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Bell Curve


You're an ambitious high school student who snared a coveted internship at the NIH; unfortunately, 90 percent of your job description is washing lab glassware.


You've slogged through your science doctorate and you've done it again—snared a post-doc fellowship at the NIH, where you're doing the scientific grunt work. At least you’ve moved beyond washing glassware.


You've impressed the head of the rare diseases project, and you've been assigned to monitor one of the 40 people worldwide who have contracted FFI, a disease of terminal insomnia. You're also working on a promising drug that will be a cure and bring you and your colleagues fame and glory, but not, alas, fortune.


You've been promoted to the head of the rare diseases project because of your brilliant research and the early retirement of your old boss, who gave up in frustration.


You did it—you're the head of an institute. The money and fame and glory are all there, but gosh, why are you yearning for the laboratory that was your world and the scientific research that was up close and personal?