The sea snail Conus magus looks harmless enough, but it packs a venomous punch that lets it paralyze and eat fish. A peptide modeled on the venom is a powerful painkiller, though sneaking it past the blood-brain barrier has proved hard. Courtesy of Jeanette Johnson and Scott Johnson hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Jeanette Johnson and Scott Johnson

Researcher John Clements in the early 1980s, after he figured out that lungs need surfactants to breathe. David Powers/Courtesy of UCSF hide caption

itoggle caption David Powers/Courtesy of UCSF

Sierra Sandison, Miss Idaho 2014, during the "Show Us Your Shoes" parade at the Miss America pageant. Courtesy of The Miss America Organization hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of The Miss America Organization
Hanna Barczyk for NPR

A Yale University study analyzed the experience of 60 million Americans covered by traditional Medicare between 1999 and 2013, and found "jaw-dropping improvements in almost every area," the lead author says. Ann Cutting/Getty Images hide caption

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Coordinating care for high-risk patients was expected to save money and improve quality of care. A Medicare experiment didn't pan out. Roy Scott/Getty Images/Ikon Images hide caption

itoggle caption Roy Scott/Getty Images/Ikon Images

Christy O'Donnell, who has advanced lung cancer, is one of several California patients suing for the right to get a doctor's help with prescription medicine to end their own lives if and when they feel that's necessary. YouTube hide caption

itoggle caption YouTube

For best quality of life, many cancer patients who can't be cured might do best to forgo chemo and focus instead on pain relief and easing sleep and mood problems, a survey of caregivers suggests. iStockphoto hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto

Giedre (left) and Tal Cohen in March 2013, while Giedre was still healthy. Since then, she's begun having symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. In Giedre's case, the illness is tied to a rare genetic mutation she inherited. Courtesy of Tal Cohen hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Tal Cohen