Jeff gets a little green no-prize for bringing us news that scientists are becoming increasingly convinced life exists on Mars:
Much of the excitement is due to the work of Vittorio Formisano, head of research at Italy's Institute of Physics and Interplanetary Space.
Formisano showed evidence of the presence of formaldehyde in the atmosphere. Formaldehyde is a breakdown product of methane, which was already known to be present in the Martian atmosphere, so in itself its presence is not so surprising. But Formisano measured formaldehyde at 130 parts per billion.
There are three mechanisms that could account for such a concentration, and two of them are non-biological. However, no evidence for the two non-biological methods has been found. Confirmation of life may have to wait until a new rover is sent to the red planet. NASA has one scheduled for 2010.