Sir Harold W. Kroto, a winner of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, gave a lecture on nanoarchitecture in May 2007, in Brussels. "Find something to do where only your best effort will satisfy you," he advised students. Sebastien Pirlet/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Sebastien Pirlet/AFP/Getty Images
Listen: Sir Harry Kroto Was More Than A Nobel Prize Winner
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/477055349/477837093" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Zhenan Bao, a chemical engineer at Stanford University, is working to invent an artificial skin from plastic that can sense, heal and power itself. The thin plastic sheets are made with built-in pressure sensors. Bao Research Group hide caption

toggle caption Bao Research Group
Just Like Human Skin, This Plastic Sheet Can Sense And Heal
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/473801506/473850594" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

An artist's rendering of the BEAM inflatable annex attached to the side of the International Space Station. Courtesy of Bigelow Aerospace hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of Bigelow Aerospace
NASA To Test Inflatable Room For Astronauts In Space
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/473089336/473477593" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Standing water and abandoned tires make Houston's Fifth Ward hospitable for mosquitoes. Courtesy of Anna Grove Photography hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of Anna Grove Photography
Houston Prepares Now For Zika's Potential Arrival This Summer
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/470683503/471316398" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

CSIRO's Australia Telescope Compact Array at the Paul Wild Observatory. Alex Cherney hide caption

toggle caption Alex Cherney
In A Far-Off Galaxy, A Clue To What's Causing Strange Bursts Of Radio Waves
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/467975762/468070417" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

An artist's rendering shows gas falling into a supermassive black hole, creating a quasar. Dana Berry/SkyWorks Digital; SDSS collaboration hide caption

toggle caption Dana Berry/SkyWorks Digital; SDSS collaboration
Solving The Mystery Of The Disappearing Quasar
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/467826553/467860058" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Rice University's FlatCam is thinner than a dime. Jeff Fitlow/Rice University hide caption

toggle caption Jeff Fitlow/Rice University
Bulky Cameras, Meet The Lens-less FlatCam
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/466272218/466848869" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The plastic sheet invented by Stanford University chemical engineer Zhenan Bao and her colleagues can be inserted in lithium-ion batteries to avoid overheating. Zheng Chen/Courtesy of Zhenan Bao hide caption

toggle caption Zheng Chen/Courtesy of Zhenan Bao
Batteries With A Less Fiery Future
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/463181927/463680975" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Astrophysicist Richard Gaitskell, from Brown University, leads a team hunting particles of dark matter about a mile beneath Earth's surface. No luck so far, but Gaitskell is still hopeful. Chet Brokaw/AP hide caption

toggle caption Chet Brokaw/AP
A Physicist Dreams Of Catching Dark Matter In The Act
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/461310525/461675100" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Editing DNA has never been easier. Pasieka/Science Photo Library/Corbis hide caption

toggle caption Pasieka/Science Photo Library/Corbis
Gene Editing Tool Hailed As A Breakthrough, And It Really Is One
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/460705645/461304387" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

An artist's rendering of sauropods that once roamed in a lagoon area on Scotland's Isle of Skye. Jon Hoad/University of Edinburgh hide caption

toggle caption Jon Hoad/University of Edinburgh
Before There Were Tourists, Dinosaurs Strolled Scotland's Isle Of Skye
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/458048445/458361307" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A building called Sustainability Base, at NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif., has an energy-efficient design that allows in sunlight. So for most of the year, the interior is illuminated by natural light. Dominic Hart/NASA hide caption

toggle caption Dominic Hart/NASA
NASA Uses Lessons From Space To Design An Efficient Building
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/455063420/457794568" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

An illustration shows what a helicopter drone would look like on the surface of Mars. NASA/JPL-Caltech hide caption

toggle caption NASA/JPL-Caltech
Someday A Helicopter Drone May Fly Over Mars And Help A Rover
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/457263320/457565102" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Researchers at Brown University's computer science department are studying whether a robot called Baxter can be taught to pick up different objects. Joe Palca/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Joe Palca/NPR
How Can Robots Learn New Tasks? Practice, Practice, Practice
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/455507215/455657530" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Kroto displays a model of his discovery in 1996: a soccer ball-shape carbon molecule that spawned a new field of study and could act as a tiny cage to transport other chemicals. Michael Scates/AP hide caption

toggle caption Michael Scates/AP
A Discoverer Of The Buckyball Offers Tips On Winning A Nobel Prize
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/445339243/446980288" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Nobel Prize In Chemistry Awarded To 3 Scientists For DNA Repair Discovery
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/446632537/446632538" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Mike Lester, CEO of Taxi 2000, sits in the SkyWeb Express in the company's warehouse in Fridley, Minn. The company has been working on SkyWeb Express system, a point-to-point personal rapid transit system. Ackerman + Gruber for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Ackerman + Gruber for NPR
Why Nonstop Travel In Personal Pods Has Yet To Take Off
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/440859459/443053749" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A thermoelectric PowerCard like this one can be used to convert waste heat into an electric power source, Alphabet Energy says. Alphabet Energy hide caption

toggle caption Alphabet Energy
A Lot Of Heat Is Wasted, So Why Not Convert It Into Power?
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/432738291/432978524" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Scientists Develop App To Turn Smartphones Into Cosmic Ray Detectors
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/432762366/432762388" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Can people tell a computer-generated story from a human-authored one? How about a poem, or a playlist? Three new contests hope to find out. ImageZoo/Corbis hide caption

toggle caption ImageZoo/Corbis
Shall I Compare Thee To An Algorithm? Turing Test Gets A Creative Twist
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/429084124/430381766" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript