Wood fibers are coated with carbon nanotubes and then packed into small disks of metal. The sodium ions moving around in the wood fibers create an electric current. Heather Rousseau/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Heather Rousseau/NPR

Before And After: These near-infrared images of Uranus show the planet as seen without adaptive optics (left) and with the technology turned on (right). Courtesy of Heidi B. Hammel and Imke de Pater hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Heidi B. Hammel and Imke de Pater

The small patch in the middle of the image is Aulacomnium turgidum, a type of bryophyte plant. Researchers in the Canadian Arctic say they are surprised the bryophytes were still green, even after being covered by ice. Courtesy of Caroline La Farge hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Caroline La Farge

Researchers use the 120-foot tower atop Mauna Loa in Hawaii to collect air samples and measure the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Mauna Kea looms in the distance. Forrest M. Mims III/forrestmims.org hide caption

itoggle caption Forrest M. Mims III/forrestmims.org

AnthroTronix Founder and CEO Corinna Lathan, at the company's offices in Silver Spring, Md. Courtesy of AnthroTronix, Inc. hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of AnthroTronix, Inc.

The small squares superimposed on this image of the Milky Way galaxy show where in the sky the Kepler telescope is hunting for Earth-like planets. Kepler, which launched in 2009, has identified more than 100 planets. NASA hide caption

itoggle caption NASA

Jonathan Wilker holds up a group of oysters from a tank in his lab at Purdue University. Rebecca Davis/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Rebecca Davis/NPR

This image represents a chunk, or "cube," of brain. Each different color represents a different neuron, and the goal of the EyeWire game is to figure out how these tangled neurons connect to each other. Players look at a slice from this cube and try to identify the boundaries of each cell. It isn't easy, and it takes practice. You can try it for yourself at eyewire.org. EyeWire hide caption

itoggle caption EyeWire