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Scientists working with NASA's Phoenix Lander are reasonably sure they have detected a toxic chemical in the soil near the north pole of Mars.

But they say hearty strains of microbes might be able to live there anyway -- and even thrive on it.

"This is an important piece of the puzzle as we attempt to determine whether habitable conditions exist for microbes on Mars," said Phoenix principal investigator Peter Smith, of the University of Arizona. "In itself, it is neither good nor bad for life." Read full article »

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