It's tempting to think of gas planets as permanently hostile to life as we know it. A pair of University of Washington researchers beg to differ, however. They've used computer modelling to determine that these worlds can become habitable when their stars get particularly grabby. If a relatively small, solid-core gas planet orbits a class M dwarf, tidal forces can tug it into a habitable zone and not only wipe out the gas (through the dwarf's X-ray and ultraviolet radiation), but produce life-giving water from the core's ice. Provided the timing is right, the result could be downright Earth-like.