Joe Palca Joe Palca is a science correspondent for NPR.

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

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Bao Research Group

Just Like Human Skin, This Plastic Sheet Can Sense And Heal

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

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Courtesy of Bigelow Aerospace

NASA To Test Inflatable Room For Astronauts In Space

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

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Courtesy of Anna Grove Photography

Houston Prepares Now For Zika's Potential Arrival This Summer

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

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Alex Cherney

In A Far-Off Galaxy, A Clue To What's Causing Strange Bursts Of Radio Waves

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

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Dana Berry/SkyWorks Digital; SDSS collaboration

Solving The Mystery Of The Disappearing Quasar

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

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Jeff Fitlow/Rice University

Bulky Cameras, Meet The Lens-less FlatCam

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Scientists Use Genetic Engineering To Vanquish Disease-Carrying Insects

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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

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Chet Brokaw/AP

A Physicist Dreams Of Catching Dark Matter In The Act

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

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Pasieka/Science Photo Library/Corbis

Gene Editing Tool Hailed As A Breakthrough, And It Really Is One

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Scientists Strike Giant Paleontological 'Gold'

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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

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Jon Hoad/University of Edinburgh

Before There Were Tourists, Dinosaurs Strolled Scotland's Isle Of Skye

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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

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Dominic Hart/NASA

NASA Uses Lessons From Space To Design An Efficient Building

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

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NASA/JPL-Caltech

Someday A Helicopter Drone May Fly Over Mars And Help A Rover

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