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Mammoth 'could be reborn in four years' Russians Will Be First To Explore Untouched Antarctic Lake Vostok, In Hunt For Weird Life Forms. An oxygen-rich lake, unreachable for the past 14 million years and buried beneath a thick sheet of ice, is about to be penetrated by a drill bit from a faraway place. It's possible that special life forms have adapted to live in this extreme environment, and scientists hope to learn more once they can analyze water samples.

No, sorry, it's not on Europa — it's in Antarctica. But the environment of Lake Vostok, which Russian scientists are about to drill open, is very similar to that Jovian moon and to Enceladus, a frozen satellite of Saturn. Astrobiologists are among those eager to uncover Lake Vostok's Miocene-era secrets.

Communicating at an unknown rate. Solid Gold, Thanks to Bacteria. An Ant Diversity Sampler. [the following is a repost from Scienceblogs] With 12,000 described species, ants dominate global terrestrial ecosystems.

An Ant Diversity Sampler

Here are a few of them. Microbe that eats plastic. It's not your average science fair when the 16-year-old winner manages to solve a global waste crisis. But such was the case at last May's Canada-Wide Science Fair in Ottawa, Ontario, where Daniel Burd, a high school student at Waterloo Collegiate Institute, presented his research on microorganisms that can rapidly biodegrade plastic.

Daniel had a thought it seems even the most esteemed PhDs hadn't considered. Plastic, one of the most indestructible of manufactured materials, does in fact eventually decompose.