Two are from UCLA. http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/2006-09-11-brilliant-ten_x.htm • Sara Seager, 35, of Carnegie Mellon University found a way to determine distant atmospheres by studying how our own planet would look from afar. • Erich Jarvis, 41; Duke; animal linguistics Jarvis' research suggests that humans not only learn to communicate the same way as zebra finches but also that all vertebrate animals may have innate language ability. • Luis von Ahn, 27; Carnegie Mellon; computer science The most powerful computers cannot mimic the nuance of a human mind, which is why von Ahn works to harness that brainpower. He has the lofty goal of labeling every image on the Internet by turning the process into a competitive online game (espgame.org) so the word associations offered by Internet users can become aids in finding the images in future Internet searches. • Nima Arkani-Hamed, 34; Harvard; theoretical physics Arkani-Hamed was controversial enough when he theorized that gravity is escaping our universe into two extra dimensions. Now he is speculating that our universe is only one of billions of universes inside a larger "multiverse." • Jerry Goldstein, 35; Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio; planetary science Goldstein has used satellite images to demonstrate that the Earth's magnetic shield is quite volatile. He showed that during strong solar storms, the plasmasphere surrounding the planet almost disappears, which disrupts satellites, space missions and Global Positioning System receivers. • Melody Swartz, 37; Northwestern University/Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne; bioengineering The key to growing organs for transplant may lie in currents of intercellular fluid that flow through body tissue. Swartz's research suggests that such currents redistribute proteins to create capillaries and encourage tissue growth. • David Thompson, 36; Colorado State; climatology Thompson helped discover how northern Arctic Oscillation can determine the everyday weather of the northern third of the planet. Now he is studying how the hole in the ozone has shifted wind patterns enough to cool some parts of Antarctica while other areas continue to melt. • Kelly Dorgan, 26; University of Maine; zoology Darwin theorized that worms eat the soil in front of them to move underground. Dorgan upended this theory when she observed worms turning their mouths inside out to wedge themselves through the mud. Dorgan is now going to study how burrowing can affect entire coastal ecosystems. • Omar Yaghi, 41; UCLA-Los Angeles; materials science Compressing gas usually takes very high pressure or very low temperature. Yaghi used molecular building blocks to create tiny, honeycombed scaffolding, which draws gas molecules close together, potentially making hydrogen-fueled cars feasible. • Terry Tao, 31; UCLA; mathematics Winning the Fields Medal, the mathematics equivalent of the Nobel Prize, is only Tao's latest achievement. His most famous effort uncovered a pattern among prime numbers, which scientists had sought for centuries.