Sergei Bulat of the Laboratory of Eukaryote Genetics at the St. Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute said that the bacteria found in probes of water did not match any of the over 40 known subkingdoms of bacteria.
"After excluding all known contaminants ... we discovered bacterial DNA that does not match any known species listed in global databanks," Bulat told RIA Novosti Thursday. "We call it unidentified and 'unclassified' life."
But a Russian scientist from the same institute has since dismissed the pronouncement.
Sergei Bulat made the claim after "excluding all known contaminants," but the head of the laboratory, Vladimir Korolyov, told Interfax on Saturday that, "We found certain specimen, although not many. All of them were contaminants... That is why we cannot say that previously-unknown life was found."