Knight (left) and Bucheli take soil samples from beneath one of the decomposing bodies. Katie Hayes Luke for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Katie Hayes Luke for NPR

The greenish-yellow tips on this human chromosome (No. 16) are telomeres. Terry Allen/Corbis hide caption

itoggle caption Terry Allen/Corbis

A sixth sense? A small patch of neurons on either side of the brain recognizes how many dots are on a screen. As more dots appear, active neurons shift to the right. Courtesy of Ben Harvey/Utretch University hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Ben Harvey/Utretch University

Beautiful or creepy? A recent survey found that an image of a lotus seed head makes about 15 percent of people uncomfortable or even repulsed. tanakawho/Flickr.com hide caption

itoggle caption tanakawho/Flickr.com

The olinguito is the first carnivore species to be discovered in the Western Hemisphere in 35 years. Courtesy of Mark Gurney hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Mark Gurney

Could the images common in accounts of near-death experiences be explained by a rush of electrical activity in the brain? Odina/iStockphoto.com hide caption

itoggle caption Odina/iStockphoto.com

All in the name of science: Volunteers hike in Colorado during their one-week hiatus from electrical lighting. Courtesy of Kenneth Wright hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Kenneth Wright

"Liver buds" grow in petri dishes. The rudimentary organs are about 5 mm wide, or half the height of a classic Lego block. Courtesy of Takanori Takebe/Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Takanori Takebe/Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine

Chimpanzee Toni celebrated his 50th birthday at the Hellabrunn Zoo in Munich on Nov. 22, 2011. Sven Hoppe/DPA/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Sven Hoppe/DPA/Landov