A team of undergraduates from Stanford and Brown universities are applying synthetic biology to space exploration, outfitting microbes to survive extreme Martian conditions and produce resources needed to sustain a human colony.
Cool stuff, but until we figure out how to get Mars a magnetic field you won't be terra-forming it anytime soon. If it did support life at one point it doesn't now and because without a magnetic field there's nothing to protect the atmosphere from being stripped off by solar wind.
There has to be more to this story than that then.
Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald