What if we looked at Parkinson's as an neurological electrical problem? Brain researcher Eleftheria Pissadaki and her team study dopamine neurons, the neurons that selectively die during Parkinson's. They discovered that the bigger a neuron is, the more vulnerable it becomes because it simply requires more energy. This new insight is reframing the disease -- and by "finding the fuse box for each neuron" and figuring out how much energy it needs, may help us neuroprotect our brain cells.
Irina Kareva translates biology into mathematics and vice versa. She writes mathematical models that describe the dynamics of cancer, with the goal of developing new drugs that target tumors. "The power and beauty of mathematical modeling lies in the fact that it makes you formalize, in a very rigorous way, what we think we know," Kareva says. "It can help guide us to where we should keep looking, and where there may be a dead end." It all comes down to asking the right question and translating it to the right equation, and back.
During the Cold War, Soviet educators were tasked with raising citizens who could out-innovate and out-build their American counterparts. One of their primary tools for doing so? Math. Educator Masha Gershman describes how the adaptive, highly social Soviet approach to teaching math can be deployed to prep new generations for an ever-shifting future.
Mohamad Jebara loves mathematics -- but he's concerned that too many students grow up thinking that this beautiful, rewarding subject is difficult and boring. His company is experimenting with a bold idea: paying students for completing weekly math homework. He explores the ethics of this model and how it's helping students -- and why learning math is crucial in the era of fake news.
Physics doesn't just happen in a fancy lab -- it happens when you push a piece of buttered toast off the table or drop a couple of raisins in a fizzy drink or watch a coffee spill dry. Become a more interesting dinner guest as physicist Helen Czerski presents various concepts in physics you can become familiar with using everyday things found in your kitchen.
As quantum computing matures, it's going to bring unimaginable increases in computational power along with it -- and the systems we use to protect our data (and our democratic processes) will become even more vulnerable. But there's still time to plan against the impending data apocalypse, says encryption expert Vikram Sharma. Learn more about how he's fighting quantum with quantum: designing security devices and programs that use the power of quantum physics to defend against the most sophisticated attacks.
Jakob Magolan is here to change your perception of organic chemistry. In an accessible talk packed with striking graphics, he teaches us the basics while breaking the stereotype that organic chemistry is something to be afraid of.
Take a look inside the optical bench of an Ocean Optics miniature spectrometer. In spectroscopy, photons encounter many components and undergo a variety of processes before registering as a spectrum. Let's see what happens to these photons once they enter the spectrometer!