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Buried Antarctic Bacteria
Credit: Christian H. Fritsen, DRI Research Professor, and Clinton Davis DRI graduate student
This image shows a scanning electron micrograph of very small (about 0.2 micron) and numerous bacterial cells found inhabiting icy brine channels in Antarctica's Lake Vida, which lies in the Victoria Valley, one of the northernmost of the Antarctic dry valleys. Five milliliters of brine collected in 2005 from the Lake Vida ice cover was filtered to detect the bacteria.The cell sizes in this image range from about 0.5 to less than 0.2 microns in diameter (the scale bar in the image is 1 micron). Some cells have curved protrusions, whose function isn't known, extending from the cell surface and that in some cases extend to other cells.