The Science Behind Sci-Fi Interspecies Viral Transmission

SyFy examines the science behind the Star Trek: Lower Decks episode where an alien bug virus spreads.

Star Trek: Lower Decks, the latest Star Trek adventure, takes its name and premise from an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, which eschewed the bridge crew in favor of a story centering on lower-ranking members of Starfleet. Lower Decks the animated series does the same.

In its premiere episode, we’re introduced to the crew of the U.S.S. Cerritos, an unimportant ship within the fleet. Their mission: second contact. They arrive on newly contacted planets to handle the paperwork and get new civilizations settled within the Federation. All of the work, none of the glory. The central conflict of Episode 1, “Second Contact,” arises when a member of the away team is bitten by an alien bug and infected with a virus that quickly spreads back aboard the ship.

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