Special News ReportVirology

Exotic Marine Life in a Frigid Desert

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Science  30 Jan 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5351, pp. 660
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5351.660

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TAYLOR VALLEY-- As researchers gear up to explore Lake Vostok (see p. 658), they are speculating about the kinds of strange new creatures that might dwell in such a hostile environment, under nearly 4 kilometers of ice. They now have one intriguing candidate: mysterious viruses recently discovered in lakes in the McMurdo Dry Valleys that may resemble ancient life on Mars. Oddly enough, only free-floating, extracellular viruses have been detected so far, raising the question: What are their hosts?