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Science

Red light, brain probes and the future: An enlightening conversationRed light, brain probes and the future: An enlightening conversation

Posted By Thu-Huong Ha

Ed Boyden is the head of the Synthetic Neurobiology group at the MIT Media Lab, where he works on tools to map, control, record — and maybe even someday build — the brain. Boyden has worked on optogenetics, a technique which deploys light-sensitive molecules to the brain and then applies light to them to “turn […]

Science

How to grow a bone without a bodyHow to grow a bone without a body

Posted By Helen Walters

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 […]

Design

Today, the Bionic Woman can just go ahead and print her own partsToday, the Bionic Woman can just go ahead and print her own parts

Posted By Karen Eng

A persistent sight in David Sengeh‘s childhood, growing up in Sierra Leone: amputees. Losing a limb was an all-too-common fact in the civil-war-torn region. But as if the loss of a limb weren’t enough, the aftermath was almost worse, Sengeh saw, as he watched family members and friends struggle with ill-fitting, uncomfortable prosthetics that hurt […]

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 […]

Science

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

Posted By Thu-Huong Ha

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 […]

Science

From biting ant sutures to replacement brain tissue: A history of biomaterialsFrom biting ant sutures to replacement brain tissue: A history of biomaterials

Posted By Kate Torgovnick May

Biomaterials are substances — synthetic or natural — that can be used to improve health, minimize suffering and improve or correct the way the body works. A suture? That’s a biomaterial. The pacemaker? Indeed. Contact lenses? Yeah, you get the idea. As technology and science have advanced, so too have the sophistication of such biomaterials […]

In Conversation

Nature knows best: A biologist and a designer take creative direction from the Earth’s operating systemNature knows best: A biologist and a designer take creative direction from the Earth’s operating system

Posted By Helen Walters

“Borrowing” as a concept is de rigeur in the creative industries and beyond. What’s that too-often quoted aphorism? “Good artists copy; great artists steal”? Plenty of people have trotted that out as justification for acts they want us to believe are far superior to and way different from plagiarism. In this nuanced conversation, biologist and […]

Design

When science meets sartorial: the skirt and shoe made from kombuchaWhen science meets sartorial: the skirt and shoe made from kombucha

Posted By Thu-Huong Ha

What might our clothes look like in 50 years? When textile designer Suzanne Lee was researching her book, Fashioning the Future, she found the most interesting answers to that question when she looked beyond the traditional borders of fashion design. Beyond cut, color and cloth, our style in 50 years will be driven by new materials from […]

Technology

There’s more to the small Skybox satellite than meets the eye. Much, much moreThere’s more to the small Skybox satellite than meets the eye. Much, much more

Posted By TED Guest Author

By Jessie Scanlon In January 2011, Fred Villagomez, the head mechanical technician at a Mountain View-based satellite imaging startup, drove east, looping down and around the San Francisco Bay toward Fremont. His destination: an auto plant called NUMMI, a failed joint venture between General Motors and Toyota, whose assets were about to be auctioned off. […]

News

Seth Godin: Why I want you to steal my ideasSeth Godin: Why I want you to steal my ideas

Posted By TED Guest Author

By Seth Godin Please don’t steal my car. If you drive away with it, I won’t have it any more, which is a real hassle. Please don’t steal my identity or my reputation either. Neither travels well, and all the time you’re using it, you’re degrading something that belongs to me. But my ideas? Sure, […]

Education

MOOCs by the numbers: Where are we now?MOOCs by the numbers: Where are we now?

Posted By Thu-Huong Ha

Whatever your opinion of them, you can’t deny that MOOCs have come a long way in the last few years. To help put the massive online courses into some perspective, Alex Cusack, a contributing writer at Moocs.com, a blog that covers news about MOOCs (edited by Zachary Davis, a producer for HarvardX, a spin-off of […]

In Conversation

Two giants of online learning discuss the future of educationTwo giants of online learning discuss the future of education

Posted By Helen Walters

Scratch the surface of online education, and you’re destined to run into the names of two men. The first, Salman Khan, never intended to be an education icon. Instead, he simply watched with increased interest as videos he had uploaded to YouTube to help his cousin learn math were seized upon by a world apparently […]