Interestingly enough, the NYT features a fascinating article today, about biological activity behind some geological processes here on Earth. It drew my attention as Phoenix carries out its mission on Mars. Take this quote from Phoenix Pincipal investigator Peter Smith: "There's something very unusual about this soil, from a place on Mars we've never been before. We're interested in learning what sort of chemical and mineral activity has caused the particles to clump and stick together." And take this quote from the NYT article: "Until recently, it was assumed that the chemical alteration and decomposition of rocks in the ocean crust was due purely to elemental forces the circulation of seawater, the grinding of rocks against one another. But increasingly, intraterrestrial bacteria are suspected of making a contribution, too. Shards of volcanic glass from basaltic rocks hundreds of meters beneath the seabed show grooves and etchings that appear to have been made by bacteria."
I see a striking relationship between the research described in the article and current developments on Mars. Read the article, and maybe youŽll start to follow the Phoenix saga with an extra bit of amazement.
Meet the Intraterrestrials