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Playlist: Should we redesign humans?

8 talks · 2h 01m · Curated by TED

Should we redesign humans? (8 talks)

The age of bioengineering is upon us, with scientists' understanding of how to engineer cells, tissues and organs improving at a rapid pace. Here, how this could affect the future of our physical bodies.

  • 1.
    18:50
    Now playing
    Even as mega-banks topple, Juan Enriquez says the big reboot is yet to come. But don't look for it on your ballot — or in the stock exchange. It'll come from science labs, and it promises keener bodies and minds. Our kids are going to be ... different.
  • 2.
    17:52
    Now playing
    Anthony Atala's state-of-the-art lab grows human organs — from muscles to blood vessels to bladders, and more. At TEDMED, he shows footage of his bio-engineers working with some of its sci-fi gizmos, including an oven-like bioreactor (preheat to 98.6 F) and a machine that "prints" human tissue.
  • 3.
    6:19
    Now playing
    Each of our bodies is utterly unique, which is a lovely thought until it comes to treating an illness — when every body reacts differently, often unpredictably, to standard treatment. Tissue engineer Nina Tandon talks about a possible solution: Using pluripotent stem cells to make personalized models of organs on which to test new drugs and treatments, and storing them on computer chips. (Call it extremely personalized medicine.)
  • 4.
    6:51
    Now playing
    Arthritis and injury grind down millions of joints, but few get the best remedy — real biological tissue. Kevin Stone shows a treatment that could sidestep the high costs and donor shortfall of human-to-human transplants with a novel use of animal tissue.
  • 5.
    19:25
    Now playing
    Alan Russell studies regenerative medicine — a breakthrough way of thinking about disease and injury, using a process that can signal the body to rebuild itself.
  • 6.
    17:24
    Now playing
    Surgeon Anthony Atala demonstrates an early-stage experiment that could someday solve the organ-donor problem: a 3D printer that uses living cells to output a transplantable kidney. Using similar technology, Dr. Atala's young patient Luke Massella received an engineered bladder 10 years ago; we meet him onstage.
  • 7.
    14:52
    Now playing
    What does it take to regrow bone in mass quantities? Typical bone regeneration — wherein bone is taken from a patient’s hip and grafted onto damaged bone elsewhere in the body — is limited and can cause great pain just a few years after operation. In an informative talk, Molly Stevens introduces a new stem cell application that harnesses bone’s innate ability to regenerate and produces vast quantities of bone tissue painlessly.
  • 8.
    19:42
    Now playing
    Bioethicist Paul Root Wolpe describes an astonishing series of recent bio-engineering experiments, from glowing dogs to mice that grow human ears. He asks: Isn't it time to set some ground rules? (Filmed at TEDxPeachtree.)