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7 things learned from a day spent watching TEDxCERN

7 things learned from a day spent watching TEDxCERN

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Wednesday marked the second-ever TEDxCERN, the event organized by the folks at CERN, the famed particle physics research center in Geneva, Switzerland, responsible for bringing us the World Wide Web, the Large Hadron Collider, and confirmation of the existence of the Higgs boson. You know, just a few minor things. TEDxCERN brought together a mix []

You found a planet!: Robert Simpson crowdsources scientific research and accelerates discovery at Zooniverse

You found a planet!: Robert Simpson crowdsources scientific research and accelerates discovery at Zooniverse

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  Scientific research is generating far more data than the average researcher can get through. Meanwhile, modern computing has yet to catch up with the superior discernment of the human eye. The solution? Enlist the help of citizen scientists. British astronomer and web developer Robert Simpson is part of the online platform Zooniverse, which lets more than one []

Deep and faint in the night sky: Andrew Connolly at TED2014

Deep and faint in the night sky: Andrew Connolly at TED2014

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Astronomer Andrew Connolly begins by telling us that in 1781, English composer, technologist and composer  Sir William Herschel noticed something unusual, a little bit of data that was wrong. This was the discovery of a new planet, Uranus. (“A name that has entertained countelss generations of children.”) Just last week NASA announced 517 new planets, almost doubled []

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 hard problem of consciousness: David Chalmers at TED2014

The hard problem of consciousness: David Chalmers at TED2014

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“Right now you have a movie playing inside your head,” says philosopher David Chalmers. It’s an amazing movie, with 3D, smell, taste, touch, a sense of body, pain, hunger, emotions, memories, and a constant voice-over narrative. “At the heart of this movie is you, experiencing this, directly. This movie is your stream of consciousness, experience []

The brain is a Swiss Army knife: Nancy Kanwisher at TED2014

The brain is a Swiss Army knife: Nancy Kanwisher at TED2014

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Watch this talk on TED.com Onstage at TED, Nancy Kanwisher starts by telling us one of the most surprising results from recent neuroscience discoveries: The brain is not a general-purpose processor, but a collection of specialized components, “collectively building up who we are as human beings and thinkers.” Imagine, she says, walking into a daycare center and []

A new push for fusion power: Michel Laberge at TED2014

A new push for fusion power: Michel Laberge at TED2014

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“The whole planet needs a lot of energy,” begins Michel Laberge, in an understatement. So far, he says, we’ve been running on fossil fuels, and it’s been difficult to find something as cost-effective to replace them. Laberge is a fan of nuclear power, which he thinks is the best solution to that problem in the []

The scariest thing you’ve ever done: Chris Hadfield at TED2014

The scariest thing you’ve ever done: Chris Hadfield at TED2014

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Or, asks retired colonel Chris Hadfield to the crowd at TED2014, “What’s the most dangerous? And, why did you do it?” For Hadfield, an astronaut with the Canadian Space Agency and a commander of the International Space Station for 3 months, it was to ride a rocket ship into orbit. Watch Chris Hadfield’s TED Talk >> []

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 []