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TED Talks Science and Medicine

Updated 2 months ago

Technology
Science
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Some of the world's greatest scientists, doctors and medical researchers share their discoveries and visions onstage at the TED conference, TEDx events and partner events around the world. You can also download these and many other videos free on TED.com, with an interactive English transcript and subtitles in up to 80 languages. TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading.

Read more

Some of the world's greatest scientists, doctors and medical researchers share their discoveries and visions onstage at the TED conference, TEDx events and partner events around the world. You can also download these and many other videos free on TED.com, with an interactive English transcript and subtitles in up to 80 languages. TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading.

iTunes Ratings

576 Ratings
Average Ratings
313
117
66
38
42

Exactly what I need

By Yascience - Dec 17 2019
Read more
Finally an amazing way to deliver information and unite science all around the universe

Wow!

By Diginay - Mar 17 2019
Read more
Brilliant! I loved this so much it inspires me soo much, thank you for making this podcast

iTunes Ratings

576 Ratings
Average Ratings
313
117
66
38
42

Exactly what I need

By Yascience - Dec 17 2019
Read more
Finally an amazing way to deliver information and unite science all around the universe

Wow!

By Diginay - Mar 17 2019
Read more
Brilliant! I loved this so much it inspires me soo much, thank you for making this podcast
Cover image of TED Talks Science and Medicine

TED Talks Science and Medicine

Latest release on Jun 25, 2020

Read more

Some of the world's greatest scientists, doctors and medical researchers share their discoveries and visions onstage at the TED conference, TEDx events and partner events around the world. You can also download these and many other videos free on TED.com, with an interactive English transcript and subtitles in up to 80 languages. TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading.

Rank #1: Your brain hallucinates your conscious reality | Anil Seth

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Right now, billions of neurons in your brain are working together to generate a conscious experience -- and not just any conscious experience, your experience of the world around you and of yourself within it. How does this happen? According to neuroscientist Anil Seth, we're all hallucinating all the time; when we agree about our hallucinations, we call it "reality." Join Seth for a delightfully disorienting talk that may leave you questioning the very nature of your existence.

Jul 18 2017

17mins

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Rank #2: The search for our solar system's ninth planet | Mike Brown

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Could the strange orbits of small, distant objects in our solar system lead us to a big discovery? Planetary astronomer Mike Brown proposes the existence of a new, giant planet lurking in the far reaches of our solar system -- and shows us how traces of its presence might already be staring us in the face.

Nov 22 2019

13mins

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Rank #3: You aren't at the mercy of your emotions -- your brain creates them | Lisa Feldman Barrett

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Can you look at someone's face and know what they're feeling? Does everyone experience happiness, sadness and anxiety the same way? What are emotions anyway? For the past 25 years, psychology professor Lisa Feldman Barrett has mapped facial expressions, scanned brains and analyzed hundreds of physiology studies to understand what emotions really are. She shares the results of her exhaustive research -- and explains how we may have more control over our emotions than we think.

Jan 02 2018

18mins

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Rank #4: Emergency medicine for our climate fever | Kelly Wanser

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As we recklessly warm the planet by pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, some industrial emissions also produce particles that reflect sunshine back into space, putting a check on global warming that we're only starting to understand. Climate activist Kelly Wanser asks: Can we engineer ways to harness this effect and further reduce warming? Learn more about the promises and risks of "cloud brightening" -- and how it could help restore our climate to health.

Aug 28 2019

14mins

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Rank #5: What you can do to prevent Alzheimer's | Lisa Genova

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Alzheimer's doesn't have to be your brain's destiny, says neuroscientist and author of "Still Alice," Lisa Genova. She shares the latest science investigating the disease -- and some promising research on what each of us can do to build an Alzheimer's-resistant brain.

Apr 28 2017

13mins

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Rank #6: The biology of gender, from DNA to the brain | Karissa Sanbonmatsu

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How exactly does gender work? It's not just about our chromosomes, says biologist Karissa Sanbonmatsu. In a visionary talk, she shares new discoveries from epigenetics, the emerging study of how DNA activity can permanently change based on social factors like trauma or diet. Learn how life experiences shape the way genes are expressed -- and what that means for our understanding of gender.

Jan 10 2019

12mins

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Rank #7: The next software revolution: programming biological cells | Sara-Jane Dunn

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The cells in your body are like computer software: they're "programmed" to carry out specific functions at specific times. If we can better understand this process, we could unlock the ability to reprogram cells ourselves, says computational biologist Sara-Jane Dunn. In a talk from the cutting-edge of science, she explains how her team is studying embryonic stem cells to gain a new understanding of the biological programs that power life -- and develop "living software" that could transform medicine, agriculture and energy.

Nov 01 2019

14mins

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Rank #8: What we'll learn about the brain in the next century | Sam Rodriques

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In this imaginative talk, neuroengineer Sam Rodriques takes us on a thrilling tour of the next 100 years in brain science. He envisions strange (and sometimes frightening) innovations that may be the key to understanding and treating brain disease -- like lasers that drill tiny holes in our skulls and allow probes to study the electrical activity of our neurons.

Jun 12 2018

13mins

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Rank #9: The "dead zone" of the Gulf of Mexico | Nancy Rabalais

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Ocean expert Nancy Rabalais tracks the ominously named "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico -- where there isn't enough oxygen in the water to support life. The Gulf has the second largest dead zone in the world; on top of killing fish and crustaceans, it's also killing fisheries in these waters. Rabalais tells us about what's causing it -- and how we can reverse its harmful effects and restore one of America's natural treasures.

Apr 18 2018

12mins

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Rank #10: What's at the bottom of the ocean -- and how we're getting there | Victor Vescovo

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Victor Vescovo is leading the first-ever manned expedition to the deepest point of each of the world's five oceans. In conversation with TED science curator David Biello, Vescovo discusses the technology that's powering the explorations -- a titanium submersible designed to withstand extraordinary conditions -- and shows footage of a never-before-seen creature taken during his journey to the bottom of the Indian Ocean.

Aug 02 2019

7mins

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Rank #11: Why we choke under pressure -- and how to avoid it | Sian Leah Beilock

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When the pressure is on, why do we sometimes fail to live up to our potential? Cognitive scientist and Barnard College president Sian Leah Beilock reveals what happens in your brain and body when you choke in stressful situations, sharing psychological tools that can help you perform at your best when it matters most.

Sep 18 2018

15mins

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Rank #12: How early life experience is written into DNA | Moshe Szyf

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Moshe Szyf is a pioneer in the field of epigenetics, the study of how living things reprogram their genome in response to social factors like stress and lack of food. His research suggests that biochemical signals passed from mothers to offspring tell the child what kind of world they're going to live in, changing the expression of genes. "DNA isn't just a sequence of letters; it's not just a script." Szyf says. "DNA is a dynamic movie in which our experiences are being written."

Mar 30 2017

16mins

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Rank #13: How climate change affects your mental health | Britt Wray

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"For all that's ever been said about climate change, we haven't heard nearly enough about the psychological impacts of living in a warming world," says science writer Britt Wray. In this quick talk, she explores how climate change is threatening our well-being -- mental, social and spiritual -- and offers a starting point for what we can do about it.

Aug 27 2019

7mins

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Rank #14: The fascinating (and dangerous) places scientists aren't exploring | Ella Al-Shamahi

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We're not doing frontline exploratory science in a huge portion of the world -- the places governments deem too hostile or disputed. What might we be missing because we're not looking? In this fearless, unexpectedly funny talk, paleoanthropologist Ella Al-Shamahi takes us on an expedition to the Yemeni island of Socotra -- one of the most biodiverse places on earth -- and makes the case for scientists to explore the unstable regions that could be home to incredible discoveries.

Jul 15 2019

15mins

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Rank #15: The surprising science of alpha males | Frans de Waal

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In this fascinating look at the "alpha male," primatologist Frans de Waal explores the privileges and costs of power while drawing surprising parallels between how humans and primates choose their leaders. His research reveals some of the unexpected capacities of alpha males -- generosity, empathy, even peacekeeping -- and sheds light on the power struggles of human politicians. "Someone who is big and strong and intimidates and insults everyone is not necessarily an alpha male," de Waal says.

Jun 18 2018

15mins

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Rank #16: The amazing brains and morphing skin of octopuses and other cephalopods | Roger Hanlon

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Octopus, squid and cuttlefish -- collectively known as cephalopods -- have strange, massive, distributed brains. What do they do with all that neural power? Dive into the ocean with marine biologist Roger Hanlon, who shares astonishing footage of the camouflaging abilities of cephalopods, which can change their skin color and texture in a flash. Learn how their smart skin, and their ability to deploy it in sophisticated ways, could be evidence of an alternative form of intelligence -- and how it could lead to breakthroughs in AI, fabrics, cosmetics and beyond.

May 31 2019

13mins

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Rank #17: The weird history of the "sex chromosomes" | Molly Webster

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The common thinking on biological sex goes like this: females have two X chromosomes in their cells, while males have one X and one Y. In this myth-busting talk, science writer and podcaster Molly Webster shows why the so-called "sex chromosomes" are more complicated than this simple definition -- and reveals why we should think about them differently.

Mar 23 2020

13mins

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Rank #18: What happens in your brain when you pay attention? | Mehdi Ordikhani-Seyedlar

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Attention isn't just about what we focus on -- it's also about what our brains filter out. By investigating patterns in the brain as people try to focus, computational neuroscientist Mehdi Ordikhani-Seyedlar hopes to build computer models that can be used to treat ADHD and help those who have lost the ability to communicate. Hear more about this exciting science in this brief, fascinating talk.

Jun 08 2017

6mins

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Rank #19: What it's like to live on the International Space Station | Cady Coleman

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In this quick, fun talk, astronaut Cady Coleman welcomes us aboard the International Space Station, where she spent nearly six months doing experiments that expanded the frontiers of science. Hear what it's like to fly to work, sleep without gravity and live life hurtling at 17,500 miles per hour around the Earth. "The space station is the place where mission and magic come together," Coleman says.

Nov 13 2019

6mins

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Rank #20: What happens in your brain when you taste food | Camilla Arndal Andersen

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With fascinating research and hilarious anecdotes, neuroscientist Camilla Arndal Andersen takes us into the lab where she studies people's sense of taste via brain scans. She reveals surprising insights about the way our brains subconsciously experience food -- and shows how this data could help us eat healthier without sacrificing taste.

Oct 03 2019

13mins

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The case to infect volunteers with COVID-19 to accelerate vaccine testing | Nir Eyal

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Conventional vaccine testing is a slow, years-long process. As thousands of people continue to die each day from COVID-19, bioethicist Nir Eyal proposes a radical idea that could dramatically accelerate the vaccine development timeline: "human challenge trials," in which scientists would deliberately expose volunteers to the virus to more quickly determine a vaccine's efficacy. (This virtual conversation, hosted by head of TED Chris Anderson, was recorded June 15, 2020.)

Jun 25 2020

18mins

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The new science of personalized vaccines | Ofer Levy

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At the intersection of precision medicine and vaccinology lies a revolutionary scientific pursuit: personalized vaccines. Infectious disease specialist Ofer Levy introduces this promising medical approach, in which tailored inoculations will enable effective immunization of the most vulnerable among us, including the young and elderly, and shares how we're now venturing into a new era of sustaining and supporting human life. (This talk contains graphic medical imagery.)

Jun 18 2020

11mins

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A dose of reality about generic drugs | Katherine Eban

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Investigative journalist Katherine Eban set out to report on a seemingly straightforward question: Are generic drugs really identical to their brand-name counterparts? The answer sparked a decade of interviews, meetings with whistleblowers, on-the-ground reporting across four continents and digging into confidential FDA documents. In this alarming talk, she takes us inside overseas manufacturing plants and exposes the fraud behind many low-cost generic medicines.

Jun 17 2020

16mins

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Let's make the world wild again | Kristine Tompkins

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Earth, humanity and nature are inextricably interconnected. To restore us all back to health, we need to "rewild" the world, says environmental activist Kristine Tompkins. Tracing her life from Patagonia CEO to passionate conservationist, she shares how she has helped to establish national parks across millions of acres of land (and sea) in South America -- and discusses the critical role we all have to play to heal the planet. "We have a common destiny," she says. "We can flourish or we can suffer, but we're going to be doing it together."

May 26 2020

16mins

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An ER doctor on triaging your "crazy busy" life | Darria Long

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How do doctors in the emergency room stay calm and focused amidst the chaos? Drawing on years of experience, ER doctor Darria Long shares a straightforward framework to help you take back control and feel less overwhelmed when life starts to get "crazy busy."

May 13 2020

11mins

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The wonders of the molecular world, animated | Janet Iwasa

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Some biological structures are so small that scientists can't see them with even the most powerful microscopes. That's where molecular animator and TED Fellow Janet Iwasa gets creative. Explore vast, unseen molecular worlds as she shares mesmerizing animations that imagine how they might work.

Apr 13 2020

6mins

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The galactic recipe for a living planet | Karin Öberg

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Did you know that one of the most notorious poisons is also a key ingredient for life as we know it? Join space chemist Karin Öberg and learn how she scans the universe in search of this paradoxical chemical using ALMA, the world's largest radio telescope, to detect hotbeds of molecular activity and the formation of life-sustaining planets.

Apr 10 2020

13mins

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A history of Indigenous languages -- and how to revitalize them | Lindsay Morcom

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Indigenous languages across North America are under threat of extinction due to the colonial legacy of cultural erasure, says linguist Lindsay Morcom. Highlighting grassroots strategies developed by the Anishinaabe people of Canada to revive their language and community, Morcom makes a passionate case for enacting policies that could protect Indigenous heritage for generations to come.

Apr 07 2020

13mins

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How to make pandemics optional, not inevitable | Sonia Shah

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What can past pandemics teach us how to tackle the current one? Tracing the history of contagions from cholera to Ebola and beyond, science journalist Sonia Shah explains why we're more vulnerable to outbreaks now than ever before, what we can do to minimize the spread of coronavirus and how to prevent future pandemics. (This virtual conversation is part of the TED Connects series, hosted by science curator David Biello and current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers. Recorded March 31, 2020)

Apr 01 2020

43mins

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How you can help save the monarch butterfly -- and the planet | Mary Ellen Hannibal

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Monarch butterflies are dying at an alarming rate around the world -- a looming extinction that could also put human life at risk. But we have just the thing to help save these insects, says author Mary Ellen Hannibal: citizen scientists. Learn how these grassroots volunteers are playing a crucial role in measuring and rescuing the monarch's dwindling population -- and how you could join their ranks to help protect nature. (You'll be in good company: Charles Darwin was a citizen scientist!)

Apr 01 2020

11mins

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The quest for the coronavirus vaccine | Seth Berkley

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When will the coronavirus vaccine be ready? Epidemiologist Seth Berkley (head of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance) takes us inside the effort to create a vaccine for COVID-19. With clarity and urgency, he explains what makes it so challenging to develop, when we can expect it to be rolled out at scale and why we'll need global collaboration to get it done. (This virtual conversation is part of the TED Connects series, hosted by head of TED Chris Anderson and current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers. Recorded March 26, 2020)

Mar 27 2020

1hr 2mins

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Indigenous knowledge meets science to solve climate change | Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim

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To tackle a problem as large as climate change, we need both science and Indigenous wisdom, says environmental activist Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim. In this engaging talk, she shares how her nomadic community in Chad is working closely with scientists to restore endangered ecosystems -- and offers lessons on how to create more resilient communities.

Mar 27 2020

13mins

Play

The weird history of the "sex chromosomes" | Molly Webster

Podcast cover
Read more
The common thinking on biological sex goes like this: females have two X chromosomes in their cells, while males have one X and one Y. In this myth-busting talk, science writer and podcaster Molly Webster shows why the so-called "sex chromosomes" are more complicated than this simple definition -- and reveals why we should think about them differently.

Mar 23 2020

13mins

Play

How we could change the planet's climate future | David Wallace-Wells

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The climate crisis is too vast and complicated to solve with a silver bullet, says author David Wallace-Wells. What we need is a shift in how we live. Follow along as he lays out some of the dramatic actions we could take to build a livable, prosperous world in the age of global warming.

Mar 13 2020

11mins

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The dangers of a noisy ocean -- and how we can quiet it down | Nicola Jones

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The ocean is a naturally noisy place full of singing whales, grunting fish, snapping shrimp, cracking ice, wind and rain. But human-made sounds -- from ship engines to oil drilling -- have become an acute threat to marine life, says science journalist Nicola Jones. Watch (and listen) as she discusses the strange things that happen to underwater creatures in the face of ocean noise pollution -- and shares straightforward ways we can dial down the sound to see almost immediate impacts.

Mar 11 2020

13mins

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How a miniaturized atomic clock could revolutionize space exploration | Jill Seubert

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Ask any deep space navigator like Jill Seubert what makes steering a spacecraft difficult, and they'll tell you it's all about the timing; a split-second can decide a mission's success or failure. So what do you do when a spacecraft is bad at telling time? You get it a clock -- an atomic clock, to be precise. Let Seubert whisk you away with the revolutionary potential of a future where you could receive stellar, GPS-like directions -- no matter where you are in the universe.

Mar 05 2020

11mins

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What a nun can teach a scientist about ecology | Victoria Gill

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To save the achoque -- an exotic (and adorable) salamander found in a lake in northern Mexico -- scientists teamed up with an unexpected research partner: a group of nuns called the Sisters of the Immaculate Health. In this delightful talk, science journalist Victoria Gill shares the story of how this unusual collaboration saved the achoque from extinction -- and demonstrates how local and indigenous people could hold the secret to saving our planet's weird, wonderful and most threatened species.

Feb 12 2020

13mins

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The science of friction -- and its surprising impact on our lives | Jennifer Vail

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Tribology: it's a funny-sounding word you might not have heard before, but it could change how you see and interact with the physical world, says mechanical engineer Jennifer Vail. Offering lessons from tribology -- the study of friction and wear -- Vail describes the surprisingly varied ways it impacts everyday life and how it could help us make a better world.

Feb 05 2020

11mins

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A new type of medicine, custom-made with tiny proteins | Christopher Bahl

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Some common life-saving medicines, such as insulin, are made of proteins so large and fragile that they need to be injected instead of ingested as pills. But a new generation of medicine -- made from smaller, more durable proteins known as peptides -- is on its way. In a quick, informative talk, molecular engineer and TED Fellow Christopher Bahl explains how he's using computational design to create powerful peptides that could one day neutralize the flu, protect against botulism poisoning and even stop cancer cells from growing.

Jan 28 2020

4mins

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What ocean microbes reveal about the changing climate | Angelicque White

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When the ocean changes, the planet changes -- and it all starts with microbes, says biological oceanographer Angelicque White. Backed by decades of data, White shares how scientists use these ancient microorganisms as a crucial barometer of ocean health -- and how we might rejuvenate them as marine temperatures steadily rise.

Jan 24 2020

13mins

Play

iTunes Ratings

576 Ratings
Average Ratings
313
117
66
38
42

Exactly what I need

By Yascience - Dec 17 2019
Read more
Finally an amazing way to deliver information and unite science all around the universe

Wow!

By Diginay - Mar 17 2019
Read more
Brilliant! I loved this so much it inspires me soo much, thank you for making this podcast