TED Health


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

  • 6 minutes 15 seconds
    Food expiration dates don't mean what you think | Carolyn Beans

    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.

    18 June 2024, 4:00 am
  • 11 minutes
    The miracle of organ donation — and a breakthrough for the future | Abbas Ardehali

    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.

    11 June 2024, 4:00 am
  • 10 minutes 38 seconds
    The vital data you flush down the toilet | Newsha Ghaeli

    "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.

    4 June 2024, 4:00 am
  • 6 minutes 5 seconds
    Why is it so hard to cure the common cold? | George Zaidan

    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.

    28 May 2024, 4:00 am
  • 34 minutes 16 seconds
    What happens to sex in midlife? A look at the "bedroom gap" | Maria E. Sophocles

    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.

    21 May 2024, 4:00 am
  • 7 minutes 8 seconds
    How to make smart decisions more easily | Alexandra Panzer

    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.

    14 May 2024, 4:00 am
  • 7 minutes 1 second
    The science of laughter | Sasha Winkler

    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.

    7 May 2024, 4:00 am
  • 9 minutes 6 seconds
    What if a simple blood test could detect cancer? | Hani Goodarzi

    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.

    30 April 2024, 4:00 am
  • 7 minutes 25 seconds
    The diseases that changed humanity forever | Dan Kwartler

    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.

    23 April 2024, 4:00 am
  • 28 minutes 55 seconds
    A campaign for period positivity | Ananya Grover

    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.

    16 April 2024, 4:00 am
  • 12 minutes 18 seconds
    Do gut microbes control your personality? | Kathleen McAuliffe

    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.

    9 April 2024, 4:00 am
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