Nell Greenfieldboyce Nell Greenfieldboyce is a NPR science correspondent.
Nell Greenfieldboyce 2010
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Nell Greenfieldboyce

For the first time, scientists have synthesized a three-stranded molecular braid that twisted into a knot with eight crossings, as in this rendering. Stuart Jantzen/Biocinematics.com/Science hide caption

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Stuart Jantzen/Biocinematics.com/Science

Scientists Have Twisted Molecules Into The Tightest Knot Ever

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The killer whale J2, better known as "Granny," pokes her head out of the water in the Salish Sea near the San Juan Islands of Washington in July 2016. Granny, who was thought to be about 105 years old at the time, was presumed to have died later that year. Mark Malleson/Center for Whale Research/AP hide caption

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Mark Malleson/Center for Whale Research/AP

Menopause Mystery: Why Do Female Killer Whales Experience The Change Of Life?

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NASA Faces The Unknown In Preparing For Trump Administration

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Scientists Ponder Whether Our Universe Is The Only One That Exists

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What Is The Universe Made Of? Scientists Respond

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Is The Universe Infinite?

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The marmalade hoverfly might not be the flashiest bug under the sun, but researchers say it "does some very important jobs." Clifton Beard/Flickr hide caption

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Clifton Beard/Flickr

Bugs Abound: If You Think The Skies Are Crowded, You Have No Idea

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Jeffery Hangst's ALPHA research at CERN, which is Europe's premier particle physics laboratory and is located near Geneva, is devoted to studying antimatter. CERN hide caption

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CERN

Scientists Blast Antimatter Atoms With A Laser For The First Time

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Monkeys' vocal equipment can produce the sounds of human speech, research shows, but they lack the connections between the auditory and motor parts of the brain that humans rely on to imitate words. Brian Jefferey Beggerly/Flickr hide caption

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Brian Jefferey Beggerly/Flickr

Say, What? Monkey Mouths And Throats Are Equipped For Speech

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Samples from this 17th century Lithuanian mummy were found to house samples of variola, the virus that causes smallpox. Kiril Cachovski/Lithuanian Mummy Project hide caption

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Kiril Cachovski/Lithuanian Mummy Project

A Mummy's DNA May Help Solve The Mystery Of The Origins Of Smallpox

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Trump Selects Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt To Run The EPA

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Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt arrives for meetings with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York City. Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AFP/Getty Images