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Buffy: Okay, so we have people drilling TWO miles down through ice to get to a lake that has been buried for who knows how long. ("Millions of years") They find a bacteria they have never seen before and basically has no match to any bacteria alive today...

Does this worry anyone? Seriously.

Yes, I was concerned about this the moment I first read about it. But, if I understand your concerns properly, my doubts have a different basis. I'm not particularly concerned about dangers to human or animal populations from any conceivable microbes that might be encountered.

I see this expedition's concept as a terrible idea, with attributes similar to the foolhardiness and sheer ignorant arrogance of Heinrich Schliemann as he raped and plundered the priceless archaeological knowledge that could have been retrieved from the excavation of Troy.

Even by the relatively primitive archaeological standards of 1870, Schliemann's work was an appalling ham-fisted schweinerei. I see these attempts to drill down into pristine under-ice lakes in the same light. I strongly expect that every such lake will become polluted with modern microbes, and truly priceless information will be lost forever.

They should wait for improved technology, just as today we happily pave over many newly-discovered archaeological sites so that they can be properly excavated much later, by our descendants, with far more powerful analytic tools.

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