Like many children inspired during the height of the NASA shuttle program, I once wanted to be an astronaut. Also having grown up with the likes of E.T., the Transformers, Robotech, and a multitude of other scifi stories and questionable newscasts about UFO sightings, I was fascinated with the idea of extraterrestrial life. Now given the vastness of this universe, I don’t have the hubris to believe that we’re the only life contained within it. After reading The Undiscovered Planet, it turns out we can’t even call ourselves the dominant form of life on this planet, even if we judge ourselves as the most intelligent—which is certainly debatable. The honor of the most dominant life form on this planet goes to microbial life. The article even postulates that should life exist elsewhere it will most likely be microbial. So it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to hypothesize that the most dominant life form in the universe is microbial. Now this shouldn’t put a damper on SETI’s efforts which looks for extraterrestrial intelligent life. Even if the majority life in the universe is microbial, Drake’s equation by conservative estimates puts the number of intelligent civilizations in a galaxy as non-zero. Plus sensitivity of communication sensors continually improve. Yet it will probably be a long time before we get sensors so sensitive that can detect life on a microscopic scale over stellar distances if such a feat is physically possible. Which probably means that we’ll most likely encounter this microbial life first-hand as either human explorers or more likely by proxy via robotic probes. It’s funny; space viruses may not be science fiction after all.