MAJOR role in modern science. Don’t be surprised if after 100 years we learn that this is one more case of the head of a lab being hostile to one of his colleagues just because he wants to deny him of a discovery…

Antarctica, life, wishes…

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Cells containing DNA have emerged as the first evidence of life in a subglacial lake in West Antarctica. On January 28, a U.S. research team retrieved water from Lake Whillans, which sits 800 meters below the ice surface. The water hosted a surprising bounty of living cells. [1]

Scientists are excited. People are excited. But should they?

Life seems to be everywhere in the Universe. Places which we though as void of life (such as the oceans’ abyss, hostile volcano lakes et cetera) have been discovered to be full of living organisms. We either have a very wrong definition of what “Life” is, or we are facing one of the most profound characteristics of our cosmos, which seems to be inherently “designed” to support and create life anywhere (even in Mars and the Moon as we will soon discover), anytime.

Which of the two possibilities would you wish to be true?