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TuneIn | Science and Medicine

TED Audio Collective

Location:

United States

Language:

English


Episodes

Are life-saving medicines hiding in the world's coldest places? | Normand Voyer

5/25/2023
Could the next wonder drug be somewhere in Canada's snowy north? Take a trip to this beautiful, frigid landscape as chemist Normand Voyer explores the mysterious molecular treasures found in plants thriving in the cold. These scarcely investigated organisms could hold immense medical promise, he says – so long as we work quickly enough to discover them.

Duration:00:11:56

What to do when there's a polar bear in your backyard | Alysa McCall

4/11/2023
As Arctic ice melts, polar bears are being forced on land -- and they're hungry. With the apex predators frequently turning to human junkyards for a snack, northern towns have had to get creative in order to keep both their people and wildlife safe. Biologist and conservationist Alysa McCall shares lessons from the field on how to safely navigate contact with these magnificent animals and plan for a future where climate change forces us all a little closer.

Duration:00:10:33

The fantastically weird world of photosynthetic sea slugs | Michael Middlebrooks

3/6/2023
Meet the fantastically colorful and astonishingly adaptable sea slugs that found a way to photosynthesize (or create energy from sunlight) like plants. Diving deep into these often overlooked creatures, invertebrate zoologist Michael Middlebrooks introduces the solar-powered slugs that lost their shells -- but gained the ability to directly harness the power of the sun.

Duration:00:11:18

Where does your sense of self come from? A scientific look | Anil Ananthaswamy

1/19/2023
Our memories and bodies give us clues about who we are, but what happens when this guidance shifts? In this mind-bending talk, science writer Anil Ananthaswamy shares how the experiences of "altered selves" -- resulting from schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, foreign limb syndrome or other conditions -- shed light on the constructed nature of identity. He breaks down where our sense of self comes from and invites us to challenge our assumptions about who we are, with the aim of building a better you and a better world.

Duration:00:12:28

Can we feed ourselves without devouring the planet? | George Monbiot

1/18/2023
Farming is the worst thing humanity has ever done to the planet, says journalist George Monbiot. What's more: the global food system could be heading toward collapse. Detailing the technological solutions we need to radically reshape food production -- from lab-grown, protein-rich foods to crops that don't require plowing -- Monbiot shares a future-focused vision of how humanity could feed itself without destroying the planet.

Duration:00:15:38

How to harness the ancient partnership between forests and fungi | Colin Averill

1/6/2023
If we want to better understand the environment and combat climate change, we need to look deep underground, where diverse microscopic fungal networks mingle with tree roots to form symbiotic partnerships, says microbiologist Colin Averill. As we learn more about which of these fungi are most beneficial to forest health, we can reintroduce them into the soil -- potentially enhancing the growth and resilience of carbon-trapping trees and plants. Hear more about the emerging science aiming to supercharge forest ecosystems, one handful of soil at a time.

Duration:00:12:54

A virus-resistant organism -- and what it could mean for the future | Jason W. Chin

10/28/2022
What if we could use the power of DNA to create a sustainable, circular economy? In a talk about breakthrough science, synthetic biologist Jason W. Chin describes his team's work rewriting the genetic blueprint of cells to create a virus-resistant organism -- the largest synthetic genome ever made and a first step towards reimagining what life can become. Learn more about how this advancement could lay the groundwork for the sustainable factories of the future, capable of producing plastics, antibiotics and more.

Duration:00:12:53

How green hydrogen could end the fossil fuel era | Vaitea Cowan

9/8/2022
As climate change accelerates, finding clean alternatives to fossil fuels is more urgent than ever. Social entrepreneur Vaitea Cowan believes green hydrogen is the answer. Watch as she shares her team’s work mass producing electrolyzers -- devices that separate water into its molecular components: hydrogen and oxygen -- and shows how they could help make green, carbon-free fuel affordable and accessible for everyone. “This is how we end the fossil fuel era,” Cowan says.

Duration:00:09:11

A giant Jurassic sea dragon, unearthed | Dean R. Lomax

9/6/2022
Among the dinosaurs, giant sea dragons roamed the ancient ocean. Millions of years later, paleontologist Dean R. Lomax and his team freed the remains of one of these colossal creatures from the Earth. Settle in to learn about the once-in-a-lifetime discovery of the 10-meter-long Rutland ichthyosaur: the largest and most complete ichthyosaur ever discovered in Britain and one of the greatest finds in the country's paleontological history.

Duration:00:15:00

How we're reverse engineering the human brain in the lab | Sergiu P. Pasca

8/24/2022
Neuroscientist Sergiu P. Pasca has made it his life's work to understand how the human brain builds itself -- and what makes it susceptible to disease. In a mind-blowing talk laden with breakthrough science, he shows how his team figured out how to grow what they call brain "assembloids" -- self-organizing clumps of neural tissue derived from stem cells that have shown the ability to form circuits -- and explains how these miniature parts of the nervous system are bringing us closer to demystifying the brain.

Duration:00:12:40

The future of fashion -- made from mushrooms | Dan Widmaier

7/25/2022
Your closet is likely full of all kinds of materials -- leather, cotton, nylon and polyester, to name a few -- that contribute to fashion’s sustainability crisis. Biomaterials investigator Dan Widmaier explains how we could look to nature for sustainable replacements for these much-used materials and introduces a leather alternative made from mushrooms that looks great and doesn’t harm the environment. “We can make fashion sustainable, and we’re going to do it with science,” Widmaier says.

Duration:00:11:29

How we could solve the dark matter mystery | Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

7/11/2022
The universe that we know, with its luminous stars and orbiting planets, is largely made up of elements we can’t actually see -- like dark energy and dark matter -- and therefore don’t fully understand. Theoretical physicist Chanda Prescod-Weinstein takes us inside the search for this cosmos-shaping invisible matter and explains how, with the help of a new generation of telescopes, we could be closer to demystifying it than ever before. “The universe is more queer and fantastical than it looks to the naked eye,” she says.

Duration:00:12:30

The brain science (and benefits) of ASMR | Craig Richard

6/7/2022
A curious, quiet revolution of sound has taken over the internet. Physiologist Craig Richard explains the soothing brain science of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR), tracking its rise in popularity and why this fascinating phenomenon is so relaxing to millions of people around the world.

Duration:00:11:52

Our longing for cosmic truth and poetic beauty | Maria Popova

5/23/2022
Linking together the histories of Henrietta Swan Leavitt, Edwin Hubble and Tracy K. Smith, poet and thinker Maria Popova crafts an astonishing story of how humanity came to see the edge of the observable universe. (Followed by an animated excerpt of "My God, It's Full of Stars," by Tracy K. Smith)

Duration:00:07:15

The breakthrough science of mRNA medicine | Melissa J. Moore

4/27/2022
The secret behind medicines that use messenger RNA (or mRNA) is that they "teach" our bodies how to fight diseases on their own, leading to groundbreaking treatments for COVID-19 and, potentially one day, cancer, the flu and other ailments that have haunted humanity for millennia. RNA researcher Melissa J. Moore -- Moderna's chief scientific officer and one of the many people responsible for the rapid creation and deployment of their COVID-19 vaccine -- takes us down to the molecular level, unraveling how mRNA helps our bodies' proteins maintain health, prevent disease and correct errors in our genetic code. "We have entered an entirely new era of medicine," Moore says.

Duration:00:19:45

We can make COVID-19 the last pandemic | Bill Gates

4/22/2022
Building a pandemic-free future won’t be easy, but Bill Gates believes that we have the tools and strategies to make it possible -- now we just have to fund them. In this forward-looking talk, he proposes a multi-specialty Global Epidemic Response and Mobilization (GERM) team that would detect potential outbreaks and stop them from becoming pandemics. By investing in disease monitoring, research and development as well as improved health systems, Gates believes we can “create a world where everyone has a chance to live a healthy and productive life -- a life free from the fear of the next COVID-19.”

Duration:00:14:48

5 promising factors propelling climate action | Gabriel Kra

4/6/2022
Given the scale of the challenge, the conversation around climate change is often tinged with doom and gloom. But climate tech investor Gabriel Kra thinks we need to reframe the crisis as a source of tremendous opportunity. He offers five big reasons to be optimistic about climate -- starting with the fact that many of the world's best minds are focused and working on building a clean future for all.

Duration:00:14:01

The deep sea's medicinal secrets | Sam Afoullouss

3/17/2022
Under the sea, untold wonders await in the form of untapped medicinal potential. Chemist Sam Afoullouss dives into the science behind natural remedies, explaining why the ocean's great (and still largely unexplored) biodiversity is ideal for deriving and inspiring future treatments -- if we protect its waters and the marine life within them.

Duration:00:14:52

What seaweed and cow burps have to do with climate action | Ermias Kebreab

3/3/2022
Scientists have long known that cows are a huge source of the greenhouse gas methane, contributing up to four percent of emissions globally. But could there be a way to make cattle less -- ahem -- gassy? Animal scientist Ermias Kebreab talks through an ingenious solution to reduce methane-rich cow burps by feeding cattle something growing below the surface of the ocean: seaweed.

Duration:00:09:52

Could we treat Alzheimer's with light and sound? | Li-Huei Tsai

1/24/2022
What if we could use brain waves to treat Alzheimer's? Professor and neuroscientist Li-Huei Tsai details a promising new approach to artificially stimulate gamma brain waves using light and sound therapy, to increase connectivity and synchrony and delay the onset of this deadly disease. This non-invasive therapy has already been shown to work in mice -- now it's on to human clinical trials, with the potential to usher in a brighter future for everyone. (Followed by a Q&A with head of TED Chris Anderson)

Duration:00:11:49