Live from TED2016

In Case You Missed It: Lessons from the first day of TED2016

These library carts contain 175 books -- the entire . Photo: Bret Hartman / TED

These library carts contain 175 books — the entire genetic code of a single person (in this case, Dr. Craig Venter). Each book has very small print, all A, T, C and Gs. Photo: Bret Hartman / TED

On the opening day of TED2016, we heard outrageous ideas from the TED Fellows and one stellar session of talks. Below, highlights for you following at home.  

The encyclopedia of … a single person. What does one human’s DNA look like — in printed form? When Riccardo Sabatini invites Craig Venter to appear onstage, he was wheeled onstage in the form of the 175 books you see above. These books contain the three billion letters that make up his genome. Not such a good read, but amazing.

A new approach to treating pancreatic cancer. Anyone who has lost a loved one to pancreatic cancer knows the devastating speed with which it can affect an otherwise healthy human being. So hats off to TED Fellow Laura Indolfi, who is developing a new way to treat this complex disease. It’s a device that’s implanted in the pancreas and cages the tumor, delivering medicine only where it’s needed.

Even media titans get burnt out. Shonda Rhimes chose the words “the hum” to describe that feeling she gets when all systems are a go at work. Many likely identify with this feeling — and perhaps even more with the distress she experienced when she lost the hum. This is the first talk posted from the conference. Watch it — it’s a do-not-miss.

You might grow replacement body parts. TED Fellow Andrew Pelling is a biohacker, and after whittling apple slices into the shapes of ears, he has grown human cells on this natural scaffold. He imagines that someday, we’ll all be able to step into the kitchen and cook up everyday objects to augment our bodies.