I don't know how many of you have been following the story, but a team of Russian scientists in Antarctica have now drilled down through almost 4 kilometres of ice to around 50 metres above the surface of Lake Vostok, a huge underground body of water of similar size to Lake Ontario, which it is believed has been effectively isolated from the rest of the planet for possibly millions of years. If anything is living down there, then its evolution is likely to have gone off at a completely different tangent to all other life forms on the planet, so we may be on the brink of discovering a type of life that is completely new to us. Furthermore, conditions in Lake Vostok are thought likely to be similar to conditions on Europa, a moon of Jupiter which is now considered to be the most likely place in our Solar System to harbour life, and scientists believe that the discovery of life in the lake would greatly increase the probability of life on Europa. This would have made a great science fiction novel. It's mind-blowing to think that it's real!