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TED Health

TED Health

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What does exercise do to your brain? Can psychedelics treat depression? From smart daily habits to new medical breakthroughs, welcome to TED Health, with host Dr. Shoshana Ungerleider. TED speakers answer questions you never even knew you had, and share ideas you won't hear anywhere else, all around how we can live healthier lives.
391 Episodes
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Biomedical researcher Sonia Vallabh's life was turned upside down when she learned she had the genetic mutation for a rare and fatal illness, prion disease, that could strike at any time. Thirteen years later, her search for a cure has led to new insights about how to catch and prevent disease — and how to honor our grandest, most mysterious inheritance: our brains.
What if you could transform your anxiety into something you can actually use during your work day? This week, we're revisiting a talk by neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki, who shares two evidence-based activities — breathing and movement — that can soothe your nervous system and fuel creativity and connection.
What you experience through your senses — sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch — can impact how healthy you are and how long you live, says neurobiologist Christi Gendron. She explores how environmental cues like temperature, light and even just the sight of death have influenced the lifespan of fruit flies, suggesting your everyday perceptions may have direct repercussions on your ability to live a long, healthy life.
Here's a conundrum: the same aerosol pollutants that harm human health also help cool the climate, says atmospheric scientist Sarah J. Doherty. Is there a way to clean up the air without warming the planet? Exploring the unintended consequences of reducing air pollution, she makes the case for a better understanding of marine cloud brightening — or intentionally adding sea salt aerosols to clouds over the ocean, which could reflect sunlight back into space and potentially reduce global warming.
Countries around the world waste huge amounts of food every year: roughly a fifth of food items in the US are tossed because consumers aren't sure how to interpret expiration labels. But most groceries are still perfectly safe to eat past their expiration dates. If the dates on our food don't tell us that something's gone bad, what do they tell us? Carolyn Beans shares how to prevent food waste. This TED-Ed lesson was directed by Anton Bogaty, narrated by Alexandra Panzer and the music is by Salil Bhayani, cAMP Studio.
Organ transplants save lives, but they come with challenges: every minute a healthy donated organ is on ice increases risk. And even if things go perfectly, rejection of the organ is still possible. Cardiothoracic surgeon Abbas Ardehali introduces cutting-edge medical advances in machine perfusion — a portable platform that keeps organs alive outside of the body — that could help put time back on the patient's side.
"Everybody pees and poops — and we know that urine and stool contain a rich source of information on our health," says data detective Newsha Ghaeli. Exploring the growing field of wastewater epidemiology, she shows how studying sewage can (anonymously) reveal a lot about the collective well-being of our cities — leading to real-time quality-of-life improvements like tracking pandemics, updating social policies and much more.
On average, adults catch more than 150 colds throughout their lives. Even with similar symptoms, the cause could be different each time. Common colds are caused by at least 8 different families of virus, each of which can have its own subtypes. How can so many different viruses cause the same illness? And is a cure even possible? Explore the two main strategies we employ to fight viruses. This TED-Ed lesson was directed by Anton Bogaty, narrated by George Zaidan and the music is by Nikola Radivojevic.
Menopause isn't just hot flashes, says gynecologist and sexual medicine specialist Maria Sophocles. It's often accompanied by overlooked symptoms like painful sex or loss of libido. Shedding light on what she calls the "bedroom gap," or the difference in sexual expectations of men and women in midlife due to societal norms, Sophocles advocates for education, medical advancement and a new understanding of menopause — because sex should be pleasurable and comfortable for everyone. After the talk, join Shoshana for a conversation with OB/GYN and women’s health advocate Dr. Jessica Shepherd.
Everything our bodies do— whether physical or mental— uses energy. Studies have found that many individuals seem to have a daily threshold for making decisions, and an extended period of decision-making can lead to cognitive exhaustion. So, what kinds of choices lead us to this state, and what can we do to fight fatigue? Explore the psychology of decision fatigue and ways you can avoid fatigue. Directed by Jolene Tan, narrated by Alexandra Panzer and music by Jeremie Lim.
Isn’t it odd that, when something’s funny, you might show your teeth, change your breathing, become weak and achy in some places, and maybe even cry? In other words, why do we do this bizarre thing that is laughter? Since there’s no archaeological record of laughter, it’s impossible to say exactly how and why it evolved, but scientists have some theories. Sasha Winkler digs into the reflex. This TED-Ed lesson was directed by Hanna Rybak, narrated by Susan Zimmerman and the music is by Jarrett Farkas.
Catching cancer at its earliest stages saves lives. But in a body made up of trillions of cells, how do you spot a small group of rogue cancer cells? Biomedical researcher Hani Goodarzi discusses his lab's discovery of a new class of RNAs that, when paired with emerging AI tools, could help detect cancer earlier, more precisely and even through routine blood work — potentially transforming our understanding of the disease.
Since humanity’s earliest days, we’ve been plagued by countless disease-causing pathogens. Invisible and persistent, these microorganisms and the illnesses they incur have killed more humans than anything else in history. But which disease has been the deadliest? Dan Kwartler digs into how human progress and innovation throughout history exposed us to surprising new maladies. This TED-Ed lesson was directed by BASA, narrated by Addison Anderson and the music was created by Igor Figueroa, Estudio Mono.
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. After the talk, Shoshana has a sweeping conversation with OB/GYN, activist and fellow TED Audio Collective host Dr. Jen Gunter on breaking down period myths and misconceptions.
Biologist Kathleen McAuliffe dives into emerging research that explores how certain gut bacteria can influence major parts of who you are, from your personality to life-changing neurological disorders. Learn more about how this ongoing clinical medical and pharmaceutical research might change how we treat disease — and discover the impact of your internal microbial makeup on your mood, weight and more.
Have we misunderstood pain? This week we’re revisiting a talk by researcher and physician Amy Baxter as she unravels the symphony of connections that send pain from your body to your brain, explaining practical neuroscience hacks to quickly block those signals. Her groundbreaking research offers alternatives for immediate pain relief -- without the need for addictive opioids. (Followed by a Q&A with TED current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers)
Have we lost the practical wisdom of what happens as people die? With lessons from a career witnessing thousands of people's final breaths, palliative care expert Kathryn Mannix urges us to demystify the experience of death, sharing how a better understanding of what actually happens can reduce fear in the final days, for you and your loved ones. After the talk, Shoshana shares how one patient changed her life forever and led her to found endwellproject.org, a platform dedicated to making end-of-life PART of life.
A Chinese saying goes, "There's no pleasure in eating without meat." And the data backs that up: every year, China consumes 26 percent of the world's meat and 45 percent of its seafood — numbers that could grow alongside rising incomes. Impact investor Tao Zhang shows why getting Chinese consumers to switch to plant-based alternatives is vital to tackling climate change and explores how it's also a massive business opportunity to bring tasty, affordable new proteins to market.
How does getting an abortion — or not — influence a woman's life? Demographer Diana Greene Foster puts forward the results of The Turnaway Study, her landmark work following nearly 1,000 women through abortion or childbirth, presenting definitive data on the long-term physical, mental and economic impacts of the right to choose on pregnant people and their families. "Access to abortion is about control over one's body, life and destiny," says Foster.
Legendary actor and mental health advocate Glenn Close is on a quest to change how we think about mental health, starting with her decision to speak out about her own family's struggles — a brave choice considering the stigma that pervades the topic. In a sweeping conversation with TEDWomen curator Pat Mitchell, Close shares the inspiration behind the advocacy group she founded to combat the crisis, underscoring the transformative power of community and the critical need for comprehensive mental health care systems.
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TED Health with Dr. Shoshana Ungerleider is a fantastic platform that explores the fascinating connection between our health, habits, and innovations. From the positive impact of exercise on the brain to exploring unconventional treatments like psychedelics for depression, these discussions offer valuable insights into our well-being. Excited to learn more from TED speakers! 🧠💡 #THALDERMA https://thalderma-laser.de

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