Just a reminder that over in the sidebar I've been adding books and movies that I am recommending or hope to get to look at this year. The kids and I just watched The Andromeda Strain, a sci-fi classic by Michael Crichton (a medical doctor and author of Jurassic Park) about an alien organism. Although it's 30 years old, one Amazon.com reviewer says the techniques used by the scientists in the film are the same ones used today.
If you have a decent library system, like ours, you may be able to find most of the books and movies I'll be listing. But if you do order something from an Amazon link on my blog, I get a little kickback. Feel free to browse the "store," either way.
And add your suggestions here, too!