Rae Ellen Bichell Rae Bichell is a reporter for NPR's Science Desk.

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Scientists Start To Tease Out The Subtler Ways Racism Hurts Health

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Rat traps are a weapon behind used to fight the plague in Madagascar, since the rodents carry the disease. But getting rid of all the rats would be difficult — and without rats, plague-infected fleas could then turn to humans for a blood meal. RIJASOLO/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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RIJASOLO/AFP/Getty Images

Workers spray to kill fleas in a public school in Antananarivo, Madagascar's capital. A bite from an infected flea can spread the plague, which has stricken 157 people in the island nation since August. Anadolu Agency/Getty Images hide caption

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Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Strike 2: Our second attempt at illustrating the plague story — with what we said was a 15th-century image by Jacopo Oddi from the La Franceschina codex depicting Franciscan monks treating victims of the plague in Italy — is about leprosy. A. Dagli Orti/Getty Images hide caption

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A. Dagli Orti/Getty Images

Although consuming cannabis is legal in Colorado and several other states, driving while under the influence of the drug is not. Nick Pedersen/Getty Images hide caption

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Nick Pedersen/Getty Images

Scientists Still Seek A Reliable DUI Test For Marijuana

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The defensive mucus of the Arion subfuscus slug has inspired materials scientists trying to invent better medical adhesives. Nigel Cattlin/Visuals Unlimited/Getty Images hide caption

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Nigel Cattlin/Visuals Unlimited/Getty Images

Slug Slime Inspires Scientists To Invent Sticky Surgical Glue

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Crew members on one of the simulated Mars missions this spring included Pitchayapa Jingjit (from left), Becky Parker, Elijah Espinoza and Esteban Ramirez. Community college students and teachers in real life, the team members spent a week in the Utah desert, partly to experience the isolation and challenges of a real trip to Mars. Rae Ellen Bichell/NPR hide caption

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Rae Ellen Bichell/NPR

To Prepare For Mars Settlement, Simulated Missions Explore Utah's Desert

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A double set of fences topped with barbed wire circles this outdoor decomposition site outside Grand Junction, Colo. The barrier thwarts prying eyes and protects the curious from an unpleasant surprise. Rae Ellen Bichell/NPR hide caption

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To Solve Gruesome Desert Mysteries, Scientists Become Body Collectors

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