It’s relatively easy to imagine a new medicine, a better cure for some disease. The hard part, though, is testing it, and that can delay promising new cures for years. In this well-explained talk, Geraldine Hamilton shows how her lab creates organs and body parts on a chip, simple structures with all the pieces essential to testing new medications — even custom cures for one specific person.
Let’s see this evolutionary ghost story. You’ll find out why the ginkgo biloba tree is so weird, visit with some prehistoric beasts, and learn how an avocado is a bit like a dodo bird.
The human brain is puzzling — it is curiously large given the size of our bodies, uses a tremendous amount of energy for its weight and has a bizarrely dense cerebral cortex. But: why?
In the Leidenfrost Effect, a water droplet will float on a layer of its own vapor if heated to certain temperature. This common cooking phenomenon takes center stage in a series of playful experiments by physicists at the University of Bath, who discovered new and fun means to manipulate the movement of water.
Is punishment or reward more effective for helping people learn. A lot of people would say different incentives motivate different people, or in different circumstances, but in psychology there is a sizable body of evidence that in order to learn skills, positive feedback is more effective. This fining has been verified not just with humans, but also with other species.
Some of the most familiar scientific breakthroughs and discoveries came while the researcher was looking for something completely different, while others were just plain luck. It always helps if you are open to the possibility of using what you’ve got as well as what you’re looking for!
We know that the dark matter has to be pretty cold – moving so slowly that its motion hardly matters – and that allows us to predict in great detail the large scale structure of the universe.
Paralyzed by a stroke, Henry Evans uses a telepresence robot to take the stage — and show how new robotics, tweaked and personalized by a group called Robots for Humanity, help him live his life. He shows off a nimble little quadrotor drone, created by a team led by Chad Jenkins, that gives him the ability to navigate space — to once again look around a garden, stroll a campus …
Drawing more than 50,000 tourists every year, the iconic moai statues of Rapa Nui are falling apart. Whilst debates continue over how to preserve them, locals also face a struggle over their independence.
Steve Mould discusses shapes and solids of constant width, including the Reuleaux triangle and the UK’s 50p coin.
How do we grow crops quickly enough to feed the Earth’s billions? It’s called the Haber process, which turns the nitrogen in the air into ammonia, easily converted in soil to the nitrate plants need to survive. Though it has increased food supply worldwide, the Haber process has also taken an unforeseen toll on the environment. Daniel D. Dulek delves into the chemistry and consequences.
Hank pays tribute to Carl Sagan, noting his accomplishment as an astronomer and his contributions to culture — both pop and otherwise — as one of the great popularizers of science.
In the US, women live 5 to 10 years longer than men. Are men doing something wrong, or are women really the superior sex? Laci explains this life expectancy discrepancy.
It’s perfectly human to grapple with questions, like ‘Where do we come from?’ and ‘How do I live a life of meaning?’ These existential questions are central to the five major world religions — and that’s not all that connects these faiths. John Bellaimey explains the intertwined histories and cultures of Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam.
No matter how you think of it, your skin is very important. It covers and protects everything inside your body. In humans, it is the largest organ of the integumentary system.