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After five years of drilling... signs of life!

What did scientists find when they drilled almost 2 miles / 3 km deep into a Greenland glacier? How about microbes - millions of them - including some species that have never been seen before!

It took five years of steady work to drill through the ice sheet, but finding "life" made the effort worthwhile.

The microbes are ultra-small, measuring less than .2 microns (a micron is one-thousandth of a millimeter), but they're hardy. They've survived under high pressure in subzero temperatures - and with no nutrients.

Geologists estimate that ice in the glacier is more than 120,000 years old, and it's possible that the microbes have been trapped there the entire time.

How did they stay alive for so long? If scientists learn that, they might be able to apply that knowledge to new products, such as antibiotics, that have to stay active a long time.

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Library: Ice, Glaciers, Arctic
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Double-click any unlinked word DICTIONARY: Just "double-click" any unlinked word on this page for the definition from Merriam-Webster's Student Electronic Dictionary at Word Central.
Arctic Library ARCTIC LIBRARY & GLOSSARY: Check this section for an index of the rest of the things you really need to know about the Arctic.
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A Guide to Arctic Sunrise and Sunset GUIDE TO ARCTIC SUNRISE & SUNSET: How much sunlight or darkness is there in the Arctic on each day of the year?

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