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Host Richard Kraft invites writers, artists, scientists, musicians and people from all areas of life to select eight talismanic books, which have profoundly affected them. Richard’s probing, insightful questions open doors not only to the books, but also the arc of each guest’s life and work.
 
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.
 
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show series
 
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.By Craig Richard
 
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)By Maria Popova
 
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 …
 
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 pandemi…
 
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 fo…
 
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.…
 
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…
 
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-…
 
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 mi…
 
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…
 
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.…
 
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 ex…
 
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 a…
 
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 fo…
 
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 th…
 
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…
 
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…
 
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 -…
 
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 per…
 
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.…
 
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 t…
 
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 …
 
Have you ever misplaced something you were just holding? Completely blanked on a famous actor's name? Walked into a room and immediately forgot why? Neuroscientist Lisa Genova digs into two types of memory failures we regularly experience -- and reassures us that forgetting is totally normal. Stay tuned for a conversation with TED science curator D…
 
DNA isn't the only builder in the biological world -- there's also a mysterious bioelectric layer directing cells to work together to grow organs, systems and bodies, says biologist Michael Levin. Sharing unforgettable and groundbreaking footage of two-headed worms, he introduces us to xenobots -- the world's first living robots, created in his lab…
 
Your teeth carry secrets: centuries of history about your ancestors, from where they lived to what they ate and where they traveled. Bioarchaeologist Carolyn Freiwald traces the story of human migration across the Americas -- from Mayan royalty and Belizean buccaneers to rural Appalachian farmers -- to illustrate what ancient teeth can reveal about…
 
What if tiny microparticles could help us solve the world's biggest problems in a matter of minutes? That's the promise -- and magic -- of quantum computers, says Matt Langione. Speaking next to an actual IBM quantum computer, he explains how these machines solve complex challenges like developing vaccines and calculating financial risk in an entir…
 
Astronomers once gazed upon the night sky and counted every star in the galaxy by hand. The process has evolved since then, but the thirst for celestial knowledge remains the same. Join astrophysicist Emily Levesque for an anecdote-rich jaunt through the technological history of photographing the cosmos and learn about the one constant that makes i…
 
In April 2020, epidemiologist-in-training Sophie Rose volunteered to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. As a young, healthy adult, she's offering to take part in a human challenge trial, a study where participants are intentionally exposed to SARS-CoV-2 to test vaccines and gather critical data. Explaining how challenge trials could s…
 
Take a mind-blowing trip to the lab as TED Senior Fellow Andrew Pelling shares his research on how we could use fruits, vegetables and plants to regenerate damaged human tissues -- and develop a potentially groundbreaking way to repair complex spinal cord injuries with asparagus.By Andrew Pelling
 
Venom can kill ... or it can cure. In this fascinating talk, marine chemical biologist Mandë Holford shares her research into animal venom, from killer sea snails to platypuses and slow lorises -- and explores its potential to one day treat human diseases like cancer. The mechanism behind this powerful substance is still mysterious, Holford says, b…
 
Concrete is the second most-used substance on Earth (behind water), and it's responsible for eight percent of the world's carbon footprint. Cement researcher Karen Scrivener shares the research behind a pioneering new kind of cement known as LC3, which could slash carbon emissions from this crucial building material by 40 percent, if adopted at sca…
 
In cities, evolution occurs constantly, as countless plants, animals and insects adapt to human-made habitats in spectacular ways. Evolutionary biologist Menno Schilthuizen calls on peculiar beings such as fast food-loving mice and self-cooling snails to illustrate the ever-transforming wonders of urban wildlife -- and explains how you can observe …
 
Far-UVC light is a type of ultraviolet light that kills microbes and viruses and, crucially, seems to be safe to use around humans. Radiation scientist David Brenner describes how we could use this light to stop the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, in hospitals, nursing homes, trains and other public indoor spaces -- paving…
 
Conventional vaccine testing is a slow, years-long process. As thousands of people continue to die each day from COVID-19, bioethicist Nir Eyal proposes a radical idea that could dramatically accelerate the vaccine development timeline: "human challenge trials," in which scientists would deliberately expose volunteers to the virus to more quickly d…
 
At the intersection of precision medicine and vaccinology lies a revolutionary scientific pursuit: personalized vaccines. Infectious disease specialist Ofer Levy introduces this promising medical approach, in which tailored inoculations will enable effective immunization of the most vulnerable among us, including the young and elderly, and shares h…
 
Earth, humanity and nature are inextricably interconnected. To restore us all back to health, we need to "rewild" the world, says environmental activist Kristine Tompkins. Tracing her life from Patagonia CEO to passionate conservationist, she shares how she has helped to establish national parks across millions of acres of land (and sea) in South A…
 
Some biological structures are so small that scientists can't see them with even the most powerful microscopes. That's where molecular animator and TED Fellow Janet Iwasa gets creative. Explore vast, unseen molecular worlds as she shares mesmerizing animations that imagine how they might work.By Janet Iwasa
 
Did you know that one of the most notorious poisons is also a key ingredient for life as we know it? Join space chemist Karin Öberg and learn how she scans the universe in search of this paradoxical chemical using ALMA, the world's largest radio telescope, to detect hotbeds of molecular activity and the formation of life-sustaining planets.…
 
Indigenous languages across North America are under threat of extinction due to the colonial legacy of cultural erasure, says linguist Lindsay Morcom. Highlighting grassroots strategies developed by the Anishinaabe people of Canada to revive their language and community, Morcom makes a passionate case for enacting policies that could protect Indige…
 
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