A drawing from Michael Davidson's 2012 patent for "Toothbrush And Method Of Using The Same." Patent 8,108,962/U.S. Patent and Trademark Office hide caption

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NASA's Mars rover Curiosity dug up five scoops of sand from a patch nicknamed "Rocknest." A suite of instruments called SAM analyzed Martian soil samples, but the findings have not yet been released. NASA/JPL-Caltech hide caption

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Catherine Wong used electrical components to build an electrocardiogram that sends data by cellphone. Courtesy of Catherine Wong hide caption

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Roger Angel, an astronomer at the University of Arizona, stands in front of his new project: a solar tracker. Angel wants to use the device to harness Arizona's abundant sunlight and turn it into usable energy. Jason Millstein for NPR hide caption

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Adam Steltzner, the leader of the rover's entry, descent and landing engineering team, cheers after Curiosity touched down safely on Mars on Sunday. Bill Ingalls/NASA/Getty Images hide caption

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NASA engineer Adam Steltzner led the team that designed a crazy new approach to landing on Mars. Rachael Porter for NPR hide caption

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Joe Palca serves up some hot tea on a very hot day at Teaism in Washington, D.C., last week. Maggie Starbard/NPR hide caption

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Benjamin Arthur for NPR

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