A team of astronomers is now proposing that there may be as many as three times the number of red dwarf stars as previously thought. Such stars are what the name suggests-- stars only a fraction of the Sun's mass that shine only feebly, hence the low energy red hue.
Astronomers already knew that red dwarfs were the most common star in the universe; this new number only solidifies that position. The increased number affects two important areas of study, however. First, three times as many as these stars in the universe adds a huge amount of mass, thereby reducing the amount of "dark matter" needed to account for the calculated masses of many galaxies.
Second, though red dwarfs shine only feebly, they do so for incredibly long time periods. They are also incredibly stable. Such lifespans and stability make them candidates for supporting life. It's true, their weakness would make their habitable zones extremely narrow and extremely close to the star, but given the red dwarf population in the universe and their long, stable lives, the odds are probably good that some of them support life.
Some may also support branches of civilizations that arose on planets circling other stars. The number and qualities of red dwarfs might make them attractive targets for civilizations that embrace interstellar travel as a way of expanding beyond their home solar systems. Such societies could place colonies in the habitable zones of red dwarfs, where they could potentially perk along for billions of calm, stable years.