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X Marks the Spot: TEDx hosts a Jenga block themed life “renovation,” plus the week’s favorite TEDx Talks

Posted by: Emmie Le Marchand

TEDxJengaAudience members at TEDxWWU, an event at Western Washington University, played a cathartic game of Jenga.  The TEDx’ers built and broke down structures made of Jenga blocks on which they had written ideas for how they would like to “renovate” their lives. The theme of this event in Bellingham, WA: “Renovations: Building Our Future.”

This is the power of a TEDx event — inspiring members of a community through fun interactions. Each week, the TEDx team chooses four favorite talks from TEDx events held around the world, highlighting just a few of the enlightening speakers from the community and its diverse constellation of ideas. Below, listen to this week’s talks — addressing issues from time travel to genetically modified foods.

Let’s test genetics before prescribing drugs: Russ Altman at TEDxStanford
Why aren’t more doctors taking genetics into consideration when they prescribe medication? At TEDxStanford, Russ Altman explains how doctors can now screen DNA to determine a person’s response to a drug, and calls for a new set of guidelines that will allow practitioners to harness the power of pharmacogenetics. (Filmed at TEDxStanford)

A time traveler’s primer: Ryan North at TEDxUofT
What’s the first thing you’d invent if you could go back in time? At TEDxUofT, Ryan North shares his pick — the answer may surprise you. (Filmed at TEDxUofT)

How to discover a planet from your sofa: Chris Lintott at TEDxCERN
Have you ever wanted to map a galaxy? With the power of the Internet, now you can. At TEDxCERN, Chris Lintott sheds light on some of the many projects on the web turning everyday citizens into scientists — from galaxy mapping to planet hunting. (Filmed at TEDxCERN)

Can a GMO be natural?: Jimmy Botella at TEDxUQ
Much controversy surrounds the use of genetically modified agriculture, but is it justified? Almost everything we eat is different from its original form, says Jimmy Botella. Bananas were full of seeds, and strawberries emerged from experiments in 18th-century Paris. In this talk at TEDxUQ, Botella dispels some of the myths surrounding GMOs, and asks that, whatever your opinion on GM, the channels of discussion stay open. (Filmed at TEDxUQ)

Below, some highlights from the TEDx blog this week: