The deep-water-research submarine Alvin is launched from Atlantis. Scientists are studying how ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico may have been affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Richard Harris/NPR hide caption

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Dr. Barry Gordon, a neurologist and an experimental psychologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, has been trying to help his son Alex find language. Alex, pictured here at 7 years was always non-verbal and diagnosed as autistic at age 4. Courtesy of the Gordon Family hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the Gordon Family

Shopper Andrea Harrison says despite reports about lead in reusable bags, she'll keep using them as her way of keeping plastic out of waterways. Elizabeth Shogren/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Elizabeth Shogren/NPR
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Scientists say the pterosaur, shown here on display at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo, may have been able to fly as high as 15,000 feet for distances up to 12,000 miles at a time. Itsuo Inouye/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Itsuo Inouye/AP

Lou Gehrig smacks a homer in a game between Major League stars and a Japanese all-star team. Hulton Archive/Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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Songbirds, like this male tricolored blackbird, develop regional accents in the same way humans do, researchers found. And, like humans, songbirds seem to respond better to accents they already know. Dave Menke/Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hide caption

itoggle caption Dave Menke/Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

This sculpture of a Homo neanderthalensis adult male represents Neanderthals that lived between 225,000 and 28,000 years ago. It is a reconstruction based on Shanidar 1, made for the Smithsonian Human Origins Initiative. John Gurche, sculptor, Chip Clark, photographer/Smithsonian Human Origins Initiative hide caption

itoggle caption John Gurche, sculptor, Chip Clark, photographer/Smithsonian Human Origins Initiative