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Signs of life below Antarctica's ice, Russian scientists say

Using samples taken from the ice from the frozen continent, Russian researchers say that they found bacterial DNA that has never been seen before.

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Russian scientists say they have discovered new bacterial life in a subglacial lake in Antarctica. (Handout/Getty Images)

New life forms have been discovered under the ice of Antarctica say scientists.

Using samples taken from the ice from the frozen continent, Russian researchers say that they found bacterial DNA that has never been seen before.

"After excluding all known contaminants, bacterial DNA was found that does not match any known species in world databases," Sergei Bulat of the St Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute told a Russian news station, reported Reuters.

The study authors said that the new discovery may help to better understand our planet before the Ice Age.

"If it (the bacteria) had been found on Mars, then without a doubt we would have said there is life on Mars - but this is DNA from Earth. We are calling this life form unidentified or unclassified."

More from GlobalPost: Russian scientists in Antarctica reach "alien" Lake Vostok

The samples were taken from a lake on the continent that has been untouched for 14 million years, said Voice of Russia.

The lake is hidden under 12,000 feet of ice.

The area is known for having recorded the lowest temperature on earth - a chilling -122F.

US researchers took similar samples from the subglacial Lake Whillans in Anarctica this year, stating they had found new bacterial life.

Lake Whillans is, however, less isolated than Lake Vostok where the Russian researchers took samples, reported the BBC.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/science/130307/signs-life-below-antarcticas-ice-russian-scientists-say