A researcher works at the Wuhan National Laboratory for Optoelectronics in central China's Hubei province on June 9. Beijing's spending on research and development has increased over the past few years in an effort to re-establish the country's scientific prowess. AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption AFP/Getty Images

Neil Johnson, a University of Miami physicist, developed this mathematical formula to predict insurgent attacks in war zones. Courtesy of Neil Johnson hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Neil Johnson

Campers Mary Church and Jimmy Cong use their sense of smell to detect whether a chemical reaction has taken place. Amy Standen for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Amy Standen for NPR

Last year, the Obama administration canceled plans to make Yucca Mountain the permanent storage site for the nation's nuclear waste. The half-built site is seen here in a file photo from 2006. Isaac Breekken/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Isaac Breekken/AP