These Behind the Scenes articles were provided to LiveScience in partnership with the National Science Foundation.
Estimating the True Costs of Invasive Species in Great Lakes
What is the total cost of the introduction of non-native species into the Great Lakes?
Lab Tests Show Wind Turbine’s Air Flow
Smoke and lasers are used in wind tunnel to unravel airflow mysteries of wind turbines.
Nanoparticles Taught to Swim
A scientist can make tiny, metallic objects swim using nano-motors.
Islands: Exquisite Labs of Evolution
A scientist studies lemurs, the crown jewels of evolution in Madagascar.
Foam Invention Could Save Energy and Lives
An engineer has devised a brand new material that can save energy and lives.
Unlocking the Secrets of Atomic Nuclei
Smashing atoms and ciphering the spray of particles can reveal the cosmic origins of elements.
Gut Reaction: Digestion Revealed in 3-D
A study of nutrient transport and macro-micro mixing in the small intestine is going 3-D.
Teaching Is In This Scientist's Genes
When teaching is in your chromosomes.
Size Tradeoff: Horns vs. Copulatory Organs
The way organs grow affects the way species evolve.
The Bizarre Creatures of Madagascar
Not in my wildest dreams did I anticipate the fossil riches that we discovered on our first expedition to Madagascar.
Economist Hedges Bets on Wildfires in California
Letting fires destroy homes can hurt Californians and the economy, but how do we save people, homes and firefighters?
Bones in Lava Tubes Reveal Hawaii's Natural History
I documented research on the endangered Hawaiian Petrel and probe in lava tubes for extinct and endangered bird bones.
Freaky Fungi Glow in the Dark
This night we discover 8 different species of luminescent mushrooms, more than is known from any site in the world.
The Choreography of Dancing Molecules
Polymers can be made to glow or change colors when activated by light or electric charge.
Mysteries of the Unregulated Internet
One Sunday afternoon last February, the YouTube Web site disappeared from the Internet. YouTube didn’t take it down.
Beyond Cold: How the World Works at -459 Degrees
Atoms at room temperature move 500 feet per second. When cooled they move tenths of an inch a second. How do we do this?
Chemist 'Really Jazzed' About Creating New Molecules
Every time you spray an odor-remover like Febreze on a stinky carpet, you unleash good-smelling chemicals that are carried in neat little protective molecules called molecular containers.
Natural Bio-Army Trained to Fight Cancer
If the white blood cells of our immune system—particularly the powerhouse "killer" t-cells—could easily identify cancer, they would become a nanoscale army dedicated solely to eradicating mutated cells.
What's Behind the Crazy Shapes of Fruits and Vegetables
Crop scientists at Ohio State University have cloned a gene that controls the shape of tomatoes.
Why People Live in Wildfire Zones
Do people have no choice but to live in a land that regularly suffers fires, landslides, and earthquakes?
Scientists See Squid Attack Squid
It marks the first time scientists clearly picked up a strong sonar signal for squid.
My Research: I Burn Stuff
Graduate student looks for cleaner-burning fuels for rural China.
Cloaking Device Concept Moves Beyond Theory
Like something straight out of Star Trek, researcher develops superlens that can hide objects.
Stem Cell Research Goes Beyond Biology
Engineer delves into biology to investigate stem cell differentiation.
The Man Behind Amazing Movie Simulations
Computational physicist gets honored with Oscar for digital simulations.
Teeth Offer Clues to Human Diet Evolution
Bumps and pits in teeth shed light on ancient human diets.
The Freaky Fish of the Congo
Adventurous reseearchers explore the biodiversity of the lower Congo River.
How to Capture Yellow Jackets (And Not Get Stung)
What are stinging pests to homeowners are valuable research tools to one scientist.
Engineers Create Better Fix For Broken Jaws
Surgeon teams up with engineers to design new metal plates for jaw surgery.
Physicists Gear Up For Huge Data Flow
Scientists create computing network to manage flood of data from particle collider.
Computer Program Reveals Anyone's Ancestry
Program looks for specific chunks of DNA and traces a person's genetic ancestry.
Predicting the Next Major Virus
Global map of "disease" hotspots could help predict where next HIV or SARs could emerge.
Building a Machine to Search for Cosmic Secrets
A key component of the Large Hardon Collider is assembled.
Granny Says Life Evolved Between the Mica Sheets
Scientist thinks that primitive cells could have emerged between the thin sheets of mica.
Fossil Hunt Finds Warning for Warming Earth
Insect damage to leaves could increase as Earth's climate warms, based on past warming.
How to Make Adhesive as Good as A Gecko
Scientists try to create a substance that is as sticky as the lizard's hairy toes.
Using Abstract Math to Treat Cancer
Mathematical theory improves efficiency of radiation therapy.
Mysterious Compound Seen as Key to Ocean Life
Chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) gains new research attention.
Scientists Explore Invisible Environmental Helpers
Managing nanocatalysis to control chemical reactions.
For Better or Worse, Modern Ocean Explorers Stay Connected
Oceanographers blog and chat from one of the world’s most remote places.
A Season at the Penguin Ranch in Antarctica
A scientist details his life as a penguin researcher.
At the Crossroad of Stem Cells and Computer Science
Biomedical research is often an East-West collaboration.
New Species Found in Mysteriously Diverse Jungle
An expedition into New Guinea turns up a motherlode of new species.
Flying into a Hurricane: First-Hand Account
Shirley Murillo is a research meteorologist for NOAA.
How Desert Dust Feeds the World's Oceans
Scientists probe ways sealife can lead to climate change solutions.
Go Fly a Kite: Scientist Keeps Ben Franklin's Legacy Alive
Kites prove to be as useful today as they were in Franklin's day.
Nuclear Scientists Explore the Core of Existence
Scientists probe the nuclear force that regulates particles.
40 Million Electric Bikes Spark Environmental Dilemma in China
In China, E-bikes are the affordable and environmental-friendly way to go.
Life at Sea: An Oceanographer's Adventure
A scientist adapts to the hardships and joys of life aboard a research vessel.
Getting to the Core of Climate Change
Scientists study remnants of the past to understand the changing environment.
Nuclear Physics Boot Camp Preps Future Scientists
Learn about a one-week science boot camp for physics students.
Feverish Effort Under Way to Understand Mt. Vesuvius
A scientist studies volcanic eruptions to protect people from them.
High School Students Build Antarctic Submersible
A student project helps scientists explore Antarctica.
Risky Science at the Top of the World
Geologist recounts her travels to unstable Nepal in the aftermath of 9/11.
Search is on for Hot Young Stars
An astronomer uses gamma ray bursts to shine a light on outer space.
Clues to Waterproof Glue Found in Antarctic Creature
A scientist seeks to understand nature's way of making things stick.
New Coating Could Prevent Infection from Surgical Tools and Implants
Scientists discover another way Penicillin could fight hospital infections.
UltraLight Project: Moving Huge Amounts of Data
A profile of Shawn McKee and the UltraLight Project at CERN.
Brain Surgery: It Really is Brain Surgery
Surgeons turn to computers to find better ways to fix brains.
Tree-Climbing Scientist Makes Surprising Discovery
A scientist finds remnants of a historic event in trees.
Helpful Robot Alters Family Life
Researchers use a unique robot to understand human-robot interaction.
Birds Follow Army-Ants to Find Prey
Researcher treks through jungle and finds unique prey-hunting strategy.
The Evolution of California Firefighting
Firefighter Ronald Serabia has seen a transformation over the years.
The Surprising Truth Behind the Construction of the Great Pyramids
A strange phone call leads a scientist to cast doubt on leading theories.