Mysterious ice keeps its secrets

Belarusian polar researchers return home with unique samples for further investigation
By Lyudmila Minakova

Our Belarusian polar researchers have spent around six months in the Antarctic, headed by Alexey Gaidashov, of the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Physics (named after B. I. Stepanov). The team also included Mikhail Korol and an associated professor of the Microbiology Chair of the Belarusian State University’s Biological Department, Vladislav Maymin. They were particularly studying the effects of aerosols in the atmosphere while conducting palaeographic, physico-geographical, climatic and meteorological investigations.

Belarus plans to construct its own station in the Antarctic, so the team was assessing its possible influence on the Antarctic environment, as well as conducting biological research. Particularly, they took samples of microorganisms on the icy continent, which have now been brought to Belarus with the aim of growing them for further study. Samples were gathered from the bottom of ice-bound Lake Nizhnee. “It looks dead yet life is humming down there,” stresses Mr. Gaidashov, noting that underwater camera footage has been taken in the freshwater lake. The Belarusian satellite has also been engaged in research. 
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