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The Next Einstein Forum begins

The Next Einstein Forum begins

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Why did Albert Einstein have such a unique scientific mind? Because he came from a disadvantaged background, says TED Prize winner Neil Turok. “When new cultures enter science, especially disadvantaged cultures, transformation can happen,” he said today in his opening remarks at the Next Einstein Forum Global Gathering 2016. “I believe that the entrance of []

What happens in the brain when we hear stories? Uri Hasson at TED2016

What happens in the brain when we hear stories? Uri Hasson at TED2016

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We may, as Joan Didion once wrote, tell ourselves stories in order to live—but Uri Hasson is looking for a few more reasons. The neuroscientist based at Princeton University researches the neurological basis of human communication and storytelling, and in session 11 at TED2016, he shows off some surprising findings. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) []

EyeWire’s creative director on how she got her job from an email, how her team is highlighting the beauty of the brain

EyeWire’s creative director on how she got her job from an email, how her team is highlighting the beauty of the brain

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Amy Robinson maxed out her bank account to attend TEDGlobal 2010. While there, she heard Sebastian Seung of MIT give the talk “I am my connectome” and knew she had to talk to him. Two years later, Robinson—the organizer of TEDxHuntsville—saw on Twitter that Seung was launching something new: EyeWire, a game allowing citizen scientists around the []

How to grow a bone without a body

How to grow a bone without a body

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This video features the work of TED Fellow Nina Tandon and Sarindr Bhumiratana, her colleague at Columbia University’s Laboratory for Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering and partner-in-new-business-crime. Together with a group of fellow bio-engineers, the pair recently founded the company, Epibone, which they describe as “a revolutionary bone reconstruction company that allows patients to ‘grow []

Think you’ve got a terrible memory? You don’t know the half of it

Think you’ve got a terrible memory? You don’t know the half of it

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Last year, MIT neuroscientists Xu Liu and Steve Ramirez manipulated the memory of a mouse. In a fascinating and mildly troubling breakthrough caused by a laser and the protein channelrhodopsin, they “activated” fear memories in a mouse. The impetus, says Ramirez, was the awful feeling of a break-up, the desire, Eternal Sunshine-style, to erase the []

Exclusive video: How to make a cocktail from strawberry DNA

Exclusive video: How to make a cocktail from strawberry DNA

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DNA. It’s what encodes the genetic material of every living thing. And it also makes a yummy cocktail. This video, which stars TED Fellow synthetic biologist Oliver Medvedik, shows you how to make a delicious adult beverage out of frozen strawberries, pineapple juice and Bacardi 151. Follow the adorably animated instructions, and you’ll be able []

A promising first step for those with spinal cord injury: Further reading on electrical stimulation and how it’s helped rats (and one human!) walk again

A promising first step for those with spinal cord injury: Further reading on electrical stimulation and how it’s helped rats (and one human!) walk again

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Grégoire Courtine and the scientists in his lab helped a paralyzed rat learn to walk again, voluntarily, through a treatment that combined drugs, electrical stimulation of the lower spinal cord, the support of a robotic arm and a little bit of chocolate. When their study appeared in the June 2012 issue of Science, it sparked []

More to life than DNA: Fellows Friday with Sheref Mansy

More to life than DNA: Fellows Friday with Sheref Mansy

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American synthetic biologist Sheref Mansy is working on constructing artificial cells that mimic — and “talk” to — biological cells. In this fascinating conversation, Mansy weaves through the question of what does and does not constitute “life,” the possible practical applications for his work, and how conversations with artists have opened up concepts that feed []

In praise of ignorance

In praise of ignorance

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“Science, we generally are told, is a very well-ordered mechanism for understanding the world, for gaining facts, for gaining data,” biologist Stuart Firestein says in today’s TED talk. “I’d like to tell you that’s not the case.” Instead, Firestein proposes that science is really about ignorance — about seeking answers rather than collecting them. He []

Elizabeth Loftus on embedding false memories in U.S. soldiers

Elizabeth Loftus on embedding false memories in U.S. soldiers

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“We can’t reliably distinguish true memories from false memories,” declares psychologist Elizabeth Loftus in today’s talk. She’s spent the past forty years studying the memory, and has reached some mind-blowing conclusions about what we know, and what we think we know. Here, she shares more detail about her work, and suggests further reading for anyone []