TED Health

TED Health

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.

Episodes

April 23, 2024 7 mins

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, narrat...

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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 per...

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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.

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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...

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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 ...

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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 opportu...

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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, lif...

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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 transf...

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Are you actually bored, or is something else going on? Educator Kevin H. Gary shares three practical takeaways to deal with the doldrums, so you can take control of your attention, figure out which feelings to trust and name the real problem. After the talk, join Shoshana for a sweeping conversation with Dr. Elizabeth Harstad on the relationship between boredom and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD.

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Racism makes our economy worse — and not just in ways that harm people of color, says public policy expert Heather C. McGhee. From her research and travels across the US, McGhee shares startling insights into how racism fuels bad policymaking and drains our economic potential — and offers a crucial rethink on what we can do to create a more prosperous nation for all. "Our fates are linked," she says. "It costs us so much t...

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Your immune system is more socially aware than you think, says social neuroscientist and psychology professor Keely Muscatell. Investigating the interconnectedness of your mood and your inflammatory system, she offers an evolutionary reason as to why being sick may make you feel depressed — and vice versa.

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Does confidence equal competence? Not quite. In a talk that will make you better aware of yourself, experimental psychologist Robin Kramer delves into the Dunning-Kruger effect — which argues that those who are least capable often overestimate their skills the most — and explores just how good you are at judging your own abilities.

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In 2021, a survey of over 1,000 Americans found that nearly two-thirds had eaten plant-based meat alternatives in the past year. Many cited potential health and environmental benefits as their motivation. But are these alternative meats actually better for us and the planet? Carolyn Beans investigates the differences between farmed meat, plant-based meat, and lab-grown meat. This TED-Ed lesson was directed by Laura Jayne H...

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With birth rates falling, the worldwide human population is getting older and smaller. According to traditional thinking, this spells a future of labor shortages, bankrupt social security systems and overall economic collapse. Before you panic about the end of life as we know it, political demographer Jennifer D. Sciubba has a thoughtful playbook for managing the new normal — including ideas on the future of work and migra...

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"Why does a vibrator make us uncomfortable, but Viagra does not?" asks cognitive-behavioral coach Robin Buckley. Sharing her own personal story of empowering her teenage daughter to explore the power of pleasure, Buckley encourages parents to talk to their teens about healthy sexual development -- and shares why the awkward conversations are worth it.

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This is an episode we think you might enjoy of Body Electric. TED Radio Hour host Manoush Zomorodi investigates the relationship between our technology and our bodies and asks: How are we physically adapting to meet the demands of the Information Age? Why do so many of us feel utterly drained after a day spent attached to our devices?

This episode explores how economic eras have shaped the human body in the past with auth...

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Material scientist Anna Maria Coclite unveils "smart skin" — artificial skin technology that responds to touch, temperature and humidity like your very own. (It's actually even more sensitive than human skin!) From helping burn victims to paving the way to smarter, safer humanoid robots, Coclite highlights the broad-ranging potential of this innovation.

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In crowds, at meetings, get-togethers with friends, everyday interactions: social anxiety can show up as an unwelcome guest at any time. But why? Psychologist Fallon Goodman digs into the source of social anxiety, setting the record straight about this common condition with practical solutions to help you feel the most authentically "you" while out and about. After we revisit this talk, mental health specialist Dr. Jessi G...

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The happiest and healthiest people are those who have an abundance of warm connections with others, says psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, who leads the Harvard Study of Adult Development — one of the longest-running studies of adult life ever conducted. We’re revisiting a conversation that explores the link between social bonds and quality of life, as Waldinger shares insights into how to identify and strengthen the relation...

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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.

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