quartz spheres with Einstein photo

TESTING EINSTEIN  The Gravity Probe B mission used almost perfect spheres made of quartz to measure two predicted effects of Einstein’s general theory of relativity. 

E. coli K12 bacterium

LOSS OF APPETITE  Experiments show that helpful gut bacteria like this E. coli K12 produce proteins that could influence the appetite of mice and rats.

water bear

NO WATER, NO PROBLEM  Known as water bears, tardigrades (one seen under a light microscope) are famous for withstanding desiccation. Drying out allows the animals to absorb DNA from other organisms, which may confer stress tolerance.

Phobos in 1977

DOOMED MOON Stickney crater (left) on Phobos, seen in this 1977 image from Viking 1, helped researchers predict that the moon will crumble into a ring around the Red Planet.

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