Arctic / Antarctic / Alpine

Novel Species of Bacteria Found Deep Within Greenland Glacier

By Keith Cowing
June 27, 2008

Researchers from NAI’s Penn State Team announced at the American Society of Microbiology General Meeting in Boston their discovery of a novel species of ultra-small bacteria that has survived for more than 120,000 years within the ice of a Greenland glacier at a depth of nearly two miles. The species is related genetically to certain bacteria found in fish, marine mud, and the roots of some plants, yet it has persisted in a low-temperature, high-pressure, reduced-oxygen, and nutrient-poor habitat. The study’s authors speculate that it’s unusual size helped enable it’s survival in the ice for so long. [Source: NAI Newsletter]

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