Electrical experiments with Plants that count and communicate

Neuroscientist Greg Gage takes sophisticated equipment used to study the brain out of graduate-level labs and brings them to middle- and high-school classrooms (and, sometimes, to the TED stage.) Prepare to be amazed as he hooks up the Mimosa pudica, a plant whose leaves close when touched, and the Venus flytrap to an EKG to show us how plants use electrical signals to convey information, prompt movement and even count.

Why school should start later for teens : Wendy Troxel

Teens don’t get enough sleep, and it’s not because of Snapchat, social lives or hormones — it’s because of school start time, says Wendy Troxel. Drawing from her experience as a sleep researcher, clinician and mother of a teenager, Troxel discusses how early school start times deprive adolescents of sleep during the time of their lives when they need it most.

James Beacham: How we explore unanswered questions in physics

James Beacham looks for answers to the most important open questions of physics using the biggest science experiment ever mounted, CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. In this fun and accessible talk about how science happens, Beacham takes us on a journey through extra-spatial dimensions in search of undiscovered fundamental particles (and an explanation for the mysteries of gravity) and details the drive to keep exploring. 

Thorium to light up the world : Srikumar Banerjee

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Twenty percent of the world’s population have no access to electricity. As people’s aspirations for a better quality of life increases, the demand for energy will also rise. Finding efficient resources that can sustain humanity’s needs is a challenge, especially resources that will maintain the balance in the environment and reduce the possibility of climate change. Srikumar Banerjee presents the advantages of thorium as a cleaner and more sustainable energy source.

Srikumar Banerjee, nuclear scientist and metallurgical engineer, is the Indian Department of Atomic Energy’s Chair Professor at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre. Homi J. Bhabha, after whom the Centre is named, started India’s three-stage nuclear power programme in the 50s. It is one of the best-known efforts to develop thorium-based nuclear power, thorium having greater safety benefits, absence of non-fertile isotopes and higher occurrence and availability. Banerjee’s work provides the basis for analysing the microstructural evolution and radiation stability of structural materials in nuclear reactors.

Sangeeta Bhatia: This tiny particle could roam your body to find tumor

What if we could find cancerous tumors years before they can harm us — without expensive screening facilities or even steady electricity? Physician, bioengineer and entrepreneur Sangeeta Bhatia leads a multidisciplinary lab that searches for novel ways to understand, diagnose and treat human disease. Her target: the two-thirds of deaths due to cancer that she says are fully preventable. With remarkable clarity, she breaks down complex nanoparticle science and shares her dream for a radical new cancer test that could save millions of lives.

Sangeeta Bhatia is a cancer researcher, MIT professor and biotech entrepreneur who works to adapt technologies developed in the computer industry for medical innovation.

Why you should listen

Trained as both a physician and engineer at Harvard, MIT, and Brown University, Sangeeta Bhatia leverages ‘tiny technologies’ of miniaturization to yield inventions with new applications in tissue regeneration, stem cell differentiation, medical diagnostics, predictive toxicology and drug delivery. She and her trainees have launched more than 10 biotechnology companies to improve human health.

Bhatia has received many honors including the Lemelson-MIT Prize, known as the ‘Oscar for inventors,’ and the Heinz Medal for groundbreaking inventions and advocacy for women in STEM fields. She is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, the Director of the Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Science and Brown University’s Board of Trustees.

Virtual lab that will revolutionise the science class : Michael Bodekaer

Virtual reality is no longer part of some distant future, and it’s not just for gaming and entertainment anymore. Michael Bodekaer wants to use it to make quality education more accessible. In this refreshing talk, he demos an idea that could revolutionize the way we teach science in schools.

 

Michael Bodekaer is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for building innovative technology companies that have the potential to change the world.

Why you should listen

Born and raised in Denmark, Michael Bodekaer’s first business venture came to life when he was just 14 years old. Fast forward to 2016 and Michael is the founder of five unique organizations with offices spanning the globe.

With the ambition of leveraging cutting-edge technology to improve learning quality, Michael partnered with co-founder and science professor Dr. Mads Bonde to create a concept aimed at increasing the level of versatility and accessibility of science education. Labster is a groundbreaking platform that gives students worldwide the opportunity to learn life sciences through gamified education in immersive 3D virtual worlds and laboratories. With the ability to significantly enhance student’s motivation, these new and ever-evolving teaching tools are bringing a revolution to world ­class learning.

How to read the genome and build a human being : Riccardo Sabatini

Secrets, disease and beauty are all written in the human genome, the complete set of genetic instructions needed to build a human being. Now, as scientist and entrepreneur Riccardo Sabatini shows us, we have the power to read this complex code, predicting things like height, eye color, age and even facial structure — all from a vial of blood. And soon, Sabatini says, our new understanding of the genome will allow us to personalize treatments for diseases like cancer. We have the power to change life as we know it. How will we use it?

 

Partition of India and the forgotten question of Baluchistan | Tarek Fatah

While India is known to have taken birth in 1947 as a modern state, the civilisational ethos of India has survived for ages. Mr. Fatah proposes the need to develop a grand narrative of the Indian civilisation that extends beyond the geographical boundaries of the Indian Territory. Narrating the horror of the continuing conflict in Baluchistan, Tarek Fatah supports the cause of Baloch nationalists to be liberated from the control of Pakistan.

Writer, Broadcaster, a Secular and Liberal Activist. Tarek Fatah is a scholar par excellence with command over a range of subjects.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

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