VIRUSES floating in outer space could hold the key to finding alien lifeforms, experts say.
Bugs are extremely hardy and often indicate the existence of other more advanced organisms, research has found.
A team at Portland State University, US, wants space agencies to look for viruses in liquid samples from Saturn and Jupiter’s moons.
They also say detecting them in ancient rocks on Earth and Mars will reveal if they really can survive in space.
Researcher Prof Ken Stedman said: «More than a century has passed since the discovery of the first viruses.
«Entering the second century of virology we can finally start focusing beyond our own planet.»
He said viruses are “indirect evidence of life”.