Contact Us

Antarctic Study Co-Authored by Fritsen of Corvallis

Victoria Valley, Antarctica
The research field camp on Lake Vida, Victoria Valley, Antarctica. (courtesy of Desert Research Institute, Reno Nev.)
Christian Fritsen, formerly of Corvallis, Montana, and a former post-doc researcher at MSU Bozeman, has co-authored a study on bacteria that live in an under-ice lake in Antarctica.

Fritsen, polar scientist John Priscu and Alison Murray of the Desert Research Insitute of Reno, Nevada, published the study this week in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.”

In a news release from Montana State University, the study is described as an examination of a community of bacteria that live in Lake Vida, under 66 feet of ice in the McMurdo Dry Valley of Victoria Valley.

Lead author Alison Murray said that the community of bacteria exists in a mostly frozen lake with high nitrous oxide and liquid that is six times saltier than seawater. “This study provides a window into one of the most unique ecosystems on Earth,” Murray said.

The lake has been isolated from outside influences for over 3,000 years. Scientists used sterile facilities to study the samples and ice cores.

Fritsen is quoted by MSU, “It’s plausible that a life-supporting energy source exists solely from the chemical reaction between anoxic salt water and the rock.”
Fritsen and others have been studying the lake since 1996. NASA and the National Science Foundation helped support the study.

Fritsen was at MSU in the 80s and was a postdoctoral researcher from 1995 to 1998. Fritsen is now a research professor with the Desert Research Institute. Priscu is a professor in MSU’s College of Agriculture.

A similar drilling project at Lake Vostok in Antarctica is planned by U.S. researchers this season.

Best of KLYQ

Recommended for You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for KLYQ Club VIP quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive KLYQ Club VIP contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.