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Needle exchange programs, like this one in Portland, Maine, offer free, sterile syringes and needles to drug users. The programs save money and lives, health officials say, by curtailing the spread of bloodborne infections, such as hepatitis and HIV. Robert F. Bukaty/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Robert F. Bukaty/AP

Melinda Townsend-Breslin holds a photo showing her and her mother standing in the parking lot of a favorite thrift store in 2013. William DeShazer for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption William DeShazer for NPR

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A meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous in the 1950s was based on much the same 12-step program used today. Bettmann/Corbis hide caption

itoggle caption Bettmann/Corbis

The H1N1 swine flu virus kills some people, while others don't get very sick at all. A genetic variation offers one clue. Centre For Infections/Health Pro/Science Photo Library/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Centre For Infections/Health Pro/Science Photo Library/Getty Images

MaryAnn Anselmo has started to sing again after recovering from brain surgery and having successful treatment with a drug that targeted a mutation in her tumor cells. Dave Gershgorn/WNYC hide caption

itoggle caption Dave Gershgorn/WNYC

A simulation from the Neitz lab of what colorblindness looks like, with normal color vision on the left and red-green colorblindness on the right. Courtesy of Neitz Laboratory hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Neitz Laboratory

The Josephson family in 2001, after Dixie (third from left) was told she had cancer. Courtesy of the Josephsons hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the Josephsons

Tax preparation software doesn't always calculate the complexity of Affordable Care Act subsidies and credits properly. Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Unfilled requests for public records are piling up as the government claims it is being overwhelmed by Obamacare. Bjorn Rune Lie/Ikon Images/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Bjorn Rune Lie/Ikon Images/Getty Images

When combined with results of other neurological tests, and in the context of a thorough medical history, atrophy of the brain (shown here in an MRI scan) sometimes indicates Alzheimer's. Simon Fraser/Science Source hide caption

itoggle caption Simon Fraser/Science Source

Both James Eversull (left) and Pat Patchell were treated with experimental chemotherapy and radiation for leukemia as children in the 1960s. Together, they're now some of the country's oldest leukemia survivors.. Courtesy of James Eversull; Courtesy of Pat Patchell hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of James Eversull; Courtesy of Pat Patchell

Johnny Reynolds ignored diabetes symptoms and put off going to the doctor for years when he didn't have health insurance. He was afraid he couldn't afford treatment. Anders Kelto/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Anders Kelto/NPR

Grey lines connecting health care workers (marked with "+") and patients represent contacts between them. The red figures are carriers of MRSA. Obadia et al./PLOS Computational Biology hide caption

itoggle caption Obadia et al./PLOS Computational Biology