In a narrative that combines cutting-edge science with intense physical adventure, Dark Life tells the fascinating story of the quest to find life far underground and deep in space. Able to thrive without sunlight or oxygen, dark life is a mass of subterranean bacteria that would likely tip the scale if weighed against all other living matter combined. Journalist Michael Ray Taylor takes us from Antarctic lakes to Hawaiian volcanoes to the satellites of Jupiter in search of these mysterious underground creatures that are redefining our understanding of evolution. Taylor serves as a field assistant on several key scientific expeditions. He descends deep into New Mexico's tortuous Lechuguilla Cave and focuses powerful NASA microscopes on never-before-seen life-forms. He accompanies a young NASA intern who unknowingly kicks off a raging international scientific debate when she uncovers traces of dark life in a rock extracted from nearly two miles below Washington State -- traces that appear identical to the "micro-fossils" found in a Martian meteorite. He meets another scientist who has staked his reputation on using dark life to generate a cure for breast cancer. Throughout his adventures, Taylor gains unique insight into a growing controversy about the very definition of life itself -- an issue that scientists had long ago considered settled. Whether he is exploring the structures of a mysterious cell or reconnoitering tropical caves, Michael Ray Taylor is an adventurer for the new millennium.