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Stories for "Biology"

Lighting up the world of fireflies: Sara Lewis at TED2014

Lighting up the world of fireflies: Sara Lewis at TED2014

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Sara Lewis has managed to put herself in the center of a world of wonder by becoming a world expert on fireflies. Her obsession began in grad school, sitting in a backyard in North Carolina and watching the sparks light up around her. She wondered, “How do these creatures make light? Are they talking to each []

The hierarchy in your brain: Ray Kurzweil at TED2014

The hierarchy in your brain: Ray Kurzweil at TED2014

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Ray Kurzweil returns to the TED stage to explain his new (kind of old) theory of the mind. He first wrote his theory as a paper 50 years ago, but today there’s a plethora of new evidence to support it. First, a refresher on the story of the neocortex, which means “new rind.” Two hundred []

How parasites turn our thinking sideways: Ed Yong at TED2014

How parasites turn our thinking sideways: Ed Yong at TED2014

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Ed Yong begins by showing us beautiful images of animals gathering in large groups. And the reasons for them are fascinating and many. But Yong, an award-winning science writer, points out that most explanations “make an assumption about animal behavior — that they are in charge of their actions.” But many animals gather in groups, []

9 ways mushrooms could drastically improve the world

9 ways mushrooms could drastically improve the world

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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 []

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 []

6 mind-bending talks about biologically inspired art

6 mind-bending talks about biologically inspired art

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Art so often seeks to capture the beauty of the natural world — from cave drawings of animals, to paintings of landscapes, to sculptures of the human form in marble, bronze or wood. But in this playlist, find artists and designers who take this to the next level, making art based on the laws of []

Regeneration: The speakers in Session 7 at TEDGlobal 2013

Regeneration: The speakers in Session 7 at TEDGlobal 2013

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Session 7, “Regeneration,” couldn’t come at a better time; it’s the end of the second day of TEDGlobal 2013, and we could all use a little repair and restoration. In this session, four scientists and researchers look closely at the ways in which the body breaks down — and how we can rebuild them. Here []

New playlist: Plantastic!

New playlist: Plantastic!

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Anyone who lives in a major city, where pollen-thick summer air seems incompatible with the dearth of trees, it can be easy to forget the fact that plants make the world go round. Here to remind you is a playlist of 10 TED Talks on the majesty and awesomeness of plants. Hear from not one []

The butterfly effect: Fellows Friday with Julie Freeman

The butterfly effect: Fellows Friday with Julie Freeman

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Artist Julie Freeman uses data as a source material to make biologically inspired artworks — giving musicality to the movement of fish and expressing city lights in the quiver of moths’ wings. Now she’s finding ways to translate data so that we may gain new perspectives on what it’s trying to tell us. What do []

Video: Fly to Alaska to “barcode” plants with Ellen Jorgensen

Video: Fly to Alaska to “barcode” plants with Ellen Jorgensen

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What is DNA barcoding, you ask? It’s a precise way of identifying plant species using their DNA (as opposed to external characteristics that might vary from plant to plant). In this video, Ellen Jorgensen — who gave today’s TED Talk “Biohacking, you can do it too”  – heads to a remote region of Alaska to collect []