Dr. Harold Varmus, a Nobel Prize winner, cancer biologist and director of the National Cancer Institute. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

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

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

Surgeons use a grid of electrodes laid on a patient's brain. They record electrical activity and can deliver a tiny jolt. Courtesy of Dr. Josef Parvizi hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Dr. Josef Parvizi

Henrietta Lacks and her husband, David, in 1945. Courtesy of the Lacks family hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the Lacks family

A government official in Bali, Indonesia, holds a chicken before administering an injection to cull it as a precautionary measure in April to prevent the spread of bird flu. Firdia Lisnawati/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Firdia Lisnawati/AP

A chimpanzee eats a coconut at the Alamogordo Primate Facility at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., in an undated photo from the National Institutes of Health. A plan to move chimps that had retired to the facility after being subjects of medical experiments sparked controversy and a review of research policies. AP hide caption

itoggle caption AP