Contact tracing -- the process of identifying people who may have been exposed to the coronavirus in order to slow its spread -- is a fundamental tool in the fight against COVID-19. How can we scale this critical work across the entire United States? Joia Mukherjee, chief medical officer of Partners in Health, discusses how her team is working with public health agencies to ramp up contact tracing for the country's most vulnerable communities -- and shows why it will take a compassionate...
How can we return to work without spurring a second surge of coronavirus infection? Biologist Uri Alon shares a thought-provoking strategy: four days at work followed by 10 days of lockdown, a cycle that would exploit a weakness in the virus's biology and potentially cut its reproductive rate to a manageable level. Learn more about this approach -- which has already been adopted by both companies and countries -- and how it could be a key to reopening the economy responsibly. (This virtual...
By incorporating art and creativity into elder care settings, gerontologist Anne Basting helps families reconnect with loved ones who have dementia. In this moving talk, she shares how asking "beautiful questions" -- questions that don't have a right or wrong answer -- opens up a shared path of discovery, imagination and wonder. "If we can infuse creativity into care, caregivers can invite a partner into meaning-making," Basting says. "In that moment, care, which is so often associated with...
Trauma and PTSD rewire your brain -- especially your memory -- and can unearth destructive emotional responses when stirred. Could we eliminate these triggers without erasing the memories themselves? Enter neurologist Amy Milton's mind-blowing, memory-editing clinical research poised to defuse the damaging effects of painful remembered experiences and offer a potential path toward better mental health.
Health care workers are under more stress than ever before. How can they protect their mental health while handling new and complex pressures? TED Fellow Laurel Braitman shows how writing and sharing personal stories helps physicians, nurses, medical students and other health professionals connect more meaningfully with themselves and others -- and make their emotional well-being a priority.
What if we could help people in crisis anytime, anywhere with a simple text message? That's the idea behind Crisis Text Line, a free 24-hour service that connects people in need with trained, volunteer crisis counselors -- "strangers helping strangers around the world, like a giant global love machine," as cofounder and former CEO Nancy Lublin puts it. Learn more about their big plans to expand to four new languages, providing a third of the globe with crucial, life-saving support. (This...
How does your genetic inheritance, culture and history influence your health? Biological anthropologist Lara Durgavich discusses the field of evolutionary medicine as a gateway to understanding the quirks of human biology -- including why a genetic mutation can sometimes have beneficial effects -- and emphasizes how unraveling your own evolutionary past could glean insights into your current and future health.
The coronavirus pandemic is unlike anything we've ever seen in health care, says emergency physician Esther Choo. Sharing insights into how health workers are responding to the outbreak, she explains what makes this public health emergency different from others -- and provides a few simple things you can do to help. Watch to the end to hear about Choo's work deploying mobile ICUs across the United States as hospitals start to reach capacity. (This virtual conversation is part of the TED...
If you're feeling anxious or fearful during the coronavirus pandemic, you're not alone. Offering hope and understanding, author Elizabeth Gilbert reflects on how to stay present, accept grief when it comes and trust in the strength of the human spirit. "Resilience is our shared genetic inheritance," she says. (This virtual conversation is part of the TED Connects series, hosted by head of TED Chris Anderson and head of curation Helen Walters. Recorded April 2, 2020)
"Autism is not a disease; it's just another way of thinking," says Ethan Lisi. Offering a glimpse into the way he experiences the world, Lisi breaks down misleading stereotypes about autism, shares insights into common behaviors like stimming and masking and promotes a more inclusive understanding of the spectrum.
A good night's sleep has perhaps never been more important. Sharing wisdom and debunking myths, sleep scientist Matt Walker discusses the impact of sleep on mind and body -- from unleashing your creative powers to boosting your memory and immune health -- and details practices you can start (and stop) doing tonight to get some rest. (This virtual conversation is part of the TED Connects series, hosted by head of TED Chris Anderson and current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers....
Where did the new coronavirus originate, how did it spread so fast -- and what's next? Sharing insights from the outbreak, global health expert and TED Fellow Alanna Shaikh traces the spread of COVID-19, discusses why travel restrictions aren't effective and highlights the medical changes needed worldwide to prepare for the next pandemic. "We need to make sure that every country in the world has the capacity to identify new diseases and treat them," she says. (Recorded March 5, 2020. Update:...
As the threat of COVID-19 continues, infectious disease expert Adam Kucharski answers five key questions about the novel coronavirus, providing necessary perspective on its transmission, how governments have responded and what might need to change about our social behavior to end the pandemic. (This video is excerpted from a 70-minute interview between Kucharski and head of TED Chris Anderson, recorded March 11, 2020. Listen to the full interview at go.ted.com/adamkucharski.)
Having your period is exhausting -- and for many people across the world, menstruation is even more challenging because of stigmas and difficulty getting basic hygiene supplies, says social activist Ananya Grover. In this uplifting, actionable talk, she shares how "Pravahkriti," her campaign to spread period positivity, creatively engages with everyone to promote menstrual health, raise awareness and break taboos around periods.
Have you ever wondered how your ears work? In this delightful and fascinating talk, biophysicist Jim Hudspeth demonstrates the wonderfully simple yet astonishingly powerful mechanics of hair cells, the microscopic powerhouses that make hearing possible -- and explains how, when it's really quiet, your ears will begin to beam out a spectrum of sounds unique to you.
Many of the symptoms of menopause -- hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, memory lapses, depression and anxiety -- start in the brain. How exactly does menopause impact cognitive health? Sharing groundbreaking findings from her research, neuroscientist Lisa Mosconi reveals how decreasing hormonal levels affect brain aging -- and shares simple lifestyle changes you can make to support lifelong brain health.
Neuroscientist Kay M. Tye investigates how your brain gives rise to complex emotional states like depression, anxiety or loneliness. From the cutting edge of science, she shares her latest findings -- including the development of a tool that uses light to activate specific neurons and create dramatic behavioral changes in mice. Learn how these discoveries could change the way you think about your mind -- and possibly uncover effective treatments for mental disorders.
It's normal to feel anxious or overwhelmed by climate change, says psychologist Renée Lertzman. Can we turn those feelings into something productive? In an affirming talk, Lertzman discusses the emotional effects of climate change and offers insights on how psychology can help us discover both the creativity and resilience needed to act on environmental issues.
Air pollution knows no borders -- even in your own body, says public health expert María Neira. In this startling talk, she describes how the microscopic particles and chemicals you breathe affect all your major organs (including your brain) and calls on both the public and those in power to take action to stop the sources of pollution.
As a medical clown, TED Resident Matthew A. Wilson takes the old adage that laughter is the best medicine very seriously. In this heartwarming talk, he shares glimpses of how clowning around can help patients (and medical staff) navigate stressful situations -- with no side effects.
Parasitic worms date back thousands of years, causing diseases that limit human potential. But today, effective treatment against them requires just a few pills, taken once or twice a year. With 1.7 billion people at risk of infection, Ellen Agler and her team at the END Fund are imagining a world without disease caused by worms. Learn about how they're seeking to lower treatment costs, amplify prevention, support governments and nurture local leadership. This ambitious plan is a part of The...
There's no shortage of resources to help people change their health behaviors -- but far too often, these resources aren't accessible in underserved communities, says physician Priscilla Pemu. Enter "culturally congruent coaching," a program Pemu and her team developed to help patients with chronic diseases monitor their health with the assistance of a coach from their community. Learn more about how this approach transcends language and cultural barriers -- and could potentially transform...
Your lifelong health may have been decided the day you were born, says microbiome researcher Henna-Maria Uusitupa. In this fascinating talk, she shows how the gut microbes you acquire during birth and as an infant impact your health into adulthood -- and discusses new microbiome research that could help tackle problems like obesity and diabetes.
Why do we make poor decisions that we know are bad for our health? In this frank, funny talk, behavioral economist and health policy expert David Asch explains why our behavior is often irrational -- in highly predictable ways -- and shows how we can harness this irrationality to make better decisions and improve our health care system overall.
Could we anticipate the next big disease outbreak, stopping a virus like Ebola before it ever strikes? In this talk about frontline scientific research, ecologist Daniel Streicker takes us to the Amazon rainforest in Peru where he tracks the movement of vampire bats in order to forecast and prevent rabies outbreaks. By studying these disease patterns, Streicker shows how we could learn to cut off the next pandemic at its source.