Harvard University student Elana Simon introduces President Obama before he spoke at the White House Friday about an initiative to encourage research into more precise medicine. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Augustine Goba (right) heads the laboratory at Kenema Government Hospital in Sierra Leone. He and colleagues analyzed the viral genetics in blood samples from 78 Ebola patients early in the epidemic. Stephen Gire/AP hide caption

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Scientists reprogrammed the common bacterium E. coli so it requires a synthetic amino acid to live. BSIP/UIG via Getty Images hide caption

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Dr. Stephen Teach helps Jeffery Ulmer listen to his daughter Alauna's asthmatic breathing at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Alauna's mother, Farisa, holds her. The District has one of the highest rates of pediatric asthma in the country. Jahi Chikwendiu/Washington Post hide caption

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U.S. funding for medical research by source, 1994-2012. (Data were adjusted to 2012 dollars using the Biomedical Research and Development Price Index.) American Medical Association hide caption

itoggle caption American Medical Association

Dr. Richard Schlegel and postdoctoral fellow Nancy Palechor-Ceron use a microscope to look at human epithelial cells growing on mouse fibroblasts at Georgetown University Medical Center. Lauren Wolkoff/Georgetown University hide caption

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Georgetown's Robert Clark says it's very difficult to say precisely how many experiments have been spoiled by contaminated cell lines. Phil Humnicky/Courtesy of Georgetown University hide caption

itoggle caption Phil Humnicky/Courtesy of Georgetown University

A turkey vulture makes quick work of a dead rabbit at Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline park in Oakland, Calif. Sebastian Kennerknecht/Minden/Corbis hide caption

itoggle caption Sebastian Kennerknecht/Minden/Corbis