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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 []

Want to know more about the unreliable nature of memory? Read this

Want to know more about the unreliable nature of memory? Read this

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Elizabeth Loftus studies false memories. As she describes in her TED Talk, The fiction of memory, she has implanted erroneous memories of childhood trauma into adult study subjects as part of her work. She has pinpointed failures in eyewitness testimonies. She’s found that misinformation can reshape taste preferences. And, she’s found that people in stressful []

Would you eat 3D-printed meat? 7 vegetarians and vegans reflect

Would you eat 3D-printed meat? 7 vegetarians and vegans reflect

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In August, the first lab-grown beefburger was cooked and tasted in London. The verdict? “[It tasted] like an animal protein cake, said Josh Schonwald, author of The Taste of Tomorrow and one of the “lucky” few to taste the $330,000 morsel of petri dish meat. The future of slaughter-less meat is not far off. In fact, scientists project it []