British scientists have called off the hunt for exotic life in an ice-bound Antarctic lake after their mission was hit by a technical hitch.
Researchers with the British Antarctic Survey had hoped to drill into Lake Ellsworth, which they believe has been frozen over for hundreds of thousands of years, in the hope of finding microbial life forms that might provide new insight into the evolution of life on Earth. They also hoped the lake floor's sediments might yield a new record of the Earth's climate.
But the project had to be called off following difficulties with drilling. A statement posted to the survey's website on Thursday said the operation had been canceled, and it was not clear if or when the scientists would try again.