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Biology

Kinky bonobos and the Magnum P.I. hypothesis: A Q&A with Carin BondarKinky bonobos and the Magnum P.I. hypothesis: A Q&A with Carin Bondar

Posted By Alison Prato

There’s wild sex. And then there’s sex in the wild — a topic that biologist and animal sex expert Carin Bondar has been talking about for years, spawning not only a book, The Nature of Human Nature, but also a popular web series, “Wild Sex,” all about the evolution of sexual behavior. In her funny and […]

Biology

The ethics of genetically enhanced monkey-slavesThe ethics of genetically enhanced monkey-slaves

Posted By David Webber

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 […]

Biology

A ghost heart?A ghost heart?

Posted By Michelle Quint

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 […]

Biology

Forget paint and canvas. These artists use cells, proteins, tissues and DNA as their raw materialsForget paint and canvas. These artists use cells, proteins, tissues and DNA as their raw materials

Posted By TED Guest Author

  Super Cells is the new TED Book by Nina Tandon and Mitchell Joachim, who take us on an eye-popping tour of the tantalizing array of inventions already being created with nature’s elemental building block, the cell. They argue that we’re entering a new technological revolution, one in which we can create smarter technologies by making […]

Biology

9 ways mushrooms could drastically improve the world9 ways mushrooms could drastically improve the world

Posted By Kate Torgovnick May

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 […]

Art

Playlist: 9 talks that give a new view of naturePlaylist: 9 talks that give a new view of nature

Posted By Kate Torgovnick May

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 […]

Biology

The quest to understand consciousness: Antonio Damasio on TED.com

Posted By Emily McManus

Every morning we wake up and regain consciousness — that is a marvelous fact — but what exactly is it that we regain? Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio uses this simple question to give us a glimpse into how our brains create our sense of self. (Recorded at TED2011, March 2011, in Long Beach, California. Duration: 18:43) Watch […]

Art

Flesh-eating mushrooms: Fellows Friday with Jae Rhim LeeFlesh-eating mushrooms: Fellows Friday with Jae Rhim Lee

Posted By Karen Eng

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 […]

Biology

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

Posted By Ben Lillie

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, […]

Biology

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

Posted By Emily McManus

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 […]

Biology

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

Posted By Ben Lillie

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 […]

Biology

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

Posted By Ben Lillie

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 […]

Biology

Battling Bad Science: Ben Goldacre on TED.com

Posted By Ben Lillie

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 […]

Biology

Making matter come alive: Lee Cronin on TED.com

Posted By Emily McManus

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 […]

Biology

Explore the relaunched Encyclopedia of Life: EOLv2

Posted By Emily McManus

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 […]