Coalitions of patient advocates now help steer research funding toward particular projects. Lilli Carré for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Lilli Carré for NPR

Victoria Ruiz (left), a postdoctoral fellow in immunology, works with Brianna Delgado, a high school student that she mentors, at the Blaser Lab, inside NYU's Langone Medical Center in New York, NY. Ramsay de Give for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Ramsay de Give for NPR

Tom Murphy, 56, in his home in Gainesville, Va., was diagnosed with ALS four years ago. An experimental drug seems to have slowed the progression of his disease, he says, though most ALS patients aren't as lucky. T.J. Kirkpatrick for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption T.J. Kirkpatrick for NPR

Workers at the National Geographic Museum in Washington grind the rough edges off a life-size replica of a spinosaurus skeleton. Mike Hettwer/National Geographic hide caption

itoggle caption Mike Hettwer/National Geographic

Randen Patterson left a research career in physiology at U.C. Davis when funding got too tight. He now owns a grocery store in Guinda, Calif. Max Whittaker/Prime for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Max Whittaker/Prime for NPR

Solar sponge: The top layer of graphite soaks up the sun's energy in tiny holes. When drops of liquid fill the holes, the water quickly evaporates. (The beaker looks hot, but the water below the sponge is cool as a cucumber.) Courtesy of George Ni/MIT hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of George Ni/MIT

Air traffic connections from West Africa to the rest of the world: While Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone don't have many flights outside the region, Nigeria is well-connected to Europe and the U.S. PLOS Currents: Outbreaks hide caption

itoggle caption PLOS Currents: Outbreaks

All folded up and ready to magnify: The Foldscope weighs less than two nickels, is small enough to fit in your back pocket and offers more than 2,000-fold magnification. TED/YouTube hide caption

itoggle caption TED/YouTube

A recent study found a brief delay in peak growth spurt among boys who took ADHD stimulants for at least three years, but no significant effect on their ultimate height. iStockphoto hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto