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Russian Scientists Hoping To Validate Claim Of New Bacterial Life

Russian researchers pose for a picture after reaching the subglacial Lake Vostok in February 2012 (file photo)
WASHINGTON -- Russian scientists studying Antarctica's Lake Vostok say they hope to confirm in May earlier claims that a new form of bacterial life had been discovered there.

Vladimir Kotlyakov, the director of the Geography Institute at the Russian Academy of Sciences, said he hoped analysis of additional water samples from the subglacial lake would provide "conclusive proof."

Russian scientists in March claimed they had found new life before a leading geneticist on the project said the findings were the result of contaminants.

Kotlyakov, speaking at George Washington University, said scientists have found a way to control for contaminants in their analysis.

Lake Vostok lies under thousands of meters of ice and is believed to have been undisturbed for millions of years.

Russia's project is considered to be of major importance to the prestige of the country's science program.
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