I've seen a lot of documentaries, articles, papers, etc which show people living in the desert or other deserted places to simulate living on Mars. However, it seems to me that a better way to really test the feasibility, isolation, and environmental hostility would be to try to create some sort of permanent, self-sustaining colony on the continent of Antarctica.
Of course, there are already permanent facilities there, but as far as I know they are all dependent on the outside world for everything. I'm wondering if it would be a good test run for equipment, people, policies, food production, etc as a sort of alpha test for colonising Mars.
Similar problems exist in both environments, but aside from the fact people can breathe outside and radio signals are essentially instantaneous, is there anything else really different? If it's not a better test run than a desert in North America or Australia, why not? Are there any similar ideas to approaching colonising Mars with test runs like this?