Five TED Talks on Health That You Should Be Watching Now

We know you love watching TED Talks for the way they inspire innovation in less than 18 minutes. Here are five health-related TED Talks from this past year that you should be watching now.

Jane McGonigal: The game that can give you 10 more years of life – Diet, drugs, and devices claim to increase your lifespan, but Jane McGonigal explains a scientifically-proven way to add 10 years to your life and increase your happiness. As a bonus, just for watching this 20-minute video, she’ll promise to add 7.5 minutes to your life. I recommend watching this one with a friend in an area where you can stand up and walk around!

Mina Bissell: Experiments that point to a new understanding of cancer – Don’t get too caught up in the scientific and biological details of Bissell’s experiments. We love how Bissell makes us even more in awe of the human body, despite the many advancements we’ve made in our understanding of biology. The body is still very much a mystery, Bissell says, so our approach to “solving” its problem must include a lot of thinking outside the box.


Ivan Oransky: Are we over-medicalized? – This controversial talk discusses whether or not American medicine has an obsession with “preconditions”. Does it actually help our overall well-being, or is it mostly feeding the pockets of insurance companies and physicians?


Robert Gupta: Between music and medicine – Many of you have probably experienced how a sultry jazz riff may cause some the listener to swoon, while a hypnotic techno-beat can give others a drug-like high, but did you know there are actually documented mental health benefits to music therapy? Musician and neuroscience enthusiast Robert Gupta shares stories of patients with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other neurodegenerative diseases whose symptoms seemed to vanish when exposed to music, in this inspiring talk. One of his students, Nathaniel Ayers, was the subject of the 2009 film, The Soloist.


Nina Tandon: Could tissue engineering mean personalized medicine? – Imagine being able to use a small sample of your skin tissue and use it to develop drugs that are extremely effective, have no side effects, and are custom-formulated to treat you. That’s the potential power of tissue engineering and the use of pluripotent stem cells. Tissue Engineer Nina Tandon explains how scientists are already using pluripotent stem cells to make personalized models of organs on which to test new drugs and treatments.