In the episode “ The Immunity Syndrome ” of the original series of Star Trek , Kirk and crew encounter an 11,000-mile wide amoeba. To escape, the Enterprise must destroy the single-celled creature from the inside before it drains all the energy—the creature’s food source—from the ship. In the episode “ Galaxy’s Child ” of Star Trek: The Next Generation , Jean-Luc Picard and his crew must find a way to shake off a similar creature sucking energy from the Enterprise’s reactors.

Science fiction has a knack for imagining amazing organisms that defy our expectations of life. But in the […]

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