Because of how grants from the US National Institutes of Health are given out, there's a cycle of euphoria followed by hangovers, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Richard Larson tells NPR's Shots blog.

NIH funding is typically awarded for four years, so much of a year's budget is already promised to researchers even before new applications are in. This system only works well, NPR says, when budgets stay the same year after year.

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