Clear and clean, bubble wrap is well-suited to serve as an array of tiny test tubes. Here a dye solution is injected into the bubbles to measure the hemoglobin concentration in blood. American Chemical Society hide caption

itoggle caption American Chemical Society

The Liftware device, shown here as an early prototype (left) and the final design, starts up automatically when it's lifted from the table. There's no "on" switch to fumble with. Ina Jaffe/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Ina Jaffe/NPR

Elizabeth, Samuel, Bryan and Noah Shaw amid Texas bluebonnets on Easter Sunday. Samuel was conceived with in vitro fertilization so he would not suffer from the hereditary cancer that afflicted Noah. Courtesy of Elizabeth Shaw hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Elizabeth Shaw