A technician tests fluid samples from Ebola-infected patients at a field lab, run by Doctors Without Borders, in Kailahun, Sierra Leone. Tommy Trenchard for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Tommy Trenchard for NPR

Graduate student Jennifer Klunk of McMaster University examines a tooth used to decode the genome of the ancient plague. Courtesy of McMaster University hide caption

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The sexually transmitted cancer is common in street dogs around the world. Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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The skull of a female Neanderthal, who lived about 50,000 years ago, is displayed at the Natural History Museum in London. Rick Findler/Barcroft Media/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Rick Findler/Barcroft Media/Landov

Camel jockeys compete at a festival on the outskirts of Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh, a focal point for the Middle East respiratory syndrome virus. Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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

itoggle caption Courtesy of the Lacks family

A woodcut from the 1800s, Healing the Lepers, depicts the common tableau of Jesus healing a leper as his disciples look on. Images from the History of Medicine hide caption

itoggle caption Images from the History of Medicine

The baobob fruit is one of the 100 traditional African food crops that a group of scientists want to learn more about to improve nutrition. Alexander Joe/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Clostridium difficile bacteria produce a toxin that damages the intestine and causes severe diarrhea. Courtesy of David Goudling/Nature Genetics. hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of David Goudling/Nature Genetics.

By sequencing a newborn's genome, doctors could screen for more genetic conditions. But parents could be confronted with confusing or ambiguous data about their baby's health. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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Bats harbor many types of coronaviruses and were probably the original source of the new coronavirus that appeared in the Middle East. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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Sara Terry and her son, Christian, in Spring, Texas. After sequencing Christian's genome, doctors were able to diagnose him with a Noonan-like syndrome. Eric Kayne for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Eric Kayne for NPR