The discovery by the Lander Phoenix (summer 2008) that the Mars polar soil is rich of perchloric acid salts (Na, Mg, Ca perchlorate) strongly could change the interpretation of the Martian experiment of 14CO2 release (LR, Labeled release experiment), performed in 70’s by both Viking Landers. The LR experiment gave substantially positive results but, at that time, possibility of Martian bacteria was ruled out because the CGMS instruments on board of both Vikings didn’t detect any trace of complex organic molecules. But Martian organics exist and were found in fair quantities by Curiosity, landed inside the Gale crater on 2012. So it is likely that Viking CGMS, working at about 500°C, could not see any organic substances (natural or bacterial) because, at that temperature, perchlorates decompose, releasing Oxygen that destroyed organics BEFORE their detection. In any case, the discovery of keragenic compounds by Curiosity, could also be indication of a presence of archea bacteria in the distant past of Mars, when the atmosphere of the Red Planet was wetter and denser than now.
Part of the book: Solar System Planets and Exoplanets