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The brief frenzy over possible fossils in a Mars meteorite has fizzled. And even after billions of dollars’ worth of adorable rovers and eagle-eyed orbiters have prodded and probed the planet, the results have been at best ambiguous and at times downright confusing. Yet a growing number of space scientists are upbeat, even buoyant, about the likelihood that Mars is a living world. “A variety of discoveries are creating a kind of buzz,” says Chris McKay, an astrogeophysicist at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. “And people seem more enthusiastic. It’s group psychology.” There has been no single major breakthrough in the search, but a subtle change is taking place within the clubby community dedicated to finding and bringing back organisms—dead or alive—from the Red Planet.