Researchers have learnt that an “ancient community of bactaria able to thrive in the lightless,oxygen –depleted,salty environment beneath nearly 70 feet of ice in an Antarctic lake, giving insight into the unique ecosystem.”
In an article authored by Laura Zuckerman of the Reuters informs that the research, funded by the National Science Foundation and NASA, sheds light for the first time on “biochemical processes not linked to sunlight, carbon dioxide and oxygen – or photosynthesis.”
The articles further says:“The authors of the study say it may explain the potential for life in salty, cryogenic environments beyond Earth, where energy in ecosystems is typically fueled by the sun.
The study, published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, came out of a collaborative effort of polar researchers from a number of institutions, including the University of Illinois at Chicago, Montana State University and the University of Colorado.
The energy driving bacterial life in Lake Vida, a mostly frozen, brine lake below the Antarctic ice shield, may be derived from chemical reactions between the salt water and the underlying, iron-rich rock, researchers said.”