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Stories for "Biology"

The ethics of genetically enhanced monkey-slaves

The ethics of genetically enhanced monkey-slaves

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Think parents should be able to select their children’s talents and personalities? Or want to run and hide in the woods at the thought of it? Whatever your opinion, it is precisely the kind of question that Julian Savulescu wants you to take seriously. Professor of practical ethics at the University of Oxford, Savulescu thinks []

A ghost heart?

A ghost heart?

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Here’s a treat for Valentine’s Day (in addition to this playlist of TED Talks about love): Below, take a close-up look at a decellularized “ghost heart.” This heart can serve as a scaffold upon which to grow a working heart from human stem cells. Researchers at the Texas Heart Institute created it by stripping all []

9 ways mushrooms could drastically improve the world

9 ways mushrooms could drastically improve the world

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In today’s TED Talk, biologist Mohamed Hijri directs our attention to an incredible biotechnology — not one he invented, but one that’s been around for 450 million years. They are: mycorrhiza, microscopic mushrooms that grow in a symbiotic relationship with the roots of plants. These mushrooms are incredible at helping plants find phosphorous, an essential []

Playlist: 9 talks that give a new view of nature

Playlist: 9 talks that give a new view of nature

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Most people rarely feel compelled to stare at grains of sand. But when those same grains are magnified hundreds of times and rendered in three dimensions, they appear like individual pieces of colored glass crafted by a skilled artist — no two pieces the same. In today’s TEDTalk, photographer turned microbiologist turned inventor Gary Greenberg []

Flesh-eating mushrooms: Fellows Friday with Jae Rhim Lee

Flesh-eating mushrooms: Fellows Friday with Jae Rhim Lee

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Artist Jae Rhim Lee (watch her TED Talk) is asking us to rethink our relationship with death and the planet — with the help of flesh-eating mushrooms, she’s making human decomposition clean and green. You’re an artist and designer primarily concerned with how our bodies interact with the world. I’m concerned with finding alternatives that []

A map of the brain: Allan Jones on TED.com

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How can we begin to understand the way the brain works? The same way we begin to understand a city: by making a map. In this visually stunning talk, Allan Jones shows how his team is mapping which genes are turned on in each tiny region, and how it all connects up. (Recorded at TEDGlobal 2011, []

The line between life and not-life: Martin Hanczyc on TED.com

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In his lab, Martin Hanczyc makes “protocells,” experimental blobs of chemicals that behave like living cells. His work demonstrates how life might have first occurred on Earth … and perhaps elsewhere too. (Recorded at TEDSalon Spring 2011, “Beauty/Complexity,” May 2011, in London, UK. Duration: 14:38) Watch Martin Hanczyc’s talk on TED.com, where you can download []

The real reason for brains: Daniel Wolpert on TED.com

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Neuroscientist Daniel Wolpert starts from a surprising premise: the brain evolved, not to think or feel, but to control movement. In this entertaining, data-rich talk he gives us a glimpse into how the brain creates the grace and agility of human motion. (Recorded at TEDGlobal, July 2011, in Edinburg, Scotland. Duration: 20:00.) Watch Daniel Wolpert’s talk []

Trust, morality — and oxytocin: Paul Zak on TED.com

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What drives our desire to behave morally? Neuroeconomist Paul Zak shows why he believes oxytocin (he calls it “the moral molecule”) is responsible for trust, empathy, and other feelings that help build a stable society. (Recorded at TED Global, July 2011, in Edinburg, Scotland. Duration: 16:35.) Watch Paul Zak’s talk on TED.com, where you can download []

Battling Bad Science: Ben Goldacre on TED.com

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Every day there are news reports of new health advice, but how can you know if they’re right? Doctor and epidemiologist Ben Goldacre shows us, at high speed, the ways evidence can be distorted, from the blindingly obvious nutrition claims to the very subtle tricks of the pharmaceutical industry. (Recorded at TEDGlobal 2011, July 2011, in []

Making matter come alive: Lee Cronin on TED.com

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Before life existed on Earth, there was just matter, inorganic dead “stuff.” How improbable is it that life arose? And — could it use a different type of chemistry? Using an elegant definition of life (anything that can evolve), chemist Lee Cronin is exploring this question by attempting to create a fully inorganic cell using []

Explore the relaunched Encyclopedia of Life: EOLv2

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Yesterday, the Encyclopedia of Life launched EOLv2 — a new design and new features for this database of all life on Earth. Inspired by E.O. Wilson’s 2008 TED Prize wish, the Encyclopedia of Life contains some 700,000 pages, each listing a different living thing. The redesign is meant to increase ease of use — and []