TEDTalks Science and Medicine


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...Show More
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Can we solve global warming? Lessons from how we protected the ozone layer | Sean Davis

09:50 | Jan 29th

The Montreal Protocol proved that the world could come together and take action on climate change. Thirty years after the world's most successful environmental treaty was signed, atmospheric scientist Sean Davis examines the world we avoided when we ...Show More
What sticky sea creatures can teach us about making glue | Jonathan Wilker

13:59 | Jan 24th

What if we could harness the sticking powers of sea creatures like mussels, oysters and barnacles, which refuse to budge even on wet, stormy coastlines? Dive into the wonderful world of animals that make their own glue and cement with scientist Jonat...Show More
The biology of gender, from DNA to the brain | Karissa Sanbonmatsu

12:52 | Jan 10th

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 fac...Show More
The fascinating science of bubbles, from soap to champagne | Li Wei Tan

14:17 | Dec 17th, 2018

In this whimsical talk and live demo, scientist Li Wei Tan shares the secrets of bubbles -- from their relentless pursuit of geometric perfection to their applications in medicine and shipping, where designers are creating more efficient vessels by m...Show More
The most important thing you can do to fight climate change: talk about it | Katharine Hayhoe

17:11 | Dec 14th, 2018

How do you talk to someone who doesn't believe in climate change? Not by rehashing the same data and facts we've been discussing for years, says climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe. In this inspiring, pragmatic talk, Hayhoe shows how the key to having...Show More
3 kinds of bias that shape your worldview | J. Marshall Shepherd

12:21 | Dec 11th, 2018

What shapes our perceptions (and misperceptions) about science? In an eye-opening talk, meteorologist J. Marshall Shepherd explains how confirmation bias, the Dunning-Kruger effect and cognitive dissonance impact what we think we know -- and shares i...Show More
100 solutions to reverse global warming | Chad Frischmann

17:01 | Nov 28th, 2018

What if we took out more greenhouse gases than we put into the atmosphere? This hypothetical scenario, known as "drawdown," is our only hope of averting climate disaster, says strategist Chad Frischmann. In a forward-thinking talk, he shares solution...Show More
The radical possibilities of man-made DNA | Floyd E. Romesberg

13:56 | Nov 26th, 2018

Every cell that's ever lived has been the result of the four-letter genetic alphabet: A, T, C and G -- the basic units of DNA. But now that's changed. In a visionary talk, synthetic biologist Floyd E. Romesberg introduces us to the first living organ...Show More
The pharmacy of the future? Personalized pills, 3D printed at home | Daniel Kraft

12:12 | Oct 18th, 2018

We need to change how we prescribe drugs, says physician Daniel Kraft: too often, medications are dosed incorrectly, cause toxic side effects or just don't work. In a talk and concept demo, Kraft shares his vision for a future of personalized medicat...Show More
5 transformational policies for a prosperous and sustainable world | Johan Rockstrom

12:22 | Oct 17th, 2018

In a talk about how we can build a robust future without wrecking the planet, sustainability expert Johan Rockström debuts the Earth3 model -- a new methodology that combines the UN Sustainable Development Goals with the nine planetary boundaries, be...Show More
The key to a better malaria vaccine | Faith Osier

07:11 | Oct 16th, 2018

The malaria vaccine was invented more than a century ago -- yet each year, hundreds of thousands of people still die from the disease. How can we improve this vital vaccine? In this informative talk, immunologist and TED Fellow Faith Osier shows how ...Show More
The secrets of spider venom | Michel Dugon

12:52 | Oct 5th, 2018

Spider venom can stop your heart within minutes, cause unimaginable pain -- and potentially save your life, says zoologist Michel Dugon. As a tarantula crawls up and down his arm, Dugon explains the medical properties of this potent toxin and how it ...Show More
How I became part sea urchin | Catherine Mohr

06:15 | Sep 21st, 2018

As a young scientist, Catherine Mohr was on her dream scuba trip -- when she put her hand right down on a spiny sea urchin. While a school of sharks circled above. What happened next? More than you can possibly imagine. Settle in for this fabulous st...Show More
Why we choke under pressure -- and how to avoid it | Sian Leah Beilock

15:13 | Sep 18th, 2018

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 psychologic...Show More
How data is helping us unravel the mysteries of the brain | Steve McCarroll

17:22 | Sep 4th, 2018

Geneticist Steve McCarroll wants to make an atlas of all the cells in the human body so that we can understand in precise detail how specific genes work, especially in the brain. In this fascinating talk, he shares his team's progress -- including th...Show More
How China is (and isn't) fighting pollution and climate change | Angel Hsu

12:18 | Aug 29th, 2018

China is the world's biggest polluter -- and now one of its largest producers of clean energy. Which way will China go in the future, and how will it affect the global environment? Data scientist Angel Hsu describes how the most populous country on e...Show More
A rare galaxy that's challenging our understanding of the universe | Burçin Mutlu-Pakdil

04:39 | Aug 28th, 2018

What's it like to discover a galaxy -- and have it named after you? Astrophysicist and TED Fellow Burçin Mutlu-Pakdil lets us know in this quick talk about her team's surprising discovery of a mysterious new galaxy type.
Where are all the aliens? | Stephen Webb

13:18 | Jul 19th, 2018

The universe is incredibly old, astoundingly vast and populated by trillions of planets -- so where are all the aliens? Astronomer Stephen Webb has an explanation: we're alone in the universe. In a mind-expanding talk, he spells out the remarkable ba...Show More
A new way to monitor vital signs (that can see through walls) | Dina Katabi

13:17 | Jul 12th, 2018

At MIT, Dina Katabi and her team are working on a bold new way to monitor patients' vital signs in a hospital (or even at home), without wearables or bulky, beeping devices. Bonus: it can see through walls. In a mind-blowing talk and demo, Katabi pre...Show More
How to build synthetic DNA and send it across the internet | Dan Gibson

15:08 | Jul 11th, 2018

Biologist Dan Gibson edits and programs DNA, just like coders program a computer. But his "code" creates life, giving scientists the power to convert digital information into biological material like proteins and vaccines. Now he's on to a new projec...Show More
How we study the microbes living in your gut | Dan Knights

09:56 | Jul 10th, 2018

There are about a hundred trillion microbes living inside your gut -- protecting you from infection, aiding digestion and regulating your immune system. As our bodies have adapted to life in modern society, we've started to lose some of our normal mi...Show More
A new way to remove CO2 from the atmosphere | Jennifer Wilcox

14:15 | Jul 5th, 2018

Our planet has a carbon problem -- if we don't start removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, we'll grow hotter, faster. Chemical engineer Jennifer Wilcox previews some amazing technology to scrub carbon from the air, using chemical reactions tha...Show More
How we're saving one of Earth's last wild places | Steve Boyes

09:01 | Jul 3rd, 2018

Navigating territorial hippos and active minefields, TED Fellow Steve Boyes and a team of scientists have been traveling through the Okavango Delta, Africa's largest remaining wetland wilderness, to explore and protect this near-pristine habitat agai...Show More
The tiny creature that secretly powers the planet | Penny Chisholm

16:37 | Jul 2nd, 2018

Oceanographer Penny Chisholm introduces us to an amazing little being: Prochlorococcus, the most abundant photosynthetic species on the planet. A marine microbe that has existed for millions of years, Prochlorococcus wasn't discovered until the mid-1...Show More
The story of 'Oumuamua, the first visitor from another star system | Karen J. Meech

13:24 | Jun 27th, 2018

In October 2017, astrobiologist Karen J. Meech got the call every astronomer waits for: NASA had spotted the very first visitor from another star system. The interstellar comet -- a half-mile-long object eventually named `Oumuamua, from the Hawaiian ...Show More
The surprising science of alpha males | Frans de Waal

15:54 | Jun 18th, 2018

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 ...Show More
Four billion years of evolution in six minutes | Prosanta Chakrabarty

05:41 | Jun 15th, 2018

Did humans evolve from monkeys or from fish? In this enlightening talk, ichthyologist and TED Fellow Prosanta Chakrabarty dispels some hardwired myths about evolution, encouraging us to remember that we're a small part of a complex, four-billion-year...Show More
What we'll learn about the brain in the next century | Sam Rodriques

13:31 | Jun 12th, 2018

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 --...Show More
The journey through loss and grief | Jason B. Rosenthal

14:08 | Jun 12th, 2018

In her brutally honest, ironically funny and widely read meditation on death, "You May Want to Marry My Husband," the late author and filmmaker Amy Krouse Rosenthal gave her husband Jason very public permission to move on and find happiness. A year a...Show More
Let's turn the high seas into the world's largest nature reserve | Enric Sala

13:05 | Jun 6th, 2018

What if we could save the fishing industry and protect the ocean at the same time? Marine ecologist Enric Sala shares his bold plan to safeguard the high seas -- some of the last wild places on earth, which fall outside the jurisdiction of any single...Show More
How we can turn the cold of outer space into a renewable resource | Aaswath Raman

13:27 | Jun 1st, 2018

What if we could use the cold darkness of outer space to cool buildings on earth? In this mind-blowing talk, physicist Aaswath Raman details the technology he's developing to harness "night-sky cooling" -- a natural phenomenon where infrared light es...Show More
How vultures can help solve crimes | Lauren Pharr

10:46 | May 31st, 2018

Can a bird that symbolizes death help the living catch criminals? In this informative and accessible talk, forensic anthropologist Lauren Pharr shows us how vultures impact crime scenes -- and the assistance they can provide to detectives investigati...Show More
The shocking danger of mountaintop removal -- and why it must end | Michael Hendryx

13:44 | May 22nd, 2018

Research investigator Michael Hendryx studies mountaintop removal, an explosive type of surface coal mining used in Appalachia that comes with unexpected health hazards. In this data-packed talk, Hendryx presents his research and tells the story of t...Show More
Scientists must be free to learn, to speak and to challenge | Kirsty Duncan

13:55 | May 16th, 2018

"You do not mess with something so fundamental, so precious, as science," says Kirsty Duncan, Canada's first Minister of Science. In a heartfelt, inspiring talk about pushing boundaries, she makes the case that researchers must be free to present unc...Show More
The doctors, nurses and aid workers rebuilding Syria | Rola Hallam

07:07 | May 15th, 2018

Local humanitarians are beacons of light in the darkness of war, says humanitarian aid entrepreneur and TED Fellow Rola Hallam. She's working to help responders on the ground in devastated communities like Syria, where the destruction of health care ...Show More
The "dead zone" of the Gulf of Mexico | Nancy Rabalais

12:02 | Apr 18th, 2018

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, ...Show More
Should we create a solar shade to cool the earth? | Danny Hillis

06:51 | Apr 5th, 2018

In this perspective-shifting talk, Danny Hillis prompts us to approach global issues like climate change with creative scientific solutions. Taking a stand for solar geoengineering, he looks at controversial solutions with open-minded curiosity.
How fungi recognize (and infect) plants | Mennat El Ghalid

04:36 | Mar 27th, 2018

Each year, the world loses enough food to feed half a billion people to fungi, the most destructive pathogens of plants. Mycologist and TED Fellow Mennat El Ghalid explains how a breakthrough in our understanding of the molecular signals fungi use to...Show More
The wonderful world of life in a drop of water | Tom Zimmerman

11:06 | Mar 7th, 2018

"Hold your breath," says inventor Tom Zimmerman. "This is the world without plankton." These tiny organisms produce two-thirds of our planet's oxygen -- without them, life as we know it wouldn't exist. In this talk and tech demo, Zimmerman and cell e...Show More
How we look kilometers below the Antarctic ice sheet | Dustin Schroeder

11:11 | Mar 1st, 2018

Antarctica is a vast and dynamic place, but radar technologies -- from World War II-era film to state-of-the-art miniaturized sensors -- are enabling scientists to observe and understand changes beneath the continent's ice in unprecedented detail. Jo...Show More
The role of human emotions in science and research | Ilona Stengel

10:41 | Feb 26th, 2018

Do human emotions have a role to play in science and research? Material researcher Ilona Stengel suggests that instead of opposing each other, emotions and logic complement and reinforce each other. She shares a case study on how properly using emoti...Show More
This deep-sea mystery is changing our understanding of life | Karen Lloyd

13:08 | Feb 6th, 2018

How deep into the Earth can we go and still find life? Marine microbiologist Karen Lloyd introduces us to deep-subsurface microbes: tiny organisms that live buried meters deep in ocean mud and have been on Earth since way before animals. Learn more a...Show More
Could fish social networks help us save coral reefs? | Mike Gil

04:43 | Jan 30th, 2018

Mike Gil spies on fish: using novel multi-camera systems and computer vision technology, the TED Fellow and his colleagues explore how coral reef fish behave, socialize and affect their ecosystems. Learn more about how fish of different species commu...Show More
Why I study the most dangerous animal on earth -- mosquitoes | Fredros Okumu

12:49 | Jan 29th, 2018

What do we really know about mosquitoes? Fredros Okumu catches and studies these disease-carrying insects for a living -- with the hope of crashing their populations. Join Okumu for a tour of the frontlines of mosquito research, as he details some of...Show More
The thrilling potential for off-grid solar energy | Amar Inamdar

14:28 | Jan 26th, 2018

There's an energy revolution happening in villages and towns across Africa -- off-grid solar energy is becoming a viable alternative to traditional electricity systems. In a bold talk about a true leapfrog moment, Amar Inamdar introduces us to proud ...Show More
The surprising solution to ocean plastic | David Katz

11:53 | Jan 25th, 2018

Can we solve the problem of ocean plastic pollution and end extreme poverty at the same time? That's the ambitious goal of The Plastic Bank: a worldwide chain of stores where everything from school tuition to cooking fuel and more is available for pu...Show More
How we can stop Africa's scientific brain drain | Kevin Njabo

08:35 | Jan 10th, 2018

How can Africans find solutions to Africa's problems? Conservation biologist Kevin Njabo tells his personal story of how he nearly became part of the group of African scientists who seek an education abroad and never return -- and why he's now buildi...Show More
You aren't at the mercy of your emotions -- your brain creates them | Lisa Feldman Barrett

18:15 | Jan 2nd, 2018

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 expressio...Show More
Lessons from a solar storm chaser | Miho Janvier

05:34 | Dec 12th, 2017

Space physicist Miho Janvier studies solar storms: giant clouds of particles that escape from the Sun and can disrupt life on Earth (while also producing amazing auroras). How do you study the atmosphere on the Sun, which burns at temperatures of up ...Show More
Adventures of an interplanetary architect | Xavier De Kestelier

12:44 | Dec 11th, 2017

How will we live elsewhere in the galaxy? On Earth, natural resources for creating structures are abundant, but sending these materials up with us to the Moon or Mars is clunky and cost-prohibitive. Enter architect Xavier De Kestelier, who has a radi...Show More
How augmented reality could change the future of surgery | Nadine Hachach-Haram

11:04 | Dec 8th, 2017

If you're undergoing surgery, you want the best surgical team to collaborate on your case, no matter where they are. Surgeon and entrepreneur Nadine Hachach-Haram is developing a new system that helps surgeons operate together and train one another o...Show More
Fashion has a pollution problem -- can biology fix it? | Natsai Audrey Chieza

13:14 | Nov 29th, 2017

Natsai Audrey Chieza is a designer on a mission -- to reduce pollution in the fashion industry while creating amazing new things to wear. In her lab, she noticed that the bacteria Streptomyces coelicolor makes a striking red-purple pigment, and now s...Show More
The future of good food in China | Matilda Ho

05:04 | Nov 28th, 2017

Fresh food free of chemicals and pesticides is hard to come by in China: in 2016, the Chinese government revealed half a million food safety violations in just nine months. In the absence of safe, sustainable food sources, TED Fellow Matilda Ho launc...Show More
Why wildfires have gotten worse -- and what we can do about it | Paul Hessburg

14:11 | Nov 7th, 2017

Megafires, individual fires that burn more than 100,000 acres, are on the rise in the western United States -- the direct result of unintentional yet massive changes we've brought to the forests through a century of misguided management. What steps c...Show More
How to win at evolution and survive a mass extinction | Lauren Sallan

06:05 | Oct 31st, 2017

Congratulations! By being here, alive, you are one of history's winners -- the culmination of a success story four billion years in the making. The other 99 percent of species who have ever lived on earth are dead -- killed by fire, flood, asteroids,...Show More
Can we stop climate change by removing CO2 from the air? | Tim Kruger

08:56 | Oct 31st, 2017

Could we cure climate change? Geoengineering researcher Tim Kruger wants to try. He shares one promising possibility: using natural gas to generate electricity in a way that takes carbon dioxide out of the air. Learn more -- both the potential and th...Show More
What's hidden under the Greenland ice sheet? | Kristin Poinar

09:02 | Oct 17th, 2017

The Greenland ice sheet is massive, mysterious -- and melting. Using advanced technology, scientists are revealing its secrets for the first time, and what they've found is amazing: hidden under the ice sheet is a vast aquifer that holds a Lake Tahoe...Show More
A global food crisis may be less than a decade away | Sara Menker

17:53 | Oct 5th, 2017

Sara Menker quit a career in commodities trading to figure out how the global value chain of agriculture works. Her discoveries have led to some startling predictions: "We could have a tipping point in global food and agriculture if surging demand su...Show More
Mind-blowing, magnified portraits of insects | Levon Biss

07:48 | Oct 4th, 2017

Photographer Levon Biss was looking for a new, extraordinary subject when one afternoon he and his young son popped a ground beetle under a microscope and discovered the wondrous world of insects. Applying his knowledge of photography to subjects jus...Show More
How LIGO discovered gravitational waves -- and what might be next | Gabriela González

13:39 | Oct 3rd, 2017

More than 100 years after Albert Einstein predicted gravitational waves -- ripples in space-time caused by violent cosmic collisions -- LIGO scientists confirmed their existence using large, extremely precise detectors in Louisiana and Washington. As...Show More
The fascinating secret lives of giant clams | Mei Lin Neo

05:27 | Sep 26th, 2017

When you think about the deep blue sea, you might instantly think of whales or coral reefs. But spare a thought for giant clams, the world's largest living shellfish. These incredible creatures can live to 100, grow up to four and a half feet long an...Show More
The most Martian place on Earth | Armando Azua-Bustos

04:50 | Sep 20th, 2017

How can you study Mars without a spaceship? Head to the most Martian place on Earth -- the Atacama Desert in Chile. Astrobiologist Armando Azua-Bustos grew up in this vast, arid landscape and now studies the rare life forms that have adapted to survi...Show More
What it feels like to see Earth from space | Benjamin Grant

12:05 | Sep 7th, 2017

What the astronauts felt when they saw Earth from space changed them forever. Author and artist Benjamin Grant aims to provoke this same feeling of overwhelming scale and beauty in each of us through a series of stunning satellite images that show th...Show More
What the sugar coating on your cells is trying to tell you | Carolyn Bertozzi

11:25 | Aug 24th, 2017

Your cells are coated with sugars that store information and speak a secret language. What are they trying to tell us? Your blood type, for one -- and, potentially, that you have cancer. Chemical biologist Carolyn Bertozzi researches how sugars on ca...Show More
Meet the microscopic life in your home -- and on your face | Anne Madden

10:07 | Aug 11th, 2017

Behold the microscopic jungle in and around you: tiny organisms living on your cheeks, under your sofa and in the soil in your backyard. We have an adversarial relationship with these microbes -- we sanitize, exterminate and disinfect them -- but acc...Show More
Why I still have hope for coral reefs | Kristen Marhaver

07:14 | Jul 28th, 2017

Corals in the Pacific Ocean have been dying at an alarming rate, particularly from bleaching brought on by increased water temperatures. But it's not too late to act, says TED Fellow Kristen Marhaver. She points to the Caribbean -- given time, stable...Show More
You smell with your body, not just your nose | Jennifer Pluznick

07:04 | Jul 27th, 2017

Do your kidneys have a sense of smell? Turns out, the same tiny scent detectors found in your nose are also found in some pretty unexpected places -- like your muscles, kidneys and even your lungs. In this quick talk (filled with weird facts), physio...Show More
Your brain hallucinates your conscious reality | Anil Seth

17:01 | Jul 18th, 2017

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 neuro...Show More
Can clouds buy us more time to solve climate change? | Kate Marvel

13:07 | Jul 17th, 2017

Climate change is real, case closed. But there's still a lot we don't understand about it, and the more we know the better chance we have to slow it down. One still-unknown factor: How might clouds play a part? There's a small hope that they could bu...Show More
What rivers can tell us about the earth's history | Liz Hajek

11:08 | Jul 13th, 2017

Rivers are one of nature's most powerful forces -- they bulldoze mountains and carve up the earth, and their courses are constantly moving. Understanding how they form and how they'll change is important for those that call their banks and deltas hom...Show More
What happens in your brain when you pay attention? | Mehdi Ordikhani-Seyedlar

06:32 | Jun 8th, 2017

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...Show More
How pollution is changing the ocean's chemistry | Triona McGrath

09:03 | May 29th, 2017

As we keep pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, more of it is dissolving in the oceans, leading to drastic changes in the water's chemistry. Triona McGrath researches this process, known as ocean acidification, and in this talk she takes us fo...Show More
A secret weapon against Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases | Nina Fedoroff

15:10 | May 25th, 2017

Where did Zika come from, and what can we do about it? Molecular biologist Nina Fedoroff takes us around the world to understand Zika's origins and how it spread, proposing a controversial way to stop the virus -- and other deadly diseases -- by prev...Show More
A climate solution where all sides can win | Ted Halstead

13:07 | May 17th, 2017

Why are we so deadlocked on climate, and what would it take to overcome the seemingly insurmountable barriers to progress? Policy entrepreneur Ted Halstead proposes a transformative solution based on the conservative principles of free markets and li...Show More
How human noise affects ocean habitats | Kate Stafford

11:51 | May 12th, 2017

Oceanographer Kate Stafford lowers us into the sonically rich depths of the Arctic Ocean, where ice groans, whales sing to communicate over vast distances -- and climate change and human noise threaten to alter the environment in ways we don't unders...Show More
A tribute to nurses | Carolyn Jones

10:48 | May 8th, 2017

Carolyn Jones spent five years interviewing, photographing and filming nurses across America, traveling to places dealing with some of the nation's biggest public health issues. She shares personal stories of unwavering dedication in this celebration...Show More
What you can do to prevent Alzheimer's | Lisa Genova

13:56 | Apr 28th, 2017

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'...Show More
Science in service to the public good | Siddhartha Roy

14:33 | Apr 25th, 2017

We give scientists and engineers great technical training, but we're not as good at teaching ethical decision-making or building character. Take, for example, the environmental crisis that recently unfolded in Flint, Michigan -- and the professionals...Show More
How radio telescopes show us unseen galaxies | Natasha Hurley-Walker

15:25 | Apr 18th, 2017

Our universe is strange, wonderful and vast, says astronomer Natasha Hurley-Walker. A spaceship can't carry you into its depths (yet) -- but a radio telescope can. In this mesmerizing talk, Hurley-Walker shows how she probes the mysteries of the univ...Show More
How we can find ourselves in data | Giorgia Lupi

11:13 | Apr 7th, 2017

Giorgia Lupi uses data to tell human stories, adding nuance to numbers. In this charming talk, she shares how we can bring personality to data, visualizing even the mundane details of our daily lives and transforming the abstract and uncountable into...Show More
How to take a picture of a black hole | Katie Bouman

12:51 | Apr 4th, 2017

At the heart of the Milky Way, there's a supermassive black hole that feeds off a spinning disk of hot gas, sucking up anything that ventures too close -- even light. We can't see it, but its event horizon casts a shadow, and an image of that shadow ...Show More
How early life experience is written into DNA | Moshe Szyf

16:35 | Mar 30th, 2017

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 tel...Show More
3 ways to spot a bad statistic | Mona Chalabi

11:45 | Mar 24th, 2017

Sometimes it's hard to know what statistics are worthy of trust. But we shouldn't count out stats altogether ... instead, we should learn to look behind them. In this delightful, hilarious talk, data journalist Mona Chalabi shares handy tips to help ...Show More
Lifelike simulations that make real-life surgery safer | Peter Weinstock

16:58 | Mar 20th, 2017

Critical care doctor Peter Weinstock shows how surgical teams are using a blend of Hollywood special effects and 3D printing to create amazingly lifelike reproductions of real patients -- so they can practice risky surgeries ahead of time. Think: "Op...Show More
Adventures of an asteroid hunter | Carrie Nugent

06:06 | Mar 14th, 2017

TED Fellow Carrie Nugent is an asteroid hunter -- part of a group of scientists working to discover and catalog our oldest and most numerous cosmic neighbors. Why keep an eye out for asteroids? In this short, fact-filled talk, Nugent explains how the...Show More
A scientific approach to the paranormal | Carrie Poppy

12:58 | Mar 3rd, 2017

What's haunting Carrie Poppy? Is it ghosts or something worse? In this talk, the investigative journalist narrates her encounter with a spooky feeling you'll want to warn your friends about and explains why we need science to deal with paranormal act...Show More
Smelfies, and other experiments in synthetic biology | Ani Liu

07:20 | Feb 27th, 2017

What if you could take a smell selfie, a smelfie? What if you had a lipstick that caused plants to grow where you kiss? Ani Liu explores the intersection of technology and sensory perception, and her work is wedged somewhere between science, design a...Show More
A robot that eats pollution | Jonathan Rossiter

14:10 | Feb 22nd, 2017

Meet the "Row-bot," a robot that cleans up pollution and generates the electricity needed to power itself by swallowing dirty water. Roboticist Jonathan Rossiter explains how this special swimming machine, which uses a microbial fuel cell to neutrali...Show More
What time is it on Mars? | Nagin Cox

13:47 | Feb 3rd, 2017

Nagin Cox is a first-generation Martian. As a spacecraft engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Cox works on the team that manages the United States' rovers on Mars. But working a 9-to-5 on another planet -- whose day is 40 minutes longer than...Show More
Why you should love statistics | Alan Smith

12:49 | Jan 31st, 2017

Think you're good at guessing stats? Guess again. Whether we consider ourselves math people or not, our ability to understand and work with numbers is terribly limited, says data visualization expert Alan Smith. In this delightful talk, Smith explore...Show More
The ethical dilemma of designer babies | Paul Knoepfler

18:19 | Jan 23rd, 2017

Creating genetically modified people is no longer a science fiction fantasy; it's a likely future scenario. Biologist Paul Knoepfler estimates that within fifteen years, scientists could use the gene editing technology CRISPR to make certain "upgrade...Show More
What happens when you have a disease doctors can't diagnose | Jennifer Brea

17:07 | Jan 17th, 2017

Five years ago, TED Fellow Jennifer Brea became progressively ill with myalgic encephalomyelitis, commonly known as chronic fatigue syndrome, a debilitating illness that severely impairs normal activities and on bad days makes even the rustling of be...Show More
The next step in nanotechnology | George Tulevski

09:35 | Jan 10th, 2017

Nearly every other year the transistors that power silicon computer chip shrink in size by half and double in performance, enabling our devices to become more mobile and accessible. But what happens when these components can't get any smaller? George...Show More
How we explore unanswered questions in physics | James Beacham

15:54 | Dec 22nd, 2016

James Beacham looks for answers to the most important open questions of physics using the biggest science experiment ever mounted, CERN's Large Hadron Collider. In this fun and accessible talk about how science happens, Beacham takes us on a journey ...Show More
Why curiosity is the key to science and medicine | Kevin B. Jones

17:13 | Dec 12th, 2016

Science is a learning process that involves experimentation, failure and revision -- and the science of medicine is no exception. Cancer researcher Kevin B. Jones faces the deep unknowns about surgery and medical care with a simple answer: honesty. I...Show More
Let's clean up the space junk orbiting Earth | Natalie Panek

10:15 | Dec 6th, 2016

Our lives depend on a world we can't see: the satellite infrastructure we use every day for information, entertainment, communication and so much more. But Earth orbit isn't a limitless resource, and the problem of space debris will get worse without...Show More
We need nuclear power to solve climate change | Joe Lassiter

13:46 | Nov 28th, 2016

Joe Lassiter is a deep thinker and straight talker focused on developing clean, secure and carbon-neutral supplies of reliable, low-cost energy. His analysis of the world's energy realities puts a powerful lens on the stubbornly touchy issue of nucle...Show More
What will humans look like in 100 years? | Juan Enriquez

15:45 | Nov 22nd, 2016

We can evolve bacteria, plants and animals -- futurist Juan Enriquez asks: Is it ethical to evolve the human body? In a visionary talk that ranges from medieval prosthetics to present day neuroengineering and genetics, Enriquez sorts out the ethics a...Show More
A temporary tattoo that brings hospital care to the home | Todd Coleman

09:39 | Oct 18th, 2016

What if doctors could monitor patients at home with the same degree of accuracy they'd get during a stay at the hospital? Bioelectronics innovator Todd Coleman shares his quest to develop wearable, flexible electronic health monitoring patches that p...Show More
What you need to know about CRISPR | Ellen Jorgensen

09:53 | Oct 3rd, 2016

Should we bring back the wooly mammoth? Or edit a human embryo? Or wipe out an entire species that we consider harmful? The genome-editing technology CRISPR has made extraordinary questions like these legitimate -- but how does it work? Scientist and...Show More
How we're harnessing nature's hidden superpowers | Oded Shoseyov

13:21 | Sep 28th, 2016

What do you get when you combine the strongest materials from the plant world with the most elastic ones from the insect kingdom? Super-performing materials that might transform ... everything. Nanobiotechnologist Oded Shoseyov walks us through examp...Show More
The era of personal DNA testing is here | Sebastian Kraves

13:04 | Sep 22nd, 2016

From improving vaccines to modifying crops to solving crimes, DNA technology has transformed our world. Now, for the first time in history, anyone can experiment with DNA at home, in their kitchen, using a device smaller than a shoebox. We are living...Show More
How fear of nuclear power is hurting the environment | Michael Shellenberger

13:58 | Sep 14th, 2016

"We're not in a clean energy revolution; we're in a clean energy crisis," says climate policy expert Michael Shellenberger. His surprising solution: nuclear. In this passionate talk, he explains why it's time to overcome longstanding fears of the tec...Show More
Why helmets don't prevent concussions -- and what might | David Camarillo

15:56 | Sep 8th, 2016

What is a concussion? Probably not what you think it is. In this talk from the cutting edge of research, bioengineer (and former football player) David Camarillo shows what really happens during a concussion -- and why standard sports helmets don't p...Show More
3 moons and a planet that could have alien life | James Green

10:39 | Aug 16th, 2016

Is there life beyond Earth? Join NASA's director of planetary science James Green for a survey of the places in our solar system that are most likely to harbor alien life.
What a planet needs to sustain life | Dave Brain

13:42 | Aug 12th, 2016

"Venus is too hot, Mars is too cold, and Earth is just right," says planetary scientist Dave Brain. But why? In this pleasantly humorous talk, Brain explores the fascinating science behind what it takes for a planet to host life -- and why humanity m...Show More
How trees talk to each other | Suzanne Simard

18:19 | Jul 22nd, 2016

"A forest is much more than what you see," says ecologist Suzanne Simard. Her 30 years of research in Canadian forests have led to an astounding discovery -- trees talk, often and over vast distances. Learn more about the harmonious yet complicated s...Show More
A new way to study the brain's invisible secrets | Ed Boyden

13:15 | Jul 21st, 2016

Neuroengineer Ed Boyden wants to know how the tiny biomolecules in our brains generate emotions, thoughts and feelings -- and he wants to find the molecular changes that lead to disorders like epilepsy and Alzheimer's. Rather than magnify these invis...Show More
What will be the next big scientific breakthrough? | Eric Haseltine

10:47 | Jul 12th, 2016

Throughout history, speculation has spurred beautiful, revolutionary science -- opening our eyes to entirely new universes. "I'm not talking about science that takes baby steps," says Eric Haseltine. "I'm talking about science that takes enormous lea...Show More
Clues to prehistoric times, found in blind cavefish | Prosanta Chakrabarty

04:49 | Jun 30th, 2016

TED Fellow Prosanta Chakrabarty explores hidden parts of the world in search of new species of cave-dwelling fish. These subterranean creatures have developed fascinating adaptations, and they provide biological insights into blindness as well as geo...Show More
How a blind astronomer found a way to hear the stars | Wanda Diaz Merced

11:15 | Jun 27th, 2016

Wanda Diaz Merced studies the light emitted by gamma-ray bursts, the most energetic events in the universe. When she lost her sight and was left without a way to do her science, she had a revelatory insight: the light curves she could no longer see c...Show More
Why genetic research must be more diverse | Keolu Fox

06:48 | Jun 21st, 2016

Ninety-six percent of genome studies are based on people of European descent. The rest of the world is virtually unrepresented -- and this is dangerous, says geneticist and TED Fellow Keolu Fox, because we react to drugs differently based on our gene...Show More
This scientist makes ears out of apples | Andrew Pelling

07:05 | Jun 15th, 2016

TED Fellow Andrew Pelling is a biohacker, and nature is his hardware. His favorite materials are the simplest ones (and oftentimes he finds them in the garbage). Building on the cellulose structure that gives an apple its shape, he "grows" lifelike h...Show More
A smarter, more precise way to think about public health | Sue Desmond-Hellmann

14:18 | May 31st, 2016

Sue Desmond-Hellmann is using precision public health -- an approach that incorporates big data, consumer monitoring, gene sequencing and other innovative tools -- to solve the world's most difficult medical problems. It's already helped cut HIV tran...Show More
This tiny particle could roam your body to find tumors | Sangeeta Bhatia

10:43 | May 12th, 2016

What if we could find cancerous tumors years before they can harm us -- without expensive screening facilities or even steady electricity? Physician, bioengineer and entrepreneur Sangeeta Bhatia leads a multidisciplinary lab that searches for novel w...Show More
Gene editing can now change an entire species -- forever | Jennifer Kahn

12:25 | May 9th, 2016

CRISPR gene drives allow scientists to change sequences of DNA and guarantee that the resulting edited genetic trait is inherited by future generations, opening up the possibility of altering entire species forever. More than anything, the technology...Show More
How to read the genome and build a human being | Riccardo Sabatini

15:28 | Apr 29th, 2016

Secrets, disease and beauty are all written in the human genome, the complete set of genetic instructions needed to build a human being. Now, as scientist and entrepreneur Riccardo Sabatini shows us, we have the power to read this complex code, predi...Show More
Hunting for dinosaurs showed me our place in the universe | Kenneth Lacovara

15:49 | Apr 22nd, 2016

What happens when you discover a dinosaur? Paleontologist Kenneth Lacovara details his unearthing of Dreadnoughtus -- a 77-million-year-old sauropod that was as tall as a two-story house and as heavy as a jumbo jet -- and considers how amazingly impr...Show More
We can reprogram life. How to do it wisely | Juan Enriquez

14:49 | Apr 20th, 2016

For four billion years, what lived and died on Earth depended on two principles: natural selection and random mutation. Then humans came along and changed everything — hybridizing plants, breeding animals, altering the environment and even purposeful...Show More
A new superweapon in the fight against cancer | Paula Hammond

10:42 | Apr 13th, 2016

Cancer is a very clever, adaptable disease. To defeat it, says medical researcher and educator Paula Hammond, we need a new and powerful mode of attack. With her colleagues at MIT, Hammond engineered a nanoparticle one-hundredth the size of a human h...Show More
Your kids might live on Mars. Here's how they'll survive | Stephen Petranek

17:14 | Apr 12th, 2016

It sounds like science fiction, but journalist Stephen Petranek considers it fact: within 20 years, humans will live on Mars. In this provocative talk, Petranek makes the case that humans will become a spacefaring species and describes in fascinating...Show More
The most mysterious star in the universe | Tabetha Boyajian

13:46 | Apr 7th, 2016

Something massive, with roughly 1,000 times the area of Earth, is blocking the light coming from a distant star known as KIC 8462852, and nobody is quite sure what it is. As astronomer Tabetha Boyajian investigated this perplexing celestial object, a...Show More
How humans could evolve to survive in space | Lisa Nip

12:51 | Mar 30th, 2016

If we hope to one day leave Earth and explore the universe, our bodies are going to have to get a lot better at surviving the harsh conditions of space. Using synthetic biology, Lisa Nip hopes to harness special powers from microbes on Earth -- such ...Show More
This country isn't just carbon neutral -- it's carbon negative | Tshering Tobgay

18:54 | Mar 11th, 2016

Deep in the Himalayas, on the border between China and India, lies the Kingdom of Bhutan, which has pledged to remain carbon neutral for all time. In this illuminating talk, Bhutan's Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay shares his country's mission to put ...Show More
The secrets I find on the mysterious ocean floor | Laura Robinson

11:21 | Mar 9th, 2016

Hundreds of meters below the surface of the ocean, Laura Robinson probes the steep slopes of massive undersea mountains. She's on the hunt for thousand-year-old corals that she can test in a nuclear reactor to discover how the ocean changes over time...Show More
Why your doctor should care about social justice | Mary Bassett

13:49 | Feb 25th, 2016

In Zimbabwe in the 1980s, Mary Bassett witnessed the AIDS epidemic firsthand, and she helped set up a clinic to treat and educate local people about the deadly virus. But looking back, she regrets not sounding the alarm for the real problem: the stru...Show More
What the discovery of gravitational waves means | Allan Adams

10:58 | Feb 18th, 2016

More than a billion years ago, two black holes in a distant galaxy locked into a spiral, falling inexorably toward each other, and collided. "All that energy was pumped into the fabric of time and space itself," says theoretical physicist Allan Adams...Show More
The case for fish farming | Mike Velings

15:18 | Feb 11th, 2016

We're headed towards a global food crisis: Nearly 3 billion people depend on the ocean for food, and at our current rate we already take more fish from the ocean than it can naturally replace. In this fact-packed, eye-opening talk, entrepreneur and c...Show More
The boiling river of the Amazon | Andrés Ruzo

15:49 | Feb 2nd, 2016

When Andrés Ruzo was a young boy in Peru, his grandfather told him a story with an odd detail: There is a river, deep in the Amazon, which boils as if a fire burns below it. Twelve years later, after training as a geoscientist, he set out on a journe...Show More
Should you be able to patent a human gene? | Tania Simoncelli

18:05 | Jan 27th, 2016

A decade ago, US law said human genes were patentable -- which meant patent holders had the right to stop anyone from sequencing, testing or even looking at a patented gene. Troubled by the way this law both harmed patients and created a barrier to b...Show More
How we can make crops survive without water | Jill Farrant

13:56 | Jan 19th, 2016

As the world's population grows and the effects of climate change come into sharper relief, we'll have to feed more people using less arable land. Molecular biologist Jill Farrant studies a rare phenomenon that may help: "resurrection plants" -- supe...Show More
Have we reached the end of physics? | Harry Cliff

13:57 | Jan 4th, 2016

Why is there something rather than nothing? Why does so much interesting stuff exist in the universe? Particle physicist Harry Cliff works on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, and he has some potentially bad news for people who seek answers to these...Show More
Let's not use Mars as a backup planet | Lucianne Walkowicz

05:50 | Dec 15th, 2015

Stellar astronomer and TED Senior Fellow Lucianne Walkowicz works on NASA's Kepler mission, searching for places in the universe that could support life. So it's worth a listen when she asks us to think carefully about Mars. In this short talk, she s...Show More
The untapped genius that could change science for the better | Jedidah Isler

13:42 | Dec 7th, 2015

Jedidah Isler dreamt of becoming an astrophysicist since she was a young girl, but the odds were against her: At that time, only 18 black women in the United States had ever earned a PhD in a physics-related discipline. In this personal talk, she sha...Show More
How we're growing baby corals to rebuild reefs | Kristen Marhaver

13:46 | Dec 1st, 2015

Kristen Marhaver studies corals, tiny creatures the size of a poppyseed that, over hundreds of slow years, create beautiful, life-sustaining ocean structures hundreds of miles long. As she admits, it's easy to get sad about the state of coral reefs; ...Show More
What are animals thinking and feeling? | Carl Safina

19:26 | Nov 19th, 2015

What's going on inside the brains of animals? Can we know what, or if, they're thinking and feeling? Carl Safina thinks we can. Using discoveries and anecdotes that span ecology, biology and behavioral science, he weaves together stories of whales, w...Show More
The coolest animal you know nothing about ... and how we can save it | Patrícia Medici

11:32 | Nov 4th, 2015

Although the tapir is one of the world's largest land mammals, the lives of these solitary, nocturnal creatures have remained a mystery. Known as "the living fossil," the very same tapir that roams the forests and grasslands of South America today ar...Show More
Deep under the Earth's surface, discovering beauty and science | Francesco Sauro

14:37 | Oct 23rd, 2015

Cave explorer and geologist Francesco Sauro travels to the hidden continent under our feet, surveying deep, dark places inside the earth that humans have never been able to reach before. In the spectacular tepuis of South America, he finds new minera...Show More
How CRISPR lets us edit our DNA | Jennifer Doudna

15:53 | Oct 20th, 2015

Geneticist Jennifer Doudna co-invented a groundbreaking new technology for editing genes, called CRISPR-Cas9. The tool allows scientists to make precise edits to DNA strands, which could lead to treatments for genetic diseases ... but could also be u...Show More
Why medicine often has dangerous side effects for women | Alyson McGregor

15:29 | Oct 14th, 2015

You might not know this: Many of the medicines we take -- common drugs like Ambien and everyday aspirin -- were only ever tested on men. And the unknown side effects for women can be dangerous, even deadly. Alyson McGregor studies the differences bet...Show More
You can grow new brain cells. Here's how | Sandrine Thuret

11:04 | Oct 8th, 2015

Can we, as adults, grow new neurons? Neuroscientist Sandrine Thuret says that we can, and she offers research and practical advice on how we can help our brains better perform neurogenesis—improving mood, increasing memory formation and preventing th...Show More
Soon we'll cure diseases with a cell, not a pill | Siddhartha Mukherjee

17:35 | Oct 6th, 2015

Current medical treatment boils down to six words: Have disease, take pill, kill something. But physician Siddhartha Mukherjee points to a future of medicine that will transform the way we heal.
Alzheimer's is not normal aging — and we can cure it | Samuel Cohen

07:53 | Sep 28th, 2015

More than 40 million people worldwide suffer from Alzheimer's disease, and that number is expected to increase drastically in the coming years. But no real progress has been made in the fight against the disease since its classification more than 100...Show More
Why climate change is a threat to human rights | Mary Robinson

21:47 | Sep 23rd, 2015

Climate change is unfair. While rich countries can fight against rising oceans and dying farm fields, poor people around the world are already having their lives upended -- and their human rights threatened -- by killer storms, starvation and the los...Show More
I leapt from the stratosphere. Here's how I did it | Alan Eustace

14:28 | Sep 4th, 2015

On October 24, 2014, Alan Eustace donned a custom-built, 235-pound spacesuit, attached himself to a weather balloon, and rose above 135,000 feet, from which point he dove to Earth, breaking both the sound barrier and previous records for high-altitud...Show More
The troubling reason why vaccines are made too late ... if they're made at all | Seth Berkley

07:17 | Aug 25th, 2015

It seems like we wait for a disastrous disease outbreak before we get serious about making a vaccine for it. Seth Berkley lays out the market realities and unbalanced risks behind why we aren't making vaccines for the world's biggest diseases.
How quantum biology might explain life's biggest questions | Jim Al-Khalili

16:09 | Aug 24th, 2015

How does a robin know to fly south? The answer might be weirder than you think: Quantum physics may be involved. Jim Al-Khalili rounds up the extremely new, extremely strange world of quantum biology, where something Einstein once called "spooky acti...Show More
Could we cure HIV with lasers? | Patience Mthunzi

04:25 | Aug 14th, 2015

Swallowing pills to get medication is a quick, painless and often not entirely effective way of treating disease. A potentially better way? Lasers. In this passionate talk, TED Fellow Patience Mthunzi explains her idea to use lasers to deliver drugs ...Show More
What we learn from insects' sex lives | Marlene Zuk

11:58 | Jul 17th, 2015

In this enlightening, funny talk, Marlene Zuk shares just some of the ways that insects are truly astonishing -- and not least for the creative ways they have sex.
What happened when I open-sourced my brain cancer | Salvatore Iaconesi

10:52 | Jul 16th, 2015

When artist Salvatore Iaconesi was diagnosed with brain cancer, he refused to be a passive patient -- which, he points out, means "one who waits." So he hacked his brain scans, posted them online, and invited a global community to pitch in on a "cure...Show More
The amazing story of the man who gave us modern pain relief | Latif Nasser

13:51 | Jul 1st, 2015

For the longest time, doctors basically ignored the most basic and frustrating part of being sick -- pain. In this lyrical, informative talk, Latif Nasser tells the extraordinary story of wrestler and doctor John J. Bonica, who persuaded the medical ...Show More
The forgotten history of autism | Steve Silberman

13:48 | Jun 17th, 2015

Decades ago, few pediatricians had heard of autism. In 1975, 1 in 5,000 kids was estimated to have it. Today, 1 in 68 is on the autism spectrum. What caused this steep rise? Steve Silberman points to “a perfect storm of autism awareness” — a pair of ...Show More
Do we see reality as it is? | Donald Hoffman

21:50 | Jun 11th, 2015

Cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman is trying to answer a big question: Do we experience the world as it really is ... or as we need it to be? In this ever so slightly mind-blowing talk, he ponders how our minds construct reality for us.
The search for planets beyond our solar system | Sara Seager

16:14 | May 28th, 2015

Every star we see in the sky has at least one planet orbiting it, says astronomer Sara Seager. So what do we know about these exoplanets, and how can we find out more? Seager introduces her favorite set of exoplanets and shows new technology that can...Show More
The joy of surfing in ice-cold water | Chris Burkard

09:42 | May 22nd, 2015

"Anything that is worth pursuing is going to require us to suffer, just a little bit," says surf photographer Chris Burkard, as he explains his obsession with the coldest, choppiest, most isolated beaches on earth. With jawdropping photos and stories...Show More
Chimps have feelings and thoughts. They should also have rights | Steven Wise

14:17 | May 20th, 2015

Chimpanzees are people too, you know. Ok, not exactly. But lawyer Steven Wise has spent the last 30 years working to change these animals' status from "things" to "persons." It's not a matter of legal semantics; as he describes in this fascinating ta...Show More
The first 21 days of a bee's life | Anand Varma

06:06 | May 11th, 2015

We've heard that bees are disappearing. But what is making bee colonies so vulnerable? Photographer Anand Varma raised bees in his backyard — in front of a camera — to get an up close view. This project, for National Geographic, gives a lyrical glimp...Show More
The case for engineering our food | Pamela Ronald

17:49 | May 4th, 2015

Pamela Ronald studies the genes that make plants more resistant to disease and stress. In an eye-opening talk, she describes her decade-long quest to isolate a gene that allows rice to survive prolonged flooding. She shows how the genetic improvement...Show More
How to control someone else's arm with your brain | Greg Gage

05:52 | Apr 28th, 2015

Greg Gage is on a mission to make brain science accessible to all. In this fun, kind of creepy demo, the neuroscientist and TED Senior Fellow uses a simple, inexpensive DIY kit to take away the free will of an audience member. It's not a parlor trick...Show More
How Mars might hold the secret to the origin of life | Nathalie Cabrol

16:02 | Apr 17th, 2015

While we like to imagine little green men, it's far more likely that life on other planets will be microbial. Planetary scientist Nathalie Cabrol takes us inside the search for microbes on Mars, a hunt which counterintuitively leads us to the remote ...Show More
How to land on a comet | Fred Jansen

17:47 | Apr 9th, 2015

As manager of the Rosetta mission, Fred Jansen was responsible for the successful 2014 landing of a probe on the comet known as 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. In this fascinating and funny talk, Jansen reveals some of the intricate calculations that went...Show More
How I use sonar to navigate the world | Daniel Kish

13:03 | Mar 31st, 2015

Daniel Kish has been blind since he was 13 months old, but has learned to "see" using a form of echolocation. He clicks his tongue and sends out flashes of sound that bounce off surfaces in the environment and return to him, helping him to construct ...Show More
Can we create new senses for humans? | David Eagleman

20:34 | Mar 18th, 2015

As humans, we can perceive less than a ten-trillionth of all light waves. "Our experience of reality," says neuroscientist David Eagleman, "is constrained by our biology." He wants to change that. His research into our brain processes has led him to ...Show More
The power of herd immunity | Romina Libster

14:41 | Feb 25th, 2015

How do vaccines prevent disease -- even among people too young to get vaccinated? It's a concept called "herd immunity," and it relies on a critical mass of people getting their shots to break the chain of infection. Health researcher Romina Libster ...Show More
How our microbes make us who we are | Rob Knight

17:24 | Feb 23rd, 2015

Rob Knight is a pioneer in studying human microbes, the community of tiny single-cell organisms living inside our bodies that have a huge — and largely unexplored — role in our health. “The three pounds of microbes that you carry around with you migh...Show More
How butterflies self-medicate | Jaap de Roode

06:15 | Feb 9th, 2015

Just like us, the monarch butterfly sometimes gets sick thanks to a nasty parasite. But biologist Jaap de Roode noticed something interesting about the butterflies he was studying — infected female butterflies would choose to lay their eggs on a spec...Show More
9 myths about psychology, debunked | Ben Ambridge

14:55 | Feb 4th, 2015

How much of what you think about psychology is actually wrong? In this whistle-stop tour of disproved ideas, Ben Ambridge shares nine popular ideas about psychology that have been proven wrong -- and uncovers a few surprising truths about how our bra...Show More
Brain-to-brain communication has arrived. How we did it | Miguel Nicolelis

18:57 | Jan 26th, 2015

You may remember neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis — he built the brain-controlled exoskeleton that allowed a paralyzed man to kick the first ball of the 2014 World Cup. What’s he working on now? Building ways for two minds (rats and monkeys, for now) ...Show More
Let's save the last pristine continent | Robert Swan

16:02 | Jan 13th, 2015

2041 will be a pivotal year for our planet. That year will mark the end of a 50-year agreement to keep Antarctica, the Earth's last pristine continent, free of exploitation. Explorer Robert Swan — the first person to walk both the North and South Pol...Show More
Hopeful lessons from the battle to save rainforests | Tasso Azevedo

15:16 | Jan 9th, 2015

"Save the rainforest" is an environmental slogan as old as time — but Tasso Azevedo catches us up on how the fight is actually going these days. Spurred by the jaw-dropping losses of the 1990s, new laws (and transparent data) are helping slow the rat...Show More
What veterinarians know that physicians don't | Barbara Natterson-Horowitz

14:57 | Dec 4th, 2014

What do you call a veterinarian who can only take care of one species? A physician. In a fascinating talk, Barbara Natterson-Horowitz shares how a species-spanning approach to health can improve medical care of the human animal -- particularly when i...Show More
Tiny satellites show us the Earth as it changes in near-real-time | Will Marshall

08:01 | Nov 18th, 2014

Satellite imaging has revolutionized our knowledge of the Earth, with detailed images of nearly every street corner readily available online. But Planet Labs' Will Marshall says we can do better and go faster -- by getting smaller. He introduces his ...Show More
What the Social Progress Index can reveal about your country | Michael Green

14:56 | Nov 11th, 2014

The term Gross Domestic Product is often talked about as if it were “handed down from god on tablets of stone.” But this concept was invented by an economist in the 1930s. We need a more effective measurement tool to match 21st century needs, says Mi...Show More
Humble plants that hide surprising secrets | Ameenah Gurib-Fakim

14:12 | Nov 4th, 2014

In this intriguing talk, biologist Ameenah Gurib-Fakim introduces us to rare plant species from isolated islands and regions of Africa. Meet the shape-shifting benjoin; the baume de l'ile plate, which might offer a new treatment for asthma; and the i...Show More
A science award that makes you laugh, then think | Marc Abrahams

13:12 | Oct 24th, 2014

As founder of the Ig Nobel awards, Marc Abrahams explores the world's most improbable research. In this thought-provoking (and occasionally side-splitting) talk, he tells stories of truly weird science -- and makes the case that silliness is critical...Show More
The future of early cancer detection? | Jorge Soto

11:17 | Oct 15th, 2014

Along with a crew of technologists and scientists, Jorge Soto is developing a simple, noninvasive, open-source test that looks for early signs of multiple forms of cancer. Onstage at TEDGlobal 2014, he demonstrates a working prototype of the mobile p...Show More
Where to train the world's doctors? Cuba. | Gail Reed

17:08 | Oct 1st, 2014

Big problems need big solutions, sparked by big ideas, imagination and audacity. In this talk, journalist Gail Reed profiles one big solution worth noting: Havana’s Latin American Medical School, which trains global physicians to serve the local comm...Show More
Big data is better data | Kenneth Cukier

15:51 | Sep 23rd, 2014

Self-driving cars were just the start. What's the future of big data-driven technology and design? In a thrilling science talk, Kenneth Cukier looks at what's next for machine learning -- and human knowledge.
The state of the climate — and what we might do about it | Nicholas Stern

16:33 | Sep 22nd, 2014

How can we begin to address the global, insidious problem of climate change — a problem that's too big for any one country to solve? Economist Nicholas Stern lays out a plan, presented to the UN's Climate Summit in 2014, showing how the world's count...Show More
An engineer's vision for tiny forests, everywhere | Shubhendu Sharma

04:22 | Sep 4th, 2014

A forest planted by humans, then left to nature's own devices, typically takes at least 100 years to mature. But what if we could make the process happen ten times faster? In this short talk, eco-entrepreneur (and TED Fellow) Shubhendu Sharma explain...Show More
Crop insurance, an idea worth seeding | Rose Goslinga

10:04 | Aug 26th, 2014

Across sub-Saharan Africa, small farmers are the bedrock of national and regional economies—unless the weather proves unpredictable and their crops fail. The solution is insurance, at a vast, continental scale, and at a very low, affordable cost. Ros...Show More
Depressed dogs, cats with OCD — what animal madness means for us humans | Laurel Braitman

19:29 | Aug 21st, 2014

Behind those funny animal videos, sometimes, are oddly human-like problems. Laurel Braitman studies non-human animals who exhibit signs of mental health issues -- from compulsive bears to self-destructive rats to monkeys with unlikely friends. Braitm...Show More
How animations can help scientists test a hypothesis | Janet Iwasa

05:06 | Aug 7th, 2014

3D animation can bring scientific hypotheses to life. Molecular biologist (and TED Fellow) Janet Iwasa introduces a new open-source animation software designed just for scientists.
What humans can learn from semi-intelligent slime | Heather Barnett

12:11 | Jul 17th, 2014

Inspired by biological design and self-organizing systems, artist Heather Barnett co-creates with physarum polycephalum, a eukaryotic microorganism that lives in cool, moist areas. What can people learn from the semi-intelligent slime mold? Watch thi...Show More
A tool to fix one of the most dangerous moments in surgery | Nikolai Begg

09:21 | Jul 15th, 2014

Surgeons are required every day to puncture human skin before procedures — with the risk of damaging what's on the other side. In a fascinating talk, find out how mechanical engineer Nikolai Begg is using physics to update an important medical device...Show More
The loves and lies of fireflies | Sara Lewis

13:51 | Jul 1st, 2014

Biologist Sara Lewis has spent the past 20 years getting to the bottom of the magic and wonder of fireflies. In this charming talk, she tells us how and why the beetles produce their silent sparks, what happens when two fireflies have sex, and why on...Show More
Why we should trust scientists | Naomi Oreskes

19:14 | Jun 25th, 2014

Many of the world's biggest problems require asking questions of scientists -- but why should we believe what they say? Historian of science Naomi Oreskes thinks deeply about our relationship to belief and draws out three problems with common attitud...Show More
Why science demands a leap into the unknown | Uri Alon

15:52 | Jun 12th, 2014

While studying for his PhD in physics, Uri Alon thought he was a failure because all his research paths led to dead ends. But, with the help of improv theater, he came to realize that there could be joy in getting lost. A call for scientists to stop ...Show More
The psychology of your future self | Dan Gilbert

06:49 | Jun 3rd, 2014

"Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they're finished." Dan Gilbert shares recent research on a phenomenon he calls the "end of history illusion," where we somehow imagine that the person we are right now is the person we'll be f...Show More
The emergent patterns of climate change | Gavin Schmidt

12:10 | May 1st, 2014

You can't understand climate change in pieces, says climate scientist Gavin Schmidt. It's the whole, or it's nothing. In this illuminating talk, he explains how he studies the big picture of climate change with mesmerizing models that illustrate the ...Show More
Get your next eye exam on a smartphone | Andrew Bastawrous

06:33 | Apr 30th, 2014

Thirty-nine million people in the world are blind, and the majority lost their sight due to curable and preventable diseases. But how do you test and treat people who live in remote areas, where expensive, bulky eye equipment is hard to come by? TED ...Show More
Autism — what we know (and what we don't know yet) | Wendy Chung

15:35 | Apr 28th, 2014

In this factual talk, geneticist Wendy Chung shares what we know about autism spectrum disorder — for example, that autism has multiple, perhaps interlocking, causes. Looking beyond the worry and concern that can surround a diagnosis, Chung and her t...Show More
How synchronized hammer strikes could generate nuclear fusion | Michel Laberge

12:50 | Apr 22nd, 2014

Our energy future depends on nuclear fusion, says Michel Laberge. The plasma physicist runs a small company with a big idea for a new type of nuclear reactor that could produce clean, cheap energy. His secret recipe? High speeds, scorching temperatur...Show More
The sore problem of prosthetic limbs | David Sengeh

04:43 | Apr 10th, 2014

What drove David Sengeh to create a more comfortable prosthetic limb? He grew up in Sierra Leone, and too many of the people he loves are missing limbs after the brutal civil war there. When he noticed that people who had prosthetics weren’t actually...Show More
The discovery that could rewrite physics | Allan Adams

04:42 | Apr 1st, 2014

On March 17, 2014, a group of physicists announced a thrilling discovery: the “smoking gun” data for the idea of an inflationary universe, a clue to the Big Bang. For non-physicists, what does it mean? TED asked Allan Adams to briefly explain the res...Show More
Zombie roaches and other parasite tales | Ed Yong

13:14 | Mar 26th, 2014

In this fascinating, hilarious and ever-so-slightly creepy talk, science writer Ed Yong tells the story of his favorite parasites -- animals and organisms that live on the bodies (and brains!) of other organisms, causing them to do their bidding. Do ...Show More
The neuroscience of restorative justice | Daniel Reisel

14:35 | Mar 18th, 2014

Daniel Reisel studies the brains of criminal psychopaths (and mice). And he asks a big question: Instead of warehousing these criminals, shouldn't we be using what we know about the brain to help them rehabilitate? Put another way: If the brain can g...Show More
The birds and the bees are just the beginning | Carin Bondar

09:47 | Mar 14th, 2014

Think you know a thing or two about sex? Think again. In this fascinating talk, biologist Carin Bondar lays out the surprising science behind how animals get it on. (This talk describes explicit and aggressive sexual content.)
My DNA vending machine | Gabriel Barcia-Colombo

04:56 | Mar 6th, 2014

Vending machines generally offer up sodas, candy bars and chips. Not so for the one created by TED Fellow Gabe Barcia-Colombo. This artist has dreamed up a DNA Vending Machine, which dispenses extracted human DNA, packaged in a vial along with a coll...Show More
Could future devices read images from our brains? | Mary Lou Jepsen

10:26 | Mar 3rd, 2014

As an expert on cutting-edge digital displays, Mary Lou Jepsen studies how to show our most creative ideas on screens. And as a brain surgery patient herself, she is driven to know more about the neural activity that underlies invention, creativity, ...Show More
Paper beats plastic? How to rethink environmental folklore | Leyla Acaroglu

18:07 | Feb 11th, 2014

Most of us want to do the right thing when it comes to the environment. But things aren’t as simple as opting for the paper bag, says sustainability strategist Leyla Acaroglu. A bold call for us to let go of tightly-held green myths and think bigger ...Show More
A bold new way to fund drug research | Roger Stein

11:09 | Jan 7th, 2014

Believe it or not, about 20 years' worth of potentially life-saving drugs are sitting in labs right now, untested. Why? Because they can't get the funding to go to trials; the financial risk is too high. Roger Stein is a finance guy, and he thinks de...Show More
The $80 prosthetic knee that's changing lives | Krista Donaldson

09:55 | Dec 19th, 2013

We've made incredible advances in technology in recent years, but too often it seems only certain fortunate people can benefit. Engineer Krista Donaldson introduces the ReMotion knee, a prosthetic device for above-knee amputees, many of whom earn les...Show More
Body parts on a chip | Geraldine Hamilton

13:23 | Dec 3rd, 2013

It's relatively easy to imagine a new medicine -- the hard part is testing it, and that can delay promising new cures for years. In this well-explained talk, Geraldine Hamilton shows how her lab creates organs and body parts on a chip, simple structu...Show More
What is so special about the human brain? | Suzana Herculano-Houzel

13:31 | Nov 26th, 2013

The human brain is puzzling -- it is curiously large given the size of our bodies, uses a tremendous amount of energy for its weight and has a bizarrely dense cerebral cortex. But: why? Neuroscientist Suzana Herculano-Houzel puts on her detective's c...Show More
How your "working memory" makes sense of the world | Peter Doolittle

09:29 | Nov 22nd, 2013

"Life comes at us very quickly, and what we need to do is take that amorphous flow of experience and somehow extract meaning from it." In this funny, enlightening talk, educational psychologist Peter Doolittle details the importance -- and limitation...Show More
The paralyzed rat that walked | Grégoire Courtine

14:23 | Nov 6th, 2013

A spinal cord injury can sever the communication between your brain and your body, leading to paralysis. Fresh from his lab, Grégoire Courtine shows a new method -- combining drugs, electrical stimulation and a robot -- that could re-awaken the neura...Show More
A simple solution to the coming phosphorus crisis | Mohamed Hijri

13:41 | Oct 29th, 2013

There's a farming crisis no one is talking about: The world is running out of phosphorus, an essential element that's a key component of DNA and the basis of cellular communication. As biologist Mohamed Hijri shows, all roads of this crisis lead back...Show More
Why our universe might exist on a knife-edge | Gian Giudice

14:10 | Oct 24th, 2013

The biggest surprise of discovering the Higgs boson? That there were no surprises. Gian Giudice talks us through a problem in theoretical physics: what if the Higgs field exists in an ultra-dense state that could mean the collapse of all atomic matte...Show More
How reliable is your memory? | Elizabeth Loftus

17:36 | Sep 23rd, 2013

Psychologist Elizabeth Loftus studies memories. More precisely, she studies false memories, when people either remember things that didn't happen or remember them differently from the way they really were. It's more common than you might think, and L...Show More
Why bees are disappearing | Marla Spivak

15:57 | Sep 17th, 2013

Honeybees have thrived for 50 million years, each colony 40 to 50,000 individuals coordinated in amazing harmony. So why, seven years ago, did colonies start dying en masse? Marla Spivak reveals four reasons which are interacting with tragic conseque...Show More
3 reasons we still haven’t gotten rid of malaria | Sonia Shah

15:18 | Sep 12th, 2013

We’ve known how to cure malaria since the 1600s, so why does the disease still kill hundreds of thousands every year? It’s more than just a problem of medicine, says journalist Sonia Shah. A look into the history of malaria reveals three big-picture ...Show More
Why I fell in love with monster prime numbers | Adam Spencer

17:17 | Sep 3rd, 2013

They're millions of digits long, and it takes an army of mathematicians and machines to hunt them down -- what's not to love about monster primes? Adam Spencer, comedian and lifelong math geek, shares his passion for these odd numbers, and for the my...Show More
A mouse. A laser beam. A manipulated memory. | Xu Liu

15:25 | Aug 15th, 2013

Can we edit the content of our memories? It's a sci-fi-tinged question that Steve Ramirez and Xu Liu are asking in their lab at MIT. Essentially, the pair shoot a laser beam into the brain of a living mouse to activate and manipulate its memory. In t...Show More
Our shared condition -- consciousness | John Searle

14:59 | Jul 22nd, 2013

Philosopher John Searle lays out the case for studying human consciousness -- and systematically shoots down some of the common objections to taking it seriously. As we learn more about the brain processes that cause awareness, accepting that conscio...Show More
The voice of the natural world | Bernie Krause

14:48 | Jul 15th, 2013

Bernie Krause has been recording wild soundscapes -- the wind in the trees, the chirping of birds, the subtle sounds of insect larvae -- for 45 years. In that time, he has seen many environments radically altered by humans, sometimes even by practice...Show More
The interspecies internet? An idea in progress | Vint Cerf

20:01 | Jul 10th, 2013

Apes, dolphins and elephants are animals with remarkable communication skills. Could the internet be expanded to include sentient species like them? A new and developing idea from a panel of four great thinkers -- dolphin researcher Diana Reiss, musi...Show More
Why we should build wooden skyscrapers | Michael Green

12:22 | Jul 9th, 2013

Building a skyscraper? Forget about steel and concrete, says architect Michael Green, and build it out of … wood. As he details in this intriguing talk, it's not only possible to build safe wooden structures up to 30 stories tall (and, he hopes, high...Show More
How we'll resurrect the gastric brooding frog, the Tasmanian tiger | Michael Archer

17:36 | Jun 27th, 2013

The gastric brooding frog lays its eggs just like any other frog -- then swallows them whole to incubate. That is, it did until it went extinct 30 years ago. Paleontologist Michael Archer makes a case to bring back the gastric brooding frog and the t...Show More
Is the obesity crisis hiding a bigger problem? | Peter Attia

15:58 | Jun 25th, 2013

As a young surgeon, Peter Attia felt contempt for a patient with diabetes. She was overweight, he thought, and thus responsible for the fact that she needed a foot amputation. But years later, Attia received an unpleasant medical surprise that led hi...Show More
Could we speak the language of dolphins? | Denise Herzing

14:38 | Jun 6th, 2013

For 28 years, Denise Herzing has spent five months each summer living with a pod of Atlantic spotted dolphins, following three generations of family relationships and behaviors. It's clear they are communicating with one another -- but is it language...Show More
Bring back the woolly mammoth! | Hendrik Poinar

10:22 | May 30th, 2013

It’s the dream of kids all around the world to see giant beasts walk the Earth again. Could -- and should -- that dream be realized? Hendrik Poinar talks about the next big thing: the quest to engineer a creature that looks very much like our furry f...Show More
Parkinson's, depression and the switch that might turn them off | Andres Lozano

15:34 | Apr 18th, 2013

Deep brain stimulation is becoming very precise. This technique allows surgeons to place electrodes in almost any area of the brain, and turn them up or down -- like a radio dial or thermostat -- to correct dysfunction. Andres Lozano offers a dramati...Show More
The Philosophical Breakfast Club | Laura Snyder

12:34 | Apr 12th, 2013

In 1812, four men at Cambridge University met for breakfast. What began as an impassioned meal grew into a new scientific revolution, in which these men -- who called themselves “natural philosophers” until they later coined “scientist” -- introduced...Show More
When you're making a deal, what's going on in your brain? | Colin Camerer

13:49 | Mar 28th, 2013

When two people are trying to make a deal -- whether they’re competing or cooperating -- what’s really going on inside their brains? Behavioral economist Colin Camerer shows research that reveals how badly we predict what others are thinking. Bonus: ...Show More
The dawn of de-extinction. Are you ready? | Stewart Brand

18:24 | Mar 13th, 2013

Throughout humankind's history, we've driven species after species extinct: the passenger pigeon, the Eastern cougar, the dodo ... But now, says Stewart Brand, we have the technology (and the biology) to bring back species that humanity wiped out. So...Show More
Your brain is more than a bag of chemicals | David Anderson

15:25 | Mar 12th, 2013

Modern psychiatric drugs treat the chemistry of the whole brain, but neurobiologist David Anderson has a more nuanced view of how the brain functions. He shares new research that could lead to targeted psychiatric medications -- that work better and ...Show More
How we found the giant squid | Edith Widder

08:38 | Mar 5th, 2013

Humankind has been looking for the giant squid (Architeuthis) since we first started taking pictures underwater. But the elusive deep-sea predator could never be caught on film. Oceanographer and inventor Edith Widder shares the key insight -- and th...Show More
How to fight desertification and reverse climate change | Allan Savory

22:19 | Mar 4th, 2013

"Desertification is a fancy word for land that is turning to desert," begins Allan Savory in this quietly powerful talk. And it's happening to about two-thirds of the world's grasslands, accelerating climate change and causing traditional grazing soc...Show More
How a fly flies | Michael Dickinson

15:55 | Feb 22nd, 2013

An insect's ability to fly is one of the greatest feats of evolution. Michael Dickinson looks at how a fruit fly takes flight with such delicate wings, thanks to a clever flapping motion and flight muscles that are both powerful and nimble. But the s...Show More
Let the environment guide our development | Johan Rockstrom

18:10 | Aug 31st, 2010

Human growth has strained the earth's resources, but as Johan Rockström reminds us, our advances also give us the science to recognize this and change behavior. His research has found nine "planetary boundaries" that can guide us in protecting our pl...Show More
The riddle of experience vs. memory | Daniel Kahneman

20:06 | Mar 1st, 2010

Using examples from vacations to colonoscopies, Nobel laureate and founder of behavioral economics Daniel Kahneman reveals how our "experiencing selves" and our "remembering selves" perceive happiness differently. This new insight has profound implic...Show More