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TED Talks Science and Medicine podcast

TED Talks Science and Medicine

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  TED  

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.

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.

 

#128

A virus-resistant organism -- and what it could mean for the future | Jason W. Chin

What if we could use the power of DNA to create a sustainable, circular economy? In a talk about breakthrough science, synthetic biologist Jason W. Chin describes his team's work rewriting the genetic blueprint of cells to create a virus-resistant organism -- the largest synthetic genome ever made and a first step towards reimagining what life can become. Learn more about how this advancement could lay the groundwork for the sustainable factories of the future, capable of producing plastics, antibiotics and more. ... Read more

28 Oct 2022

11 MINS

11:03

28 Oct 2022


#127

How green hydrogen could end the fossil fuel era | Vaitea Cowan

As climate change accelerates, finding clean alternatives to fossil fuels is more urgent than ever. Social entrepreneur Vaitea Cowan believes green hydrogen is the answer. Watch as she shares her team's work mass producing electrolyzers -- devices that separate water into its molecular components: hydrogen and oxygen -- and shows how they could help make green, carbon-free fuel affordable and accessible for everyone. "This is how we end the fossil fuel era," Cowan says. ... Read more

08 Sep 2022

09 MINS

09:11

08 Sep 2022


#126

A giant Jurassic sea dragon, unearthed | Dean R. Lomax

Among the dinosaurs, giant sea dragons roamed the ancient ocean. Millions of years later, paleontologist Dean R. Lomax and his team freed the remains of one of these colossal creatures from the Earth. Settle in to learn about the once-in-a-lifetime discovery of the 10-meter-long Rutland ichthyosaur: the largest and most complete ichthyosaur ever unearthed in Britain and one of the greatest finds in the country's paleontological history. ... Read more

06 Sep 2022

14 MINS

14:56

06 Sep 2022


#125

How we're reverse engineering the human brain in the lab | Sergiu P. Pasca

Neuroscientist Sergiu P. Pasca has made it his life's work to understand how the human brain builds itself -- and what makes it susceptible to disease. In a mind-blowing talk laden with breakthrough science, he shows how his team figured out how to grow "organoids" and what they call brain "assembloids" -- self-organizing clumps of neural tissue derived from stem cells that have shown the ability to form circuits -- and explains how these miniature parts of the nervous system are bringing us closer to demystifying the brain. ... Read more

24 Aug 2022

12 MINS

12:32

24 Aug 2022


#124

The future of fashion -- made from mushrooms | Dan Widmaier

Your closet is likely full of all kinds of materials -- leather, cotton, nylon and polyester, to name a few -- that contribute to fashion's sustainability crisis. Biomaterials investigator Dan Widmaier explains how we could look to nature for sustainable replacements for these much-used materials and introduces a leather alternative made from mushrooms that looks great and doesn't harm the environment. "We can make fashion sustainable, and we're going to do it with science," Widmaier says. ... Read more

25 Jul 2022

10 MINS

10:47

25 Jul 2022


#123

The search for the invisible matter that shapes the universe | Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

The universe that we know, with its luminous stars and orbiting planets, is largely made up of elements we can't actually see -- like dark energy and dark matter -- and therefore don't fully understand. Theoretical physicist Chanda Prescod-Weinstein takes us inside the search for this cosmos-shaping invisible matter and explains how, with the help of a new generation of telescopes, we could be closer to demystifying it than ever before. "The universe is more queer and fantastical than it looks to the naked eye," she says. (If you want to hear more from Prescod-Weinstein, check out her episode on "The TED Interview" podcast.) ... Read more

11 Jul 2022

14 MINS

14:52

11 Jul 2022


#122

The brain science (and benefits) of ASMR | Craig Richard

A curious, quiet revolution of sound has taken over the internet. Physiologist Craig Richard explains the soothing brain science of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR), tracking its rise in popularity and why this fascinating phenomenon is so relaxing to millions of people around the world. ... Read more

07 Jun 2022

00 MINS

00:00

07 Jun 2022


#121

Humanity's search for cosmic truth and poetic beauty | Maria Popova

Linking together the histories of Henrietta Swan Leavitt, Edwin Hubble and Tracy K. Smith, poet and thinker Maria Popova crafts an astonishing story of how humanity came to see the edge of the observable universe. (Followed by an animated excerpt of "My God, It's Full of Stars," by Tracy K. Smith) ... Read more

23 May 2022

07 MINS

07:15

23 May 2022


#120

How mRNA medicine will change the world | Melissa J. Moore

The secret behind medicine that uses messenger RNA (or mRNA) is that it "teaches" our bodies how to fight diseases on our own, leading to groundbreaking treatments for COVID-19 and, potentially one day, cancer, the flu and other ailments that have haunted humanity for millennia. RNA researcher Melissa J. Moore -- Moderna's chief scientific officer and one of the many people responsible for the rapid creation and deployment of their COVID-19 vaccine -- takes us down to the molecular level, unraveling how mRNA helps our bodies' proteins maintain health, prevent disease and correct errors in our genetic code. "We have entered an entirely new era of medicine," Moore says. ... Read more

27 Apr 2022

18 MINS

18:00

27 Apr 2022


#119

We can make COVID-19 the last pandemic | Bill Gates

Building a pandemic-free future won't be easy, but Bill Gates believes that we have the tools and strategies to make it possible -- now we just have to fund them. In this forward-looking talk, he proposes a multi-specialty Global Epidemic Response and Mobilization (GERM) team that would detect potential outbreaks and stop them from becoming pandemics. By investing in disease monitoring, research and development as well as improved health systems, Gates believes we can "create a world where everyone has a chance to live a healthy and productive life -- a life free from the fear of the next COVID-19." ... Read more

22 Apr 2022

14 MINS

14:46

22 Apr 2022


#118

5 promising factors propelling climate action | Gabriel Kra

Given the scale of the challenge, the conversation around climate change is often tinged with doom and gloom. But climate tech investor Gabriel Kra thinks we need to reframe the crisis as a source of tremendous opportunity. He offers five big reasons to be optimistic about climate -- starting with the fact that many of the world's best minds are focused and working on building a clean future for all. ... Read more

06 Apr 2022

11 MINS

11:26

06 Apr 2022


#117

The deep sea's medicinal secrets | Sam Afoullouss

Under the sea, untold wonders await in the form of untapped medicinal potential. Chemist Sam Afoullouss dives into the science behind natural remedies, explaining why the ocean's great (and still largely unexplored) biodiversity is ideal for deriving and inspiring future treatments -- if we protect its waters and the marine life within them. ... Read more

17 Mar 2022

00 MINS

00:00

17 Mar 2022


#116

What seaweed and cow burps have to do with climate change | Ermias Kebreab

Scientists have long known that cows are a huge source of the greenhouse gas methane, contributing up to four percent of emissions globally. But could there be a way to make cattle less -- ahem -- gassy? Animal scientist Ermias Kebreab talks through an ingenious solution to reduce methane-rich cow burps by feeding cattle something growing below the surface of the ocean: seaweed. ... Read more

03 Mar 2022

09 MINS

09:01

03 Mar 2022


#115

The incredible cancer-detecting potential of photoacoustic imaging | Lei Li

Could we use the energy from light and sound to detect disease? TED Fellow Lei Li shares the exciting promise of photoacoustic imaging: an affordable, painless and accurate method of converting light into sound in order to create high-resolution images of what's going on inside our bodies. From early detection of breast cancer to steering medicine-delivering micro-robots, learn how this cutting-edge technology could open up a new world of possibility when it comes to seeing, tracking and diagnosing disease. ... Read more

02 Feb 2022

06 MINS

06:50

02 Feb 2022


#114

Could we treat Alzheimer's with light and sound? | Li-Huei Tsai

What if we could use brain waves to treat Alzheimer's? Professor and neuroscientist Li-Huei Tsai details a promising new approach to artificially stimulate gamma brain waves using light and sound therapy, to increase connectivity and synchrony and delay the onset of this deadly disease. This non-invasive therapy has already been shown to work in mice -- now it's on to human clinical trials, with the potential to usher in a brighter future for everyone. (Followed by a Q&A with head of TED Chris Anderson) ... Read more

24 Jan 2022

12 MINS

12:43

24 Jan 2022


#113

How biochar removes CO2 from the air -- and helps farmers thrive | Axel Reinaud

Biochar is a kind of charcoal that removes CO2 from the atmosphere, helping yield healthy crops and even producing abundant renewable energy in the form of electricity as it's made. This exciting climate change fighter is ready for scaling now. Entrepreneur Axel Reinaud outlines three ways to make this material more accessible to farmers -- so that our food system, energy grid and the climate can all reap the benefits. ... Read more

10 Jan 2022

11 MINS

11:27

10 Jan 2022


#112

A king cobra bite -- and a scientific discovery | Gowri Shankar

A king cobra has enough venom to kill 10 people in a single bite. Recounting his near-death experience after being bitten by one of these majestic yet deadly snakes, conservationist and TED Fellow Gowri Shankar shares the epiphany he had when the antivenom failed: there's more than one unique species of king cobra. ... Read more

17 Dec 2021

05 MINS

05:53

17 Dec 2021


#111

The science of extreme weather — and how to reduce the harm | Al Roker, Al Gore, David Biello and La...

Floods, droughts, heat waves and cold blasts -- why is the weather becoming more extreme? Environmentalist and "America's weatherman" Al Roker discusses the link between climate change and disruptions to weather patterns worldwide, followed by a conversation between Nobel laureate Al Gore and TED science curator David Biello about the science of extreme weather and emerging solutions to reduce the risk of these events. (This segment, introduced by radio researcher Latif Nasser, was part of TED's Countdown Global Livestream on October 30, 2021.) ... Read more

23 Nov 2021

05 MINS

05:51

23 Nov 2021


#110

The problem of vaccine spoilage -- and a smart sensor to help | Nithya Ramanathan

Refrigerators do much more than store your groceries -- they're also vital to preserving and distributing vaccines. Illustrating the realities of (and threats to) global vaccine supply chains, technologist and TED Fellow Nithya Ramanathan describes how smart sensors placed in fridges that store medical supplies can provide crucial, real-time data and ensure people get the life-saving care they need. ... Read more

03 Nov 2021

05 MINS

05:52

03 Nov 2021


#109

How we could eat real meat without harming animals | Isha Datar

What if you could eat chicken nuggets without harming a chicken? It's possible through "cellular agriculture," says Isha Datar. In a talk about cutting-edge science, she explains how this new means of food production makes it possible to eat meat without the negative consequences of industrial farming -- and how it could fundamentally change our food systems for the better. "It's our once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get a second chance at agriculture," she says. ... Read more

19 Oct 2021

12 MINS

12:40

19 Oct 2021


#108

The brain science of obesity | Mads Tang-Christensen

Your belly and your brain speak to each other, says obesity researcher Mads Tang-Christensen. Offering scientific proof that obesity is a disease influenced by genetics and the environment, he introduces a molecule discovered in both the brain and gut that helps control appetite -- and which could be engineered to promote healthy weight loss for those living with obesity. ... Read more

06 Oct 2021

09 MINS

09:49

06 Oct 2021


#107

Planet City -- a sci-fi vision of an astonishing regenerative future | Liam Young

Get transported on a stunningly rendered, sci-fi safari through Planet City: an imaginary metropolis of 10 billion people, from the brain of director and architect Liam Young. Explore the potential outcomes of an urban space designed to house the entire population of the earth -- and imagine answers to what is possible, and what is sustainable, for the planet. ... Read more

20 Sep 2021

09 MINS

09:52

20 Sep 2021


#106

A sci-fi vision of life in 2041 | Chen Qiufan

Sci-fi writer Chen Qiufan doesn't fear a dystopian future. Instead, he believes developments in artificial intelligence will make all of our lives better, healthier and safer. He takes us on a tour of the next 20 years of AI and shares some astonishing predictions for the advancements in science and technology that could await us. "For every future we wish to create, we must first learn to imagine it," he says. ... Read more

08 Sep 2021

08 MINS

08:02

08 Sep 2021


#105

Meet the scientist couple driving an mRNA vaccine revolution | Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türeci

As COVID-19 spread, BioNTech cofounders Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türeci had one goal: to make a safe, effective vaccine faster than ever before. In this illuminating conversation with head of TED Chris Anderson, the immunologists (and married couple) share the fascinating story of how their decades of mRNA research powered the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine -- and forecast what this breakthrough science could mean for the future of vaccines and other immunotherapy treatments. ... Read more

03 Aug 2021

24 MINS

24:50

03 Aug 2021


#104

The missing 96 percent of the universe | Claire Malone

We've misplaced the building blocks of the cosmos -- and particle physicists like Claire Malone are on a mission to find them. Despite scientists hitting a "major snag" in uncovering what exactly makes up dark matter and dark energy, she explains how questioning our fundamental understanding of nature itself invites a different, more meaningful perspective universally. ... Read more

14 Jul 2021

12 MINS

12:44

14 Jul 2021


#103

The death of the universe -- and what it means for life | Katie Mack

The universe started with a bang -- but how will it end? With astonishing visuals, cosmologist and TED Fellow Katie Mack takes us to the theoretical end of everything, some trillions of years in the future, in a profound meditation on existence, wonder and the legacy of humanity within the immensity of time and space. ... Read more

24 May 2021

06 MINS

06:24

24 May 2021


#102

The search for microscopic aliens | Sarah Rugheimer

Astrophysicist and TED Fellow Sarah Rugheimer searches for aliens -- but not the cartoony green kind. She's looking for extraterrestrial microbes by studying how these single-celled organisms emit gases, which could reveal evidence of them throughout the cosmos. Wondering if we're really alone in the universe, Rugheimer identifies two big hurdles to confirming life on another world and offers insight into what finding it might mean for us. ... Read more

24 May 2021

05 MINS

05:38

24 May 2021


#101

How COVID-19 transformed the future of medicine | Daniel Kraft

The pandemic forced the world to work together like never before and, with unprecedented speed, bore a new age of health and medical innovation. Physician-scientist Daniel Kraft explains how breakthroughs and advancements like AI-infused antiviral discoveries and laboratory-level diagnostic tools accessible via smartphones are paving the way for a more democratized, connected and data-driven future of medicine and personalized care. ... Read more

10 May 2021

14 MINS

14:52

10 May 2021