A recent major science
event has been the successful arrival and spectacular landing on Mars
of the NASA rover Curiosity. This rover will be busy on Mars for
years to come and developments are eagerly anticipated. See BBC
reports here and here.
While not designed to
detect life directly I would expect it to find some positive
indications of ancient or recent life or even just of suitable
environmental conditions. It has recently been found that lichen can
survive under Martian conditions and the same may be true of bacteria.