Lake Vostok (previously) is about to be breached by a team of Russian scientists. The ice cores from Vostok Station have given us a continuous record of the earth's climate going back 420,000 years. Some scientists are worried that the breaching of the lake may lead to contamination. [more inside]
A large freshwater lake lies under the Antarctic ice. Russian researchers bored a hole in the ice, almost all the way down to Lake Vostok, before complying with requests that they stop. The lake has been isolated under 4km of ice for at least 500,000 years, and could be irreversibly contaminated if the Russians' drill breaks through to the liquid. There may be life in the cold, highly-oxygenated water of the lake. Confident that they can reach the lake safely, the Russians have resumed drilling.