playlist

The fight against viruses

What we do (and don't) know about viruses, pandemics and the vaccines that combat them.

  1. 51:50
    Bill Gates How we must respond to the coronavirus pandemic

    Philanthropist and Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates offers insights into the COVID-19 pandemic, discussing why testing and self-isolation are essential, which medical advancements show promise and what it will take for the world to endure this crisis. (This virtual conversation is part of the TED Connects series, hosted by head of TED Chris Anderson and current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers. Recorded March 24, 2020)

  2. 46:43
    Esther Choo How health workers are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

    The coronavirus pandemic is unlike anything we've ever seen in health care, says emergency physician Esther Choo. Sharing insights into how health workers are responding to the outbreak, she explains what makes this public health emergency different from others — and provides a few simple things you can do to help. Watch to the end to hear about Choo's work deploying mobile ICUs across the United States as hospitals start to reach capacity. (This virtual conversation is part of the TED Connects series, hosted by current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers and head of curation Helen Walters. Recorded April 7, 2020)

  3. 1h 2m
    Seth Berkley The quest for the coronavirus vaccine

    When will the coronavirus vaccine be ready? Epidemiologist Seth Berkley (head of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance) takes us inside the effort to create a vaccine for COVID-19. With clarity and urgency, he explains what makes it so challenging to develop, when we can expect it to be rolled out at scale and why we'll need global collaboration to get it done. (This virtual conversation is part of the TED Connects series, hosted by head of TED Chris Anderson and current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers. Recorded March 26, 2020)

  4. 58:23
    Gary Liu What the world can learn from China's response to the coronavirus

    From Hong Kong, South China Morning Post CEO Gary Liu tracks China's response to the coronavirus pandemic — from the initial outbreak in Wuhan to the shutdown of Hubei province and the containment measures taken across its major cities. Sharing insights into how the culture in places like Hong Kong and South Korea contributed to fast action against the virus, Liu identifies lessons people across the world can use to stop its spread. (This virtual conversation is part of the TED Connects series, hosted by head of TED Chris Anderson and current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers. Recorded March 25, 2020)

  5. 8:06
    David Heymann What we do (and don't) know about the coronavirus

    What happens if you get infected with the coronavirus? Who's most at risk? How can you protect yourself? Public health expert David Heymann, who led the global response to the SARS outbreak in 2003, shares the latest findings about COVID-19 and what the future may hold. (Recorded February 27, 2020)

  6. 16:19
    Alanna Shaikh Why COVID-19 is hitting us now — and how to prepare for the next outbreak

    (Update: the CDC and international science community urge everyone to wear face coverings in public.) Where did the new coronavirus originate, how did it spread so fast — and what's next? Sharing insights from the outbreak, global health expert and TED Fellow Alanna Shaikh traces the spread of COVID-19, discusses why travel restrictions aren't effective and highlights the medical changes needed worldwide to prepare for the next pandemic. "We need to make sure that every country in the world has the capacity to identify new diseases and treat them," she says. Recorded March 5, 2020

  7. 43:45
    Sonia Shah How to make pandemics optional, not inevitable

    What can past pandemics teach us how to tackle the current one? Tracing the history of contagions from cholera to Ebola and beyond, science journalist Sonia Shah explains why we're more vulnerable to outbreaks now than ever before, what we can do to minimize the spread of coronavirus and how to prevent future pandemics. (This virtual conversation is part of the TED Connects series, hosted by science curator David Biello and current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers. Recorded March 31, 2020)

  8. 3:37
    Adam Kucharski How can we control the coronavirus pandemic?

    As the threat of COVID-19 continues, infectious disease expert and TED Fellow Adam Kucharski answers five key questions about the novel coronavirus, providing necessary perspective on its transmission, how governments have responded and what might need to change about our social behavior to end the pandemic. (This video is excerpted from a 70-minute interview between Kucharski and head of TED Chris Anderson. Listen to the full interview at http://go.ted.com/adamkucharski. Recorded March 11, 2020)

  9. 50:07
    Danielle Allen An ethical plan for ending the pandemic and restarting the economy

    As COVID-19 continues to spread, the world is facing two existential threats at once: a public health emergency and an economic crisis. Political theorist Danielle Allen describes how we can ethically and democratically address both problems by scaling up "smart testing," which would track positive cases with peer-to-peer software on people's cell phones — so we can end the pandemic and get back to work. (This virtual conversation is part of the TED Connects series, hosted by head of TED Chris Anderson and business curator Corey Hajim. Recorded April 6, 2020)

  10. 15:39
    Daniel Streicker What vaccinating vampire bats can teach us about pandemics

    Could we anticipate the next big disease outbreak, stopping a virus like Ebola before it ever strikes? In this talk about frontline scientific research, ecologist Daniel Streicker takes us to the Amazon rainforest in Peru where he tracks the movement of vampire bats in order to forecast and prevent rabies outbreaks. By studying these disease patterns, Streicker shows how we could learn to cut off the next pandemic at its source.

  11. 11:41
    Myriam Sidibe The simple power of hand-washing

    Myriam Sidibe is a warrior in the fight against childhood disease. Her weapon of choice? A bar of soap. For cost-effective prevention against sickness, it’s hard to beat soapy hand-washing, which cuts down risk of pneumonia, diarrhea, cholera and worse. Sidibe, a public-health expert, makes a smart case for public-private partnerships to promote clean hands — and local, sustainable entrepreneurship.

  12. 6:28
    Raymond Wang How germs travel on planes — and how we can stop them

    Raymond Wang is only 17 years old, but he's already helping to build a healthier future. Using fluid dynamics, he created computational simulations of how air moves on airplanes, and what he found is disturbing — when a person sneezes on a plane, the airflow actually helps to spread pathogens to other passengers. Wang shares an unforgettable animation of how a sneeze travels inside a plane cabin as well as his prize-winning solution: a small, fin-shaped device that increases fresh airflow in airplanes and redirects pathogen-laden air out of circulation.

  13. 15:08
    Dan Gibson How to build synthetic DNA and send it across the internet

    Biologist Dan Gibson edits and programs DNA, just like coders program a computer. But his "code" creates life, giving scientists the power to convert digital information into biological material like proteins and vaccines. Now he's on to a new project: "biological transportation," which holds the promise of beaming new medicines across the globe over the internet. Learn more about how this technology could change the way we respond to disease outbreaks and enable us to download personalized prescriptions in our homes.

  14. 11:41
    Fatima AlZahra'a Alatraktchi To detect diseases earlier, let's speak bacteria's secret language

    Bacteria "talk" to each other, sending chemical information to coordinate attacks. What if we could listen to what they were saying? Nanophysicist Fatima AlZahra'a Alatraktchi invented a tool to spy on bacterial chatter and translate their secret communication into human language. Her work could pave the way for early diagnosis of disease — before we even get sick.

  15. 10:13
    David Brenner A new weapon in the fight against superbugs

    Since the widespread use of antibiotics began in the 1940s, we've tried to develop new drugs faster than bacteria can evolve — but this strategy isn't working. Drug-resistant bacteria known as superbugs killed nearly 700,000 people last year, and by 2050 that number could be 10 million — more than cancer kills each year. Can physics help? In a talk from the frontiers of science, radiation scientist David Brenner shares his work studying a potentially life-saving weapon: a wavelength of ultraviolet light known as far-UVC, which can kill superbugs safely, without penetrating our skin. Followed by a Q&A with TED Curator Chris Anderson.

  16. 9:37
    Pardis Sabeti How we'll fight the next deadly virus

    When Ebola broke out in March 2014, Pardis Sabeti and her team got to work sequencing the virus's genome, learning how it mutated and spread. Sabeti immediately released her research online, so virus trackers and scientists from around the world could join in the urgent fight. In this talk, she shows how open cooperation was key to halting the virus ... and to attacking the next one to come along. "We had to work openly, we had to share and we had to work together," Sabeti says. "Let us not let the world be defined by the destruction wrought by one virus, but illuminated by billions of hearts and minds working in unity."

  17. 21:05
    Laurie Garrett Lessons from the 1918 flu

    In 2007, as the world worried about a possible avian flu epidemic, Laurie Garrett, author of "The Coming Plague," gave this powerful talk to a small TED University audience. Her insights from past pandemics are suddenly more relevant than ever.

  18. 8:32
    Bill Gates The next outbreak? We're not ready

    In 2014, the world avoided a global outbreak of Ebola, thanks to thousands of selfless health workers — plus, frankly, some very good luck. In hindsight, we know what we should have done better. So, now's the time, Bill Gates suggests, to put all our good ideas into practice, from scenario planning to vaccine research to health worker training. As he says, "There's no need to panic ... but we need to get going."

  19. 21:05
    Seth Berkley HIV and flu — the vaccine strategy

    Seth Berkley explains how smart advances in vaccine design, production and distribution are bringing us closer than ever to eliminating a host of global threats — from AIDS to malaria to flu pandemics.