In the Appalachian firefly Photinus carolinus, flying males flash in synchrony with their neighbors, creating a symphony in light. Photo by Radim Schreiber.

Sara Lewis studies fireflies. And it turns out they’re not just a pretty flashing light on a summer night. She explains how a firefly glows — and how humans are harnessing that glow for health and medical research (and even to make our food safer).

Photo: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images.

Catharine Young describes a visit to Liberia, where Ebola may be contained but the public health story has only just begun.


Half the vaccines that are manufactured each year don’t make it to their destination, getting lost or damaged along the way between manufacturer and remote health clinics. That means that each year, 1.5 million children in the developing world die needlessly. Neuroscientist and TED Fellow Catharine Young explains a novel approach she thinks can fix the problems.

The Danger of Ebola Paranoia

It’s Halloween — and the only thing scarier than Ebola this week is Ebola paranoia. Should you panic in bowling alleys? How justified is your fear of hospitals? Are mandatory quarantines even legal in the U.S., anyway? 3 ideas behind the news. wants to spread information about Ebola by any means necessary — to readers, journalists and rural people fighting the disease on the ground. We talk to co-founder Jon Gosier, a TED Senior Fellow.


Journalist Rose George cares a lot about poop. But, she would argue, so should everyone. Here she gives four resources about toilets and sanitation.

2.5 billion people around the global don’t have access to a toilet, and feces is to blame for a devastating toll of disease. Journalist Rose George explains why we need to start talking shit.