SETI bioastro: Lake Vostok helium

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From: Larry Klaes (larry.klaes@incent.com)
Date: Thu May 24 2001 - 14:47:56 PDT


From: owner-europa@klx.com [mailto:owner-europa@klx.com]On Behalf Of
Edwin Kite
Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2001 3:07 PM
To: europa@klx.com; jupiter_list@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Lake Vostok helium

"http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_1345000/1345583.stm

Scientists say there is little chance of finding complex lifeforms at the
bottom of a hidden Antarctic lake.

They had hoped that the sort of primordial, bizarre organisms discovered in
the depths of oceans around hydrothermal vents might be present in Lake
Vostok.

But an analysis of ice drilled from just above the lake has found no
evidence for the existence of superhot springs, which sustain life on the
sea floor."

All this based on helium isotope ratios. But the isotopic composition of
vent helium varies hugely even between oil wells, so the evidence is far
from conclusive.

Edwin Kite

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