We need to talk about male suicide | Steph Slack | TEDxFolkestone

We need to talk about male suicide | Steph Slack | TEDxFolkestone


Translator: Leonardo Silva
Reviewer: David DeRuwe Did you know that
by the end of this event, three men in the UK
will have died by suicide? I can still remember exactly where I was when my dad called me to tell me
that they’d found my uncle. He had taken his life, and it had taken three weeks
to find his body. Richard was 47. He was a doctor, super smart,
creative, autistic, he spoke new languages with ease,
he played and wrote music and he understood science and math
like no one else I knew. He was the kind of kid
you’d really hate at school, right? He saved people’s lives for a living, and yet, he decided to take his own. I’d like to take you back to 2010. I was at my new flat in Brighton,
having dinner with a friend, about to start my third year
of university, when my dad calls me to tell me
that they’d found my uncle. That feeling, that sinking feeling in your stomach
when your heart drops all the way down, and all you can think is, “What could I have done
to stop that from happening?” that feeling is not something
I wish anyone ever has to experience. Men are facing a crisis. How many men do you think
die by suicide each day in the UK? Have a guess. Raise your hand
if you think it’s under five. Raise your hands. Under five? Under 10? It’s 12. That’s one man every two hours. While we’re all enjoying our day, we’re going to lose 12 men
to suicide today. In my work, we talk a lot about the fact
that 76% of all suicides are male and that this silent killer is claiming
the lives of more men under 45 than anything else. And I can’t help but find myself
asking, “Why is that?” Doesn’t that trouble you? Because it troubles me. These are our brothers, fathers,
uncles, partners, sons – these are our friends, and they decide to die. I think there are some hard questions
we need to ask about male suicide. I don’t believe there’s anything wrong
with men having suicidal thoughts, but is there something wrong with how
we react to suicide being thought about? Let me explain. We’ll all die at one point
or another, right? Our bodies will fail us,
and we’ll die of disease or old age. Or we’ll have our lives taken from us,
maybe in a tragic accident. So, isn’t it perfectly normal to consider being in control
of our own death? Yes, suicide is intentional, but does that automatically make it wrong? I believe suicide is preventable, and I believe we should do
everything in our power to prevent it, but I also believe
there’s nothing inherently wrong in thinking about our own death. I’ve considered what it’s like to die. I’d like to ask you all
to close your eyes just for a minute. I promise nothing scary will happen
if you close your eyes. Now raise your hands
if you’ve ever had a really bad day that’s left you feeling
maybe stressed or upset. Okay. Keep your eyes closed
and keep your hands raised if that bad day or bad week or bad month has ever led you
to think about harming yourself or taking your own life. Thank you; put your hands down
and then open your eyes. That was about half of this room. I invite you to consider
what might be different if we didn’t see having
suicidal thoughts as wrong, and what that might mean for the men
in our lives thinking of suicide. Let’s go back to my uncle Richard. For most of his life, he experienced
what was most likely bipolar, and he’d had suicidal thoughts
on more than one occasion. In fact, six years before his death,
he attempted to take his life. The sad fact was
that Richard lived in a time where suicide wasn’t considered
something that you spoke about. It was swept under the carpet
and a cause of shame amongst families. There was something wrong with it. I mean, it was only in 1961
that we stopped making suicide a crime. Richard’s parents were medics –
an anesthetist and a nurse – and they didn’t understand suicide either. They didn’t think that it was real, and I think they were probably in denial
about what was happening with Richard. What happened to my uncle
isn’t my grandparents’ fault. Suicide is complex and rarely
attributed to any one factor. But, when I reflect
on Richard’s experience and on how we still struggle
to speak about suicide today, nothing’s really changed. We still struggle to talk about it. We label it as abnormal or unusual, and we make men wrong
for having suicidal thoughts. We say that they’re unwell,
or that they need to get better. And because we think of it this way, it stops us from being able
to talk about it, and we stay silent instead. And suicide remains
shrouded in this stigma. That stigma is only perpetuated by irresponsible
and sensationalized journalism that happens in the cases
of celebrity suicide. Just look at some of the reporting
around Anthony Bourdain’s recent death. When I was thinking about
how best to explain this point, it made me think about
sex and sex education. Stick with me, okay? (Chuckles) It’s really uncomfortable for us
to talk to kids about sex. It’s so tempting to think if we don’t talk about it,
it won’t happen, our kids won’t have sex. But we know that teenage pregnancy
and STIs are the risks if we don’t have that conversation, and we take those risks seriously. We introduced sex education into schools, and it’s now compulsory across the UK. And, I mean, it’s far from perfect, but what it has been shown to do is to improve positive attitudes
towards safe sex, to delay sex and to reduce teenage pregnancy
when used alongside other methods. With suicide, we know it’s a myth that talking about it will plant
that idea in someone’s head. And if suicide is claiming the lives
of more men under 45 than anything else, isn’t it time we just start accepting that suicidal thoughts
are something that happen, and instead start talking openly
and responsibly about it? I don’t think there’s anything wrong
with men having suicidal thoughts. But perhaps there is something wrong
with our expectations of men in society that lead them to have those thoughts. Let’s think about that. What does it mean to be masculine? What does it mean to be a man? Society tells us men should
be strong, dependable, and able to provide for their family. There’s very little research
into the reasons why men suicide, but the recent research that does exist speaks about how men’s high suicide rates
are linked to risk factors such as history
of being abused as a child, single status or relationship breakdown, and financial difficulty or unemployment. So that means that if you’re a man
and you’ve had a troubled childhood, you’re still searching for the one
or you’re worried about money, you’re at risk of suicide! How many of us know men in that situation? I mean, I’ve definitely
just described Richard, and I’ve probably described
half of millennial men in the UK. Unsurprisingly, these risk factors are linked to those
traditional notions of masculinity, of being strong, dependable,
and able to provide for your family. It seems as though when men feel
they can’t meet those expectations, they make themselves wrong for that. The research backs this up too. Just last year, there was a paper
confirming that there is a link between men feeling unable to fulfill the stereotypical
characteristics of masculinity and suicidal thoughts. Now, I imagine a lot of us in this room
don’t agree with those stereotypes, but some of us probably do,
or at least know someone who does. How many of us have been guilty of saying
“Man up!” at some point in our lives? I know I have. The conversation is starting to change. There are great campaigns
like BBC Three’s Real Men Do Cry and CALM’s L’eau de Chris, that are trying to shift those perceptions
of men and masculinity and encourage them
to be more open and vulnerable. But is it just men who are perpetuating
these outdated stereotypes of what it means to be a man and making themselves wrong for that? I don’t think so. I’d like us to consider
what our role is as women. Just last month, I was chatting
to a female friend of mine who described the guy she was dating
as “a sponge” and “too sensitive” because he opened up to her about some of the anxieties
he was facing in the relationship and how that was
making him feel vulnerable. I cannot begin to describe
the look I see on some women’s faces when I speak about how men I know
have broken down in tears in front of me. It’s somewhere between
discomfort and disdain. Men are already making themselves wrong for not living up
to these masculine ideals of being strong, dependable,
and able to provide for their families. They’re already
shaming themselves for that. But we’re compounding the problem
by making them wrong and shaming them for demonstrating
those open and vulnerable behaviors that we say we want them to show us. And we’re making them wrong for breaking out
of these rigid stereotypes and for just being fully human. To the women in the room, I’m not saying that male suicide
is our responsibility. I absolutely acknowledge that men have a huge role to play
in breaking down these stereotypes. But as a woman, I can only speak
to my experience and how I do see our role. What I’m inviting all of us to do,
regardless of our gender, is to reconsider the expectations
that we have of men in society and reconsider how we view men who have the courage
to show us their vulnerability. I’m inviting us to ask the men
in our lives how they’re really doing and if they’re struggling with anything
they haven’t told us about. And can we think about
how we respond to that? How we might choose
to empathize with their pain? Can we hold space for men
and listen to them, without trying to fix things, tell them that we love them and that it’s okay for them
to feel however they’re feeling? I’d like to tell you
about another guy I know. He’s a really good friend of mine;
I used to work with him, actually. His name’s Billy – he’s super smart, he’s genuine, authentic, kind, generous – he’s just the kind of guy
you really want to spend time with. So, imagine how I felt when Billy called me at 11:30 a.m.
on a Friday morning, three years ago, to tell that he’d spent
the night in hospital because the night before,
he’d tried to take his own life. He was 24. You’re probably thinking I felt shocked, panicked, uncomfortable. Actually, I felt honored. I felt honored that Billy felt
that he could talk to me about his suicide attempt
and how he’d been feeling. I thought back to my uncle, and I knew that I had a chance
to respond differently to Billy. I met him with compassion
and understanding, and a safe space to talk about
how he was feeling, without judgment. I didn’t make him wrong
for feeling the way that he felt or for attempting to take his life. I didn’t try to label him as suicidal
or as someone who needed to get better. I simply gave him a space
to talk about whatever he needed to. I saw what he told me
as incredibly courageous, and not something
he should ever be ashamed of. I can’t help but wonder
if this can make a difference. When I reflect on how my response
to Billy was entirely different to the response my uncle used to receive
when he spoke about suicide, I can’t help but wonder what would happen if we had different expectations
of men in society, if we had a different reaction to men who have the courage
to show us their vulnerability, and a different reaction to men
who have suicidal thoughts. Would men feel differently about suicide? I don’t have the answers, but I am inviting you
to consider the questions. Because I don’t believe there is anything
wrong with men having suicidal thoughts, but perhaps there is something wrong
with how we react to that and our expectations of men in society. So, what would happen if we all
have the courage to go home tonight and have conversations
with the men in our lives about how they’re feeling
and what they’re thinking, including their suicidal thoughts? Yeah, it’s going to be uncomfortable, I get that, but we do it with sex! Every parent dreads having
that conversation with their kids about how babies are made. But we know it’s important
to keep our kids safe, so we do it anyway,
no matter how uncomfortable we feel. I wish I could have had
a conversation with my uncle like the one I had with Billy. I wish I could have told him, “There is nothing wrong with you. There is nothing wrong with how
you’re feeling or what you’re thinking. It’s okay. I’m here to listen to whatever
you need to say or talk about because your feelings are important. You’re important, and you don’t have to do this alone.” Thank you. (Applause) (Cheers)

Insects: food of the past and food of the future | Lars-Henrik Lau Heckmann | TEDxLakeComo

Insects: food of the past and food of the future | Lars-Henrik Lau Heckmann | TEDxLakeComo


Translator: Michele Gianella
Reviewer: Rhonda Jacobs Let’s talk about food. If we look at food
from a biological perspective, it’s one thing. If we look at it
from a cultural perspective, it’s another thing. So, for us now, food – it’s pizza,
it’s pasta, it’s panini, to keep it a little bit Italian. But it’s not that many years ago,
at least in geological terms, only a few thousand years, that food for us,
when we roamed to the savannah, was leaves, roots, berries, insects. And occasionally,
when we got lucky, big game. So you can see, there’s a huge divergence between what we consider food now
and what we used to consider as food. So, what happened in Europe? Why is insect not part of our food, when we have been eating insects
for thousands of years? Well, it was part of our food culture,
at least in Roman times, and sometime into early medieval times. But then we had other things
that shaped our food culture, like agriculture, providing
steady supply of crops, animal livestock. And also during medieval time,
there’s another theory that tries to explain
why we forgot eating insects, which is that we had the Little Ice Age. That’s not a theory, that’s a fact, at least if you believe
geological records, but it meant that temperature dropped. And insects are cold-blooded animals, so they need energy
from their surroundings to keep their metabolism going. And for them, that was a huge blow,
when temperature dropped. So species diversity and abundance
dropped accordingly. So our food supply and hence influence –
insects into our food culture diminished. So, it’s not something
that is completely forgotten. Actually, it’s just in Europe;
North America as well. Around the globe, still about two,
two and a half billion people, it’s difficult to count, but on an average day,
millions are eating insects. Over 2000 species of insects
have a known history of being eaten. When you start counting
the cows and the pigs and the poultry, you don’t even get into the hundreds. And in Mexico, for instance, which is probably
the world’s leading country, regarding eating insects, they eat more than 500 different species. And here, a very common picture
from a food market in Mexico, where women are selling locusts. So, why should we start
eating insects in Europe again? I mean, it’s going so well
with the pizza and pasta, right? Well, there are several reasons
why we might want to consider that. And one of them could be climate change. And at this moment in our history, our food production, agriculture at large, has about a fourth of the climate impact, so about 25 percentish
of all greenhouse gas emissions, globally, comes from agriculture. And even from animal
production alone, it’s 15%. If you accept the notion that we have an influence
on global change, and that food production
surely contributes a large part of that, well, here is a place
where we can make a difference. We can start producing more sustainably, producing it in a way that at least it’s more good
to the environment and to our climate. And this is where insects come into play. Because insects have
some competencies from nature. They are really, really efficient. And I’ll give you a comparison
with cows just in a minute, because that’s the most
extreme example, really. So it’s not that I’m against cows,
I do eat steak, now and again. But it’s just the best example. Insects are cold-blooded animals,
as I mentioned just before. So just that fact makes them,
like fish, really efficient. So if we can keep
the right temperature around them, then what we feed them
is being converted into food at a far higher rate than if we fed that same amount
of feed to a cow. That’s my first example, really,
when we compare insects with cows. But we are working on making
special diets or feeds for insects, so this will be better, but roughly now we get
five times more insect biomass, if we give that feed to them, than if we gave it to a cow. Also, what is interesting about insects
is regarding land use. Already now, we can produce
10 times as many insects in the same space that it would require to produce a cow. This is because with insects
we can have vertical farming. Just like many of you
maybe know from plants, vertical farming
is also possible with insects. We’re not talking square metre production,
we’re talking cubic metre production. So if you have a facility
that is 10 or 20 meters high, you can really have
a lot of kilograms coming out – or tons, even, coming out
per month per square metre. And then there is the use of water, which is also a resource
that is really, really valuable, and on decline in many parts
of the world, or – the distribution of water is changing, due to our impact on water systems
as well, unfortunately. Insects use in general, and it is a very generic comparison
when you take insects, because they constitute
a million species, really, but I have to keep a little generic – about 100-fold less water is being used as would have been used
for producing a cow. And when we talk of hundreds,
the emission of greenhouse gas is also a 100-fold lower
with insects than with cattle. So, looks delicious, doesn’t it? What’s not to like? It’s good for the planet,
also nutritionally, it has, like an animal product,
a high protein content – 40 to 60%, when we look at it
at a dry matter level; good fats, actually, a lot of unsaturated
fatty acids, like omega-6 – not so much omega-3, a little bit,
but they are terrestrial, so if they had been from the sea,
that would have been a little better; and they have good vitamins
and minerals, iron, zinc; on the vitamins, vitamin B12, vitamin D. So yeah, it sounds delicious, doesn’t it? I mean, it maintains our body really well. But because we have forgotten
to eating these types of foods, culturally, this is revolting. Maybe I could have wrapped it
in a nicer shape for you, but, yeah, there are products out there. So really, we need to close
this cultural gap. And how do we do that? For my own sake, it’s the biggest change management effort
I’ve ever been part of. And it’s really, that it is what it is,
so we need to let it take time. But we can influence
how it will be implemented. Because it has to be
implemented, I will argue. So, right now, as it’s not
part of our culture, we are skeptical towards it. That’s a natural response. We haven’t seen this before.
It could be from Mars, we don’t know. But as you know
from other foods, there’s hope. Like Sushi, I hear now
is getting popular in Italy. This could be the same with insects. Maybe it’s not the the older generations
that will take this on, and particularly, perhaps,
not in this shape, but younger people
like the millennial generation who care a lot about climate change, they are really keen on this. And in Northern Europe
this is a hot topic, I can tell you. Also younger children,
like my own children, six and nine – well, they may have been
a little indoctrinated, I admit that. But it’s nothing like, ‘You have to eat your insects today,
otherwise you won’t have your dessert!’ They really took this on
very instinctively, really. And I’m sorry to say, but it was far easier for me
to having my kids eating mealworms, like you’re seeing here –
beetle larvae – crickets and locusts, than it was convincing them
eating pasta bolognese. I’m not kidding. So I think this also shows
that this is a natural food to us. But culture has messed it up
a little bit for us and therefore we need to rely, as always,
on the children to implement this. So within 10 to 20 years, I’m hopeful, and I will still keep on
indoctrinating my children to make the future a better place, there’s hope for change. But, there are still a lot of challenges,
for this new industry. It’s been around for maybe
five, seven years in Europe, in an industrial form,
or a form that wants to become industrial, where we can produce large quantities that can substitute some
of the red meat in particular. And we are facing
some real big challenges, so – Upscaling, it’s a huge challenge. Right now, it’s a few thousand tonnes
that are being produced in Europe. We need that to be a million tonnes. That will likely happen in 2030, according to the IPIFF,
the trade association, where lots of insect
producers are organised. Consumer awareness or acceptance,
I think we covered that. And then legal framework. Insects are being put into boxes right now
that have been made for pigs and poultry, but they need their own boxes, really. But right now, that enables us to produce and sell insects
as fish feed, but also as food. And then, particularly in northern Europe, there are many countries where it’s legal
to market insects as food. But we need innovation
to help us gain critical mass, or build critical mass. And one of the projects
which I’m part of, the inVALUABLE project, which is [short for] insect value chain
in a circular bioeconomy, looks at consolidating the value chain. So we focus on producing,
in this case, mealworms, how do we process them and how do we then apply them in products
that also consumers are willing to eat. This is a relatively huge project, and there are luckily, also,
other big projects in Europe. And is through these projects
that we gain momentum and can hopefully build
this critical mass. And at the same time, of course, also hoping for some private funding
being invested into the companies that want to implement this commercially. That is also happening. I think at present,
several hundred millions euros have already been invested
into this new sector within just five years. But, there’s more to insects
than just food, as I’ve also mentioned. And I’m sure many of you
are right now thinking, well, it’s ok, but let a pig eat it,
or let a fish eat it, and then I will consider
eating that product instead. And that’s totally fine, it’s also culturally,
how can I say, understandable. Insects can really help us
implement circular economy in our food production systems. Right? This is a strategic effort
in Europe, by the way. The commission has set a goal that they want to implement
circular economy and they also want to fight food waste. And here we can have
a win-win situation with the insects. The commission is also open towards changing
different legal frameworks to implement the circular economy, which is needed, as we’ll get back to. So at the moment food waste,
it’s more than just this apple. It’s actually, in the entire region, 88 million tonnes of food
that is being wasted annually. You can’t even imagine how much that is. This equals over 140 billion euros
that we lose just by wasting this food. Maybe that’s more easy to imagine,
I don’t know; still, two very big numbers. So, what can we do about it? Well, of course, we need
to waste less food or we need to make sure
that more food is being eaten. I think there would still be
millions of tonnes, so what can we do about that? Well, legally we can’t do
what I’m supposing on this slide yet because insects have been put
into some legal framework in the EU. And now, for instance,
they are considered farmed animals, which is a huge win for the insect sector, otherwise they would not be able
to feed them to fish, when they have been fed on feed material
that is considered safe as we would just use for poultry or pigs. So a huge win. And we also have legislation
that enables us to to eat them. But when we use materials
that are considered unsafe, like waste, then, because insects
are coined as farmed animals, we cannot feed them this waste. I’m sure most of you will have,
at some point in your life, found a few fly larvae in some food
that had been left for too long. It’s a perfect substrate for them, really. And they are very diverse, some of these. And one of the superstars
in the insect industry is the black soldier fly. It’s very general in its diet – of course, it need certain nutrients, but it’s very general
in how it gets those nutrients. So food waste, it’s the perfect substrate
for black soldier flies. We’ve done many experiments with that
at the Danish Technological Institute, where I do my work on a daily basis. So right now it’s not legal.
It might be unsafe. We need to document that, of course,
before we can commercialize it, for sure. But there’s a huge opportunity
for letting these black soldier flies, or other competent insect species,
use food waste as a substrate. Roughly, they can convert
10 kilograms of fresh food waste into 1 kilogram of dry larvae. This is as efficient as the most efficient
fish producing systems, which are some of the most
efficient in the world. And then we can take this insect meal
and feed to fish, or poultry. Of course, having documented,
before we do this, that it’s all safe. And I’m quite hopeful
that we will be able to document this because in theory that should be possible. And we need, of course,
to supplement this with testing. But these black soldier flies,
as do other insects, they actually eat some of the bacteria
that might be harmful to us, so pathogen bacteria
that could make us ill. That’s part of their diet
in this whole process. So they completely take them apart, and just use the nutrients
from these microorganisms. So, to wrap up, I think it was – well, I’d like that that fear myself, because it makes a nice
little circle on my talk – that climate change, with the Little Ice Age
in early medieval times took insects off our dinner table. But now climate change, and we can blame ourselves
for that, I believe, is bringing them back on the table again. So insects may have been food of the past, but I would put my money on that they are also going to be
food of the future. Thank you. (Applause)

Sleepy teens: A public health epidemic | Wendy Troxel | TEDxManhattanBeach

Sleepy teens: A public health epidemic | Wendy Troxel | TEDxManhattanBeach


Translator: Joanna Pietrulewicz
Reviewer: Krystian Aparta It’s six o’clock in the morning, pitch black outside. My 14-year-old son
is fast asleep in his bed, sleeping the reckless,
deep sleep of a teenager. I flip on the light and physically
shake the poor boy awake, because I know that,
like ripping off a Band-Aid, it’s better to get it over with quickly. (Laughter) I have a friend who yells “Fire!”
just to rouse her sleeping teen. And another who got so fed up that she had to dump cold water
on her son’s head just to get him out of bed. Sound brutal … but perhaps familiar? Every morning I ask myself, “How can I — knowing what I know and doing what I do for a living — be doing this to my own son?” You see, I’m a sleep researcher. (Laughter) So I know far too much about sleep and the consequences of sleep loss. I know that I’m depriving my son
of the sleep he desperately needs as a rapidly growing teenager. I also know that by waking him up hours before his natural
biological clock tells him he’s ready, I’m literally robbing him of his dreams — the type of sleep most associated
with learning, memory consolidation and emotional processing. But it’s not just my kid
that’s being deprived of sleep. Sleep deprivation among
American teenagers is an epidemic. Only about one in 10 gets
the eight to 10 hours of sleep per night recommended by sleep scientists
and pediatricians. Now, if you’re thinking to yourself, “Phew, we’re doing good,
my kid’s getting eight hours,” remember, eight hours is the minimum recommendation. You’re barely passing. Eight hours is kind of like
getting a C on your report card. There are many factors
contributing to this epidemic, but a major factor preventing teens
from getting the sleep they need is actually a matter of public policy. Not hormones, social lives or Snapchat. Across the country, many schools are starting
around 7:30am or earlier, despite the fact that major
medical organizations recommend that middle and high school
start no earlier than 8:30am. These early start policies
have a direct effect on how much — or really how little sleep
American teenagers are getting. They’re also pitting
teenagers and their parents in a fundamentally unwinnable fight
against their own bodies. Around the time of puberty, teenagers experience a delay
in their biological clock, which determines when we feel most awake
and when we feel most sleepy. This is driven in part by a shift
in the release of the hormone melatonin. Teenagers’ bodies wait to start releasing
melatonin until around 11pm, which is two hours later than what
we see in adults or younger children. This means that waking a teenager up
at 6am is the biological equivalent of waking an adult up at 4am. On the unfortunate days
when I have to wake up at 4am, I’m a zombie. Functionally useless. I can’t think straight, I’m irritable, and I probably shouldn’t be driving a car. But this is how many American
teenagers feel every single school day. In fact, many of the, shall we say, unpleasant characteristics
that we chalk up to being a teenager — moodiness, irritability,
laziness, depression — could be a product
of chronic sleep deprivation. For many teens
battling chronic sleep loss, their go-to strategy to compensate
is consuming large quantities of caffeine in the form of venti frappuccinos, or energy drinks and shots. So essentially, we’ve got an entire population
of tired but wired youth. Advocates of sleep-friendly
start times know that adolescence is a period
of dramatic brain development, particularly in the parts of the brain that are responsible for those
higher order thinking processes, including reasoning, problem-solving
and good judgment. In other words, the very type
of brain activity that’s responsible for reining in those impulsive
and often risky behaviors that are so characteristic of adolescence and that are so terrifying
to us parents of teenagers. They know that like the rest of us, when teenagers don’t
get the sleep they need, their brains, their bodies
and behaviors suffer with both immediate and lasting effects. They can’t concentrate, their attention plummets and many will even show
behavioral signs that mimic ADHD. But the consequences of teen sleep loss
go well beyond the classroom, sadly contributing to many
of the mental health problems that skyrocket during adolescence, including substance use, depression and suicide. In our work with teens
from LA Unified School District, we found that teens with sleep problems were 55 percent more likely
to have used alcohol in the past month. In another study with over
30,000 high school students, they found that
for each hour of lost sleep, there was a 38 percent increase
in feeling sad or hopeless, and a 58 percent increase
in teen suicide attempts. And if that’s not enough, teens who skip out on sleep
are at increased risk for a host of physical health problems
that plague our country, including obesity,
heart disease and diabetes. Then there’s the risk
of putting a sleep-deprived teen, with a newly minted driver’s license, behind the wheel. Studies have shown that getting five hours
or less of sleep per night is the equivalent of driving with a blood
alcohol content above the legal limit. Advocates of sleep-friendly start times, and researchers in this area, have produced tremendous science showing the tremendous benefits
of later start times. The findings are unequivocal, and as a sleep scientist, I rarely get to speak
with that kind of certainty. Teens from districts
with later start times get more sleep. To the naysayers who may think
that if schools start later, teens will just stay up later, the truth is, their bedtimes stay the same, but their wake-up times get extended, resulting in more sleep. They’re more likely to show up for school; school absences dropped
by 25 percent in one district. And they’re less likely to drop out. Not surprisingly,
they do better academically. So this has real implications
for reducing the achievement gap. Standardized test scores
in math and reading go up by two to three percentage points. That’s as powerful as reducing class sizes
by one-third fewer students, or replacing a so-so teacher
in the classroom with a truly outstanding one. Their mental and physical health improves, and even their families are happier. I mean, who wouldn’t enjoy a little
more pleasantness from our teens, and a little less crankiness? Even their communities are safer because car crash rates go down — a 70 percent reduction in one district. Given these tremendous benefits, you might think, well, this is a no-brainer, right? So why have we as a society
failed to heed this call? Often the argument against later
start times goes something like this: “Why should we delay
start times for teenagers? We need to toughen them up
so they’re ready for the real world!” But that’s like saying
to the parent of a two-year-old, “Don’t let Johnny nap, or he won’t be ready for kindergarten.” (Laughter) Delaying start times also presents
many logistical challenges. Not just for students and their families, but for communities as a whole. Updating bus routes, increased transportation costs, impact on sports, care before or after school. These are the same concerns
that come up in district after district, time and again around the country as school start times are debated. And they’re legitimate concerns, but these are problems
we have to work through. They are not valid excuses for failing to do the right thing
for our children, which is to start middle and high schools
no earlier than 8:30am. And in districts around the country, big and small, who have made this change, they found that these fears
are often unfounded and far outweighed by the tremendous
benefits for student health and performance, and our collective public safety. So tomorrow morning, when coincidentally we get
to set our clocks back by an hour and you get that delicious
extra hour of sleep, and they day seems a little longer and a little more full of hope, think about the tremendous power of sleep. And think about what a gift it would be for our children to be able
to wake up naturally, in harmony with their own biology. Thank you, and pleasant dreams. (Applause)

Mathematics of Epidemics | Trish Campbell | TEDxYouth@Frankston

Mathematics of Epidemics | Trish Campbell | [email protected]


Translator: Yifat Adler
Reviewer: Hussain Laghabi It starts with just one person, and after 8 hours
100 have been infected. 16 hours later, 10,000 people. And a million after the first day. How many people by tomorrow? This is the story of #TheDress. And was it blue and black?
Or was it white and gold? [Laughter] This question was first posed
by a Facebook user who was a family member
of the person who owned the dress. There had been a disagreement
about the color of the dress, and later another user
posted the photo on Tumblr and the rest is history. With over ten million tweets
in the first week, this is an extreme case of going viral. So, let’s take a look at how
#TheDress spreads through a population. The population is divided
into three groups of people. People who haven’t seen the dress, people who have seen
and have started sharing the dress, and people who are
no longer sharing the dress because they’re sick of the dress and never want to hear about it again. And people change groups over time. So, how do the numbers
in each of these groups change? Well, the people who
haven’t seen the dress reduce by the number of people
who start sharing the dress. So, they see it and they start sharing. And the more people that we have sharing, the more new sharers that we get. The people who are sharing the dress increase by the number
of new sharers that we get. But they also decrease by the number
of people who give up sharing. And the people who are
no longer sharing the dress just keep increasing
by the sharers who give up. And we can track what happens to the numbers of people
sharing the dress over time. So, here in a population of ten million. The number of people sharing the dress
starts growing very slowly at first. But then it starts to take off. And once it does so,
it does so very rapidly, and reaches about 4 million people
sharing at any one time up to just a day and a half. Then the numbers fall away to nothing. At the same time, the number of people
who haven’t seen the dress reduces slowly at first and then plummets,
as they start to become new sharers. And the number of people
who are no longer sharing the dress rises really slowly at first
and then it quite reaches its maximum. So, why does the dress stop spreading? Has everybody in the population
seen the dress? Well, no. By the time that
the dress stops spreading, not everybody has seen it. The number of people
who are no longer sharing the dress never quite reaches back up
to a population of ten million. It stops because the people
that are sharing the dress can’t find any new people
to share it with. So they lose interest before they get
to pass it on to anybody else. And, so, the sharing numbers
drop to zero. This is a very simple picture
of how #TheDress spreads in population. And they’ve ignored some realities, like, not everyone has computers
or internet access and not everyone is interested
in sharing memes. So, even if they see it,
they won’t share it. And people have different numbers
of virtual friends. So, it’s not an exact representation, it’s a model, one that is based on
a set of assumptions. So, why should we even care about how a meme spreads through the internet? Well, it turns out that going viral
has its origin in the term virus. So, the way that a meme spreads
through the internet shares many characteristics with the way that an infectious disease
spreads through a real population. So, diseases like Ebola or influenza,
whooping cough, or measles… And fortunately none of these diseases,
or indeed any others known to man, spread any way near as quickly
as #TheDress does through a population. So, while it’s very difficult to stop
a meme such as #TheDress from spreading once it starts going, we’ve got an arsenal of weapons
with which to fight infectious diseases. Vaccines, antibiotics, quarantine,
just to name a few. And a very powerful weapon
behind the scenes: mathematics. Using mathematics to study
infectious diseases isn’t new. A scientist called Daniel Bernoulli
first used probability and statistics nearly 250 years ago to calculate the benefits
of vaccination against smallpox. And the model that I used
to describe the spread of #TheDress has actually been used by epidemiologists
for nearly a hundred years. It’s used to investigate the causes
and spread of infectious diseases and to help develop strategies
to prevent and control them. So, just like we did with #TheDress, we now have a population
that’s made up of people who are susceptible to catch a disease. People who are infectious
and spreading the disease, and people who have recovered
and can no longer pass on the disease. And people will move from these groups. This is called an SIR model, and it’s the basic infectious
disease model. Just like we did with #TheDress, we can keep track of the number of people that are in each
of these groups over time. But just like #TheDress,
we’re also ignoring a lot realities which influence the spread
of infectious diseases. And importantly what we are doing as well
is assuming that everybody in these groups has identical characteristics
and behaviors. And not many diseases or populations
behave quite so simply. So, we often have to allow for
new members to join the population, or for old members to leave. Or we have to account for the fact that for some diseases
just because you’ve had them, it doesn’t mean
that you can’t have them again. And we need to add in vaccination
and treatment for some diseases as well, if we really want to know
how they spread through a population. So, we can run virtual experiments
to answer questions like: how many cases could we prevent
if we had an effective vaccine against Ebola, for example? We can answer questions that
we can’t answer using real people. Sometimes because
the type of experiments that we would need to run
in a population are unethical. And at other times, just because collecting information
is really just too difficult. So, bear in mind that when these models were
first developed a hundred years ago, all the calculations
would have been done by hand. So, increasing computational power,
though, has meant that the process of mathematically modeling
infectious diseases has got much much faster, and we can now add
a lot more data into models to try and build a match
what’s really happening in a population. So, in this era of big data with rapid advances
in science and technology, we are seeing a rapid evolution in
the field of infectious disease modelling. So, here is just a few of the things
that are happening. We now have individual base models which follow the history
of individuals in a population and track the information that changes
their chance of catching a disease. So, things like their infection history,
their vaccination history, the number and ages of people
that they live with. People are even now using
radio frequency identification tags to start collecting information
on how people contact other people, how they move through a population. Because how you mix with
other members of a population is very important
to the spread of infectious disease. So, we’ve gone from modeling
groups of people in a population to modeling individual characteristics
and behaviors of individuals, to modeling the genomes,
the genetic material of the organisms that actually cause disease,
viruses and bacteria. And we are doing that so we can
find out who patient zero was, and to look at how the infection
has spread through a population. And we’re also using mathematics
to investigate how infectious diseases,
viruses and bacteria actually spread within a human body, and how our immune system
is fighting back. And all of this work is hoping
to give us a better understanding of how infectious diseases spread
and how we can stop them. In my lifetime, we’ve seen
the eradication of smallpox. And we’re on track to see
the eradication of polio in yours. Through careful planning aided by
the use of mathematical models, we wipe diseases that have caused millions of deaths
off the face of the Earth. But infectious diseases isn’t
the only application of mathematics to health problems. There are many biological processes
that are still a mystery and lend themselves
to mathematical exploration. So, what questions will you
answer using mathematics? Thank you.
[Applause]

Ending the arms race with infectious diseases | Janelle Ayres | TEDxSanDiego

Ending the arms race with infectious diseases | Janelle Ayres | TEDxSanDiego


Translator: Ilya Bychkov
Reviewer: Denise RQ “It is now time to close the book
on infectious diseases and declare the war
against pestilence won.” It is something we all want. We all want to live in a world
free of infectious diseases. Think about when you watch movies
like, “Contagion” or “Outbreak.” or when you watch the news coverage on the Ebola virus
or more recently, the Zika virus. How did seeing those things make you feel? They freaked you out, right? Infectious diseases
evoke legitimate feelings of fear in every single one of us, because none of us is free from the threat
of contracting an infection. The quote that I began with is from
the US Surgeon General from the 1960s. He made this statement in response
to the success of the early antibiotics. It is a statement that accurately reflects
the overall sentiment of the time: which is that because we had such great success
with the early generation of antibiotics, infectious diseases were soon
going to become a worry of the past. I want to tell you about one
person’s war against an infection that took place just last year. That is my dad’s. In January of 2015,
my dad became very sick. It took the doctors
a few weeks to figure it out, but they realized that he had gallstones, and he would have to have
his gallbladder removed. That diagnosis was actually
a relief to all of us, because gallstones are very common
in the United States, and gallbladder removal surgery is one of the most commonly performed
surgeries in the country. So this is basically standard
operating procedure for his doctors. We couldn’t imagine that anything
serious could possibly go wrong. Actually, nothing serious did go
wrong with his surgery. It went quite well.
He was discharged from the hospital, but 12 hours after his discharge,
my mum sent me a text. It said, “He can’t walk.
I have to call an ambulance. I don’t know what’s wrong.” My family is up in the Bay Area; I was down here in San Diego
when this happened. So my sister was communicating to me
from the ICU my dad’s symptoms. I’m the only biologist in my family, so you can imagine how confused they were. How could 12 hours ago
my dad be perfectly healthy, and discharged from the hospital, and now he is laying paralyzed
in a bed in the intensive care unit? But after I heard his symptoms,
I knew exactly what had happened. My dad had sepsis. If you don’t know what sepsis is this is a life-threatening condition that occurs when your body’s response
to an infection is so powerful that it begins damaging
its own tissues and organs. It’s pretty much a death sentence because it has mortality rates
greater than 80%. I dropped everything. I had to rush home. I had to get to the hospital
to be with him and to talk with his doctors. It felt like I couldn’t get there
fast enough. First, my flight was delayed. Then I had to battle Bay Area traffic
for over two hours. I was certain that he was going to be gone
by the time I got to the hospital. But he wasn’t. When I walked into his room in the ICU, my dad waived to me and gave me
one of his classic thumbs up that I had seen 1,000 times growing up. The doctors confirmed
that he did have sepsis. What happened is that his gallstones
went undetected for so long, that his gallbladder became infected. From there, the bacteria
spread into his bloodstream, and then infected his vertebrae,
and that caused his paralysis. It was his body’s response
to the bacteria being in the blood that caused him to have sepsis. The treatment strategy
proposed by his doctors was really the only option
they had available for them: to administer broad spectrum antibiotics and to hope for the best. I sat there for a week with my dad, and I can remember obsessively
watching his vitals monitors, hoping the next blood pressure read
was going to be higher, or the next ventilator read
was going to be lower. I was looking for any indication that the infection was actually
responding to the antibiotics. But the numbers never got better, because he had
an antibiotic-resistant infection, making the only strategy that was
available to him completely useless. After nine days, my dad lost
his war against an infection and he passed away. It is because of the global spread
of the antibiotic resistance, and our current strategies
for treating infectious diseases that my dad died. We are further away than ever from closing
the book on infectious diseases. But why? If we really had such great success
with the early generation antibiotics, how is it possible
that we screw things up so badly that we now are in far worse condition
than we were 50 years ago? And the main issue is our perspective on
how we should be dealing with problems. When we are faced with the challenge, we think that in order to solve
that challenge, we have to annihilate
the source of the problem. If you have a mouse in your house,
you set traps to try to kill that mouse. If you have a weed in your yard, you spray toxic chemicals
all over your yard to try to kill that weed and prevent
new ones from coming in. Infectious diseases are
no exception to this mentality. All of our current strategies
to fight infectious diseases are based on the question: how do we fight infections? As a result, we declared a war
against infectious diseases. We put all our efforts
into developing weapons in the form of antibiotics and antivirals
in order to win this war. But bacteria and viruses
are incredibly slippery targets. They can evolve so quickly resistance
to our weapons, making them obsolete. So what do we do? Our solution has been
to just make more new weapons, make more antibiotics,
make more antivirals. It’s not surprising that the microbes have
evolved resistance to our new weapons. So our perspective is fueling
an ever escalating arms race between us and the infectious diseases. The scary fact is it’s
an arms race we can never win. The second issue, in addition
to driving drug resistance, is that there is a fundamental issue
with this perspective, if we actually want to develop therapies that will enable a patient
to survive an infectious disease. To help you understand
what I mean by this, I want to continue with the war analogy. In an actual war, there is
combat between soldiers. But that combat
does not occur in isolation. Something that can happen is what’s called
“the collateral damage of war,” which is the unintentional
or incidental damage that can occur to civilians,
property, economy, and the society. The same principle
can be applied to an infection that’s occurring in a patient’s body. So if we have a septic patient, there is going to be bacteria,
virus, or even fungus that has entered their bloodstream. Their immune system
is going to recognize that foreign invader and it’s going to mount a killing response
to try to fight that infection. But that fight
is not occurring in isolation. What happens is, basically, every other physiological system
in the patient’s body becomes damaged: the liver, the kidneys,
the intestine, lungs, the cardiovascular system,
all get damaged. You can give
a septic patient antimicrobials, and they might be effective
at killing the infection, but you are left with a patient that has suffered extreme
collateral damage to his body. For my dad, even if his infection
was sensitive to the antibiotics, the likelihood of him
to surviving was very low because he suffered so much physiological
damage from the infection. What he needed were therapies
that would fix that physiological damage. He wasn’t given any drugs that do that
because those drugs don’t exist; because we haven’t been approaching
infectious diseases from the right perspective. So if we’ve been asking
the wrong question, what is the question
that we should be asking? Instead of asking,
“How do we fight infections?”, we should be asking
“How do we survive infections?” I know that a single word change
from “fight” to “survive” seems simple, but by making the single change, we’ve completely changed
the meaning of the question. If we can understand
the answer to this question, we will completely change the way
we treat infectious diseases. We will be able to develop
drugs, therapies, strategies that will enable the patient
to survive an infection without driving drug resistance
in the microbial populations. Because these drugs will be
fixing the collateral damage that’s happened in the patient’s body rather than targeting the microbe
that’s causing the infection. I became very interested in this question,
“How do we survive infections?” when I was getting my PhD
at Stanford about ten years ago. We all know that our bodies
have an immune system, and this immune system is important for recognizing microbes
that are invading our body, and it is important for mounting
a killing response against these microbes to fight the infection. We found in addition to our immune system, our bodies encode
a distinct defense system that we call the tolerance defense system. This tolerance defense system
is absolutely necessary for our ability to survive infections. It protects us from mortality by preventing and fixing
the collateral damage that happens to our bodies
during infectious diseases. This is really exciting
because it means that if we can find out how this tolerance defense system
is working in our bodies, we can change the way
we treat infectious diseases, we will be able to develop therapies that overcome the limitations
of current strategies that are available, we can develop strategies
that promote survival without driving drug resistance. So then how do we go about doing this? This is actually a main goal
of my team at the Salk Institute. We’re committing to understanding
this tolerance defense system so that we can make this a reality. We take a variety of approaches
to address this goal, but one of our main approaches
that we’re really excited about, and that we have already
been successful with is we’re leveraging our interactions
with beneficial microbes. Right now all of you have
about three pounds of bacteria that are living on you body surfaces
exposed to the environment. If we sprinkle in some viruses
and some fungus, now you have your microbiome. Your microbiome is
absolutely essential for your health. We have an evolutionary theory,
that has lead us to predict that the microbiome has evolved mechanisms
to turn on our tolerance defense system. It can effectively manipulate
this defense system to promote our health. We are using the microbiome to teach us
how to turn tolerance defenses on, to teach us what they are,
how to manipulate them to promote health. We are using these microbes
as platforms for drug design so that we can move this into the clinic. For example,
we’ve recently identified an E. coli that lives in the intestines
of healthy individuals. This E. coli has taught us
that we can cure infectious diseases by mediating communication between the immune system,
our fat tissue, and our skeletal muscle, by preventing collateral damage
in the form of skeletal muscle wasting. In pre-clinical trials, just by orally administering
this E. coli to the model patients, we can cure sepsis, bacterial pneumonia,
typhoid fever, and infectious diarrhea without the need for a single antibiotic. I think that’s amazing. I think it’s exciting (Applause) I think it opens up a promising future for our ability to treat
and cure infectious diseases. My lab will continue to do this. We are committed to it,
but we can’t do it alone. We are all vulnerable to the threat
of contracting an infectious disease. We are all terrified of that threat. But if you leave here
with one thing today, I want you to leave here
believing that there is hope to get us out of the mess
that we got ourselves into. The first step to this
is really changing our perspective going from “How do we fight infections?”
to “How do we survive infections?” All of you: doctors, scientists,
health care officials, drug companies need to make
that perspective shift. We have the technology
and knowledge to do it. We have to make that shift,
because it’s only then when we’ll truly be able to close
the door on infectious diseases and end the war against pestilence. Thank you. (Applause)

How to Solve the Stress Epidemic | Dr Angela Armstrong | TEDxLeamingtonSpa

How to Solve the Stress Epidemic | Dr Angela Armstrong | TEDxLeamingtonSpa


Translator: Leonardo Silva
Reviewer: Mile Živković Seven years ago,
I thought I was going to die. I didn’t! (Laughter) Back then, I worked
in a global consulting firm, leading change programs. Now, I’m an independent
leadership development consultant. Seven years ago, I learned the hard way that my body is not designed
to absorb the level of stress I was subjecting it to, and I learned some lessons about
thriving and surviving in corporate life, lessons I believe
can literally save lives. I’m normally a very private person. Being vulnerable on a public stage
is a massive stretch for me, but the potential to save lives
is a compelling reason to be here. My hope for today is that, by sharing my story
and a simple three-part model, you will realize that the key
to the stress epidemic is in your daily habits and you will commit
to making small daily changes that will improve quality of life for you,
for business, and for society. You may think that solution
sounds too simple. It is simple, and simple works. Workplace stress has reached
epidemic proportions. Imagine the sound and energy of a full-capacity crowd
at Wembley Stadium cheering, and now imagine that same crowd
observing a minute’s silence on Remembrance Sunday. At any one point in the UK, 40,000 voices are not heard
in the workplace because they are
on long-term stress leave, due to workplace stress. The total number of working days
lost due to stress in the UK last year is the equivalent of 50,000 people
taking one year off work. It is costing UK businesses billions. The solution, I believe, is to act on three parts
of the stress ecosystem: banter, beliefs, and body. Banter is the everyday conversations
you hear in the workplace. You’ve probably heard the expression
“work hard, play hard.” At the consulting firm, my peers were well-educated and ambitious,
and we thrived on meeting deadlines. A 60-hour workweek was normal, and at weekends,
I had a packed social calendar. After the global financial crisis,
the banter changed: to “work harder and stay later.” That’s when I became
a member of stress club, and it seems the first rule of stress club
is you must talk about stress club. You know how it goes: everyone wearing stress,
like a badge of honor, competing for who has the most stress. “Oh, well, I worked 80 hours last week.” “You think that’s bad? I’ve got to give a presentation
to the board this afternoon, and I only just found out.” “It’s OK for you! I’m trying
to raise a family as well.” And so, it goes on. Have you got your badge? Banter is important because
your conversations are contagious, and so are the moods associated with them. When you talk about being
overworked, stressed, and tired, you create an atmosphere of stress. You’re literally causing more stress
just by talking about it! And pretty soon, the banter
that you hear every day in the office becomes the voice in your head. And if you’re thinking,
“Voice? What voice?,” that’s the voice! (Chuckling) Maybe you’ve had thoughts like I did, “As long as I hold it
all together, I will be fine.” “I can’t stop. People are relying on me,
at home and in the office.” “I don’t have time to rest and recover.” And your beliefs are important because your brain
is nature’s great pharmacy. Whenever you believe you’re stressed, you trigger a biological
survival response, and you dump stress hormones
into your body. Primed with cortisol and adrenaline, you are ready to fight a predator
or run to safety, and as soon as the threat has passed, your body initiates
the rest and digest cycle it eliminates the stress hormones, and reactivates your digestive system,
your immune system, your sex drive. The trouble is, for every hour that we put
stress hormones into our body, it takes several hours to eliminate them, and a lot of people are running a backlog. The long-term consequences of that buildup
of stress can be really significant. My friend, Sam, a fit and healthy male, in his 30s, had a cardiac arrest from stress. He died at his desk! And still, I thought, “It can’t happen to me.” Seven years ago, at 5 o’clock, one cold Monday morning, I was gripping the bathroom sink as excruciating pain
ripped through my chest. And I remember thinking, “No!
I’m only 38! I can’t die yet!” And that’s all I remember of that day. I ended up taking three months off work. I had burned out. I suffered a physical and mental collapse
due to workplace stress. I didn’t recognize myself. Overnight, I had gone
from being a top performer to being afraid to walk
to the corner shop. Hero to zero. Although I had friends who came and walked me most days, those months were the loneliest
I’ve ever known. So, what are the solutions? You decide to leave behind
the banter and the beliefs of stress club, and you drag your weary body
across the road to join resilience club. Resilience is the ability
to take the changes and challenges of life in your stride
and keep walking forward. And the benefits reach
far beyond the workplace, into your personal relationships,
and your parenting. Now, that is a ripple effect
worth striving for. During my time coming back from burnout, I couldn’t hold a conversation, and it took me two months
to be able to drive a car. I had to build my daily habits
from the ground up. Imagine having to follow a checklist to make sure that you got
showered, you got dressed, and you remember to eat something. We all have a basic understanding
of how our bodies generate energy: nutrition, exercise, hydration, and rest, but it’s not enough to know what to do. We must also do what we know. The key to resilience
is in your daily habits. I certainly learned that burnout
could happen to me. I also found out who my true friends were. And the most important lesson I learned: stress is a choice. “Stress is your choice.” The first time I heard that, I thought, “Are kidding me?
It’s all their fault!” But a deeper part of me realized that that new belief was the only way I was going to survive
re-entry to the workplace. You can choose to blame and complain, or you can decide to take action. Taking action is a choice. Taking action is your choice. On my road back from burnout, I had to face the very
uncomfortable truth that I had become a stress junkie. It was not enough
to focus on my own stress. No, I wanted a piece
of everyone else’s too. Do you worry about things
that are outside your control? I had to learn to get very clear
about exactly what was within my control and deliver that with passion. I had to physically and mentally
let go of everything else. Maybe you need people’s approval. I had to learn to set boundaries,
and say no occasionally, because I know that,
when I take care of my resilience, I have more to offer others. Despite all that I had learned
and all that I had been through, when I returned to the workplace, within one week,
I had gone back to my old habits. Fortunately, I paid attention, I looked out for my early warning signs, and I recommitted to my new habits. At first, it took discipline to take 20-minute
lunch breaks in the fresh air when everyone else
was eating at their desk, but I knew that I concentrated
better in the afternoon when I did. And so, I stuck with it, and pretty soon, I had company, because the first rule of resilience club
is you must talk about resilience club! How would it be if,
instead of “work hard, play hard,” you chose “work hard,
play hard, and rest hard”? How would it be if you shared
that your concentration was really sharp because you had a good night’s sleep, or that the stress of yesterday
was left in the gym? We can all change the conversation, one conversation at a time. As for my story, I trained as a coach and remained
in corporate for further three years before starting my own business. As a coach, it is my job to encourage people
into their stretch zone, so that they can achieve
their full potential. I consider it a duty of care, therefore, to make sure that they also have
the resilience habits to support that ambition. For the last four years,
I’ve been going into companies, training them to be more resilient, and I’ll continue to do that
as long as there’s a need, but what compels me
to be on a public stage today is that we are about to have
a paradigm shift in the way that we work, and if stress club goes underground, the threat of a burnout
epidemic is very real. The millennial generation
are now in management positions. They grew up in a digital world. They expect to be able to contribute
their talents from anywhere. Within the next three years, over half of the UK full-time population
will be working remotely, at least half of the time. It is easy to hide how stressed you are
in a virtual environment, and you won’t find it so easy
to look out for each other. The key to resilience
is in your daily habits. You can change the banter,
one conversation at a time. You can choose to believe
that stress is a choice, and focus only on what matters most. You can pay attention
to what your body is telling you, and decide to take actions to thrive. What small daily habits will you take to make sure that your banter, beliefs,
and body are on the road to resilience? Thank you. (Applause) (Cheers)

Connecting with Tiny Insect Brains through Virtual Reality | Dr. Shannon Olsson | TEDxChennai

Connecting with Tiny Insect Brains through Virtual Reality | Dr. Shannon Olsson | TEDxChennai


Translator: Suyeon Ji
Reviewer: Peter van de Ven I’d like to start by having
everyone close their eyes and think about all the decisions
that you’ve made so far today. Now, I suppose the first decision
you must have made is to get out of bed, and I’m hoping that the last decision
you’ve made is to start listening to me. Please open your eyes. We’re constantly making decisions, even the path that you took to get
to where you are at this very moment was an entire series of decisions: if you should move,
when you should move, even how you should move. Now, what if you’re a fly? Insects also have to make decisions about if, when,
and how they should do things. Should they fly or should they walk? Should they eat, should they wait? And where should they go
to find their food? And just like us, insects have to take
information from the world around them as well as internal information –
hunger, thirst, hot, and cold – and then decide. Why should we even care
about the decisions of a tiny fly? It seems so inconsequential to our lives. In fact, insects are some of the very
first animals to emerge on this planet. They are nearly half a billion years old. If you add up all the species of insects
that exist on this planet today, it is nearly equal to all other
forms of life put together, all species of bacteria, fungi –
even you and me. While we often think of insects as pests
that bring disease or destroy our crops, they also serve incredibly important
ecosystem services, such as pollination and reducing waste,
like these termite mounds do. They have survived mass extinctions,
and we cannot survive without them. And I believe that understanding
the decisions that these tiny animals make is not only essential
for the future of this planet but can also teach us about ourselves
and our own decision making. And that is important
for treating neurological disorders, improving education,
predicting financial trends, even generating artificial intelligence. But the fact of the matter is we don’t even know
how the tiny brain of an insect, with only 100,000 neurons, makes decisions. So how can we possibly
comprehend the human mind, when we have 80 billion neurons. To start, maybe we should think
about the decisions themselves. We humans understand
each other’s decisions by making a connection with each other
through an emotion called empathy. Now, this photograph was taken
after I’d had a very horrible day at work. And I’m sure you’ve all
had days liked these, and I’m sure you all know what you
feel like at the end of those days. And my then five-year-old daughter,
Grace, noticed how I was feeling, and she came up to me, and she gave me
what I most needed at that very moment, which was a warm embrace. See, Grace was practicing empathy. It’s perhaps the most profound
of human emotions, and it’s often confused with sympathy. But sympathy is when you
feel bad for someone, or you’re thinking about another person,
but empathy is very different. It’s feeling along
with another individual. It’s connecting with them
on such a deep level that you share their experiences
as if they were your own. Now how can you possibly empathize
with a fly, to understand their decisions. You can’t talk to them, and they’re too small and too quick
for you to follow them around and observe their decisions
as they make them. You simply can’t put yourself
into their world. Perhaps, instead,
you can put them into our world, into a world that we create just for them, so we can give them choices and observe the decisions
that they make in real time, exactly as they make those decisions. But now, if you’re going
to build a world for a fly, you’d better have an architect. Pavan, could you please say hello? Pavan Cowshick: Hello. Shannon Olsson: This is Pavan Cowshick. (Applause) He’s a graduate student in the lab, and when Pavan joined the lab
three years ago, I asked him to do nearly the impossible – I asked him to build a universe
for an insect. And that’s exactly what Pavan has done. So here’s the world
that we’ve created for a fly. It’s an artificial world,
so it’s a virtual reality arena. And the most important part of this arena
is, of course, the fly itself, which you see here right in the middle. And it can fly, and it can move its legs, but it’s held in place
so it doesn’t fly out of the world. We have a camera that can film
the fly’s behaviors as it moves, and we have a panoramic display. Many insects have very large eyes so they can literally see
in the back of their heads. So our display also has to wrap
around the insect in 360 degrees. The last two components are actually
what sets our arena apart from virtual reality that you might have
for humans or for other animals. And that’s that we give our fly
both a wind direction and also an odor. In the real world, when insects
are flying to objects at a distance, it often can’t see them. So it uses its sense of smell
to locate plants or fruits or flowers or whatever are the objects
of its affection. This is not unlike
if you’ve ever lost your cell phone, and you call it up, and you follow the ring tone
until you can locate where that phone is. Insects do a similar thing, but instead
of using sound, they use smell. And the wind direction
is actually what tells them where the smell is coming from
and where they can locate the object. So this is, right here – I will show you – part of the arena. And you can see how tiny it actually is. And that’s because it’s actually
made for a fly and not for us. And I’m going to show you also a fly. So, this fly is balancing
on a ball right now. Now you can see that it’s flying. If you zoom in on it – there you go. This fly is actually flying in this world,
but in this world – there you go again. In this world, it’s actually
looking at me right now. And it’s not getting any wind and odor other than what it’s getting
from the air around it. In the real world, when this insect
is flying around and making its decisions, it will move within the world
when it makes its choices. But I’m holding it in place,
which means instead of the world moving while the insect flies, we have to move the world
around the insect. This is how we do it. This is the cockpit
of a virtual reality arena. So this is what the visual part
of our arena looks like. You see two trees on it,
and it looks a bit distorted because, as I said,
in reality it’s wrapped in 360 degrees, so this is what it looks like
when it’s unwrapped. And you can see the fly
down there at the bottom. This is a still frame,
so it’s not yet moving. When a fly wants to move left or right,
it changes how it beats its wings. If it wants to move left,
it beats its wings very hard on its right. If it wants to move right,
it beats its wings hard on its left, and that’s how it turns. So in our world, we pay attention
to those wing beats, and we turn the world
in response to those wings, so the fly is actually driving the world. Now, in the video, you’ll see,
when we start on the right, you’ll see the trajectory
that the fly would be making if it were actually flying in this world. So you can see this fly
is making a choice to go to this tree. This is an apple fly,
and these are apple trees, so it really likes them. If you observe
the trajectory on the right, you’ll see that it’s gone to the tree, and it’s actually flying
in and around the branches of the tree and circling them. And now we’ll give it
the same choice again, and it will actually fly
to the trees with apples. And if you watch very closely, you’ll notice that as it gets very
close to these objects, very close to the leaves of the apples, it actually will throw its legs out. And in the real world,
it does this for two reasons: either it’s about to crash into something,
or it wants to land on it. And this is how we truly know
that this fly is making decisions because it actually is detecting these
virtual objects as if they were real. So we’re using the power
of this technology as a way to present
these animals with choices and observe through their eyes, through their antenna,
and through their behavior how they make decisions, and how these tiny brains can make
such complex choices in the world. And we feel that this
is extremely important, not only for understanding
decision making in general but for a much bigger reason. So often, in today’s digital
and urban world, we forget our connection with nature. We forget how important the plants
and animals around us are for the food we eat, the water we drink,
and the very land that we live on. So I hope that when you leave today,
go home, go outside in your garden or even inside your house
and try to find an insect – an ant, a grasshopper, maybe even a fly – and try to watch it for a little bit, and think about all the decisions that it must have made to get to the exact
place that you are right then. And also realize
that many of those decisions are not all that different than the kind
of decisions that you might make. Because we’re all connected
on this planet. And in the end, our two worlds are exactly the same. Thank you. (Applause)

The epidemic of the “I Know All” expert | Mikhail (Doctor Mike) Varshavski | TEDxMonteCarlo

The epidemic of the “I Know All” expert | Mikhail (Doctor Mike) Varshavski | TEDxMonteCarlo


Translator: Thành H. Châu
Reviewer: Leonardo Silva You wake up. Before you even grab your cell phone, you say, “Today is the day. Today is the day
that I’m going to be proactive. I’m going to take control of my life. I’m going to go see the doctor. I’m going to get healthy.” So you sacrifice a day off work, you sit in one-hour standstill traffic, you even wait 30 minutes
in the office to see the doctor. Finally the doctor walks in, and all of that built-up
anxiety begins to fade. In the midst of your conversation, you ask the doctor a few questions, “Doctor, what’s the healthiest diet?” You get back, “I don’t know.” You say: “Okay, doctor.
You say I have a respiratory virus. Which virus is it?” Again, you get, “I don’t know.” Your mind begins to wonder whether or not this doctor
was properly educated. Finally, you ask, “Doctor, what is the reason
that the rate of autism is increasing?” You hear, “I don’t know,”
and your frustration hits a peak. Let’s stop this hypothetical for a second. I’m going to explain to you right now
why you need not be frustrated, and instead celebrate those who are not
afraid to say, “I don’t know.” The theme of this conference
is “License To Know.” But hopefully after this talk, you’ll be proud to say that you have
a license to say, “I don’t know.” My name is Doctor Mikhail Varshavski. Like it was mentioned earlier,
most know me as Doctor Mike. I’m an actively practicing
family medicine physician out of Overlook Medical Center
in the United States. I also happen to be the most
followed doctor on social media, with 3.5 millions subscribers. This gives me unique vantage point to witness an epidemic
within the healthcare space that receives so little attention, and that’s the epidemic of IKA, the epidemic of the “I Know All” expert. There are too many
of these experts out there, claiming to have all of the answers when the rest of the scientific
community has questions. Now, this may surprise you. But you and I are both
partially, if not more so, to blame for this epidemic. When someone says to us
they don’t know, we’re quick to judge,
we’re quick to dismiss. And in even a less cognizant way,
we support them with our clicks. We click on the catchy headlines, we click and purchase
those miracle cure-all products. Within medicine, there are two specific situations
where these IKA experts flourish. The first is the gray zone. That is when a question
within the field of medicine has not yet had a complete answer
by modern science. Take the increased rate of autism. You ask an honest, up-to-date doctor,
they’ll tell you, “We don’t know.” Now, you ask an IKA expert,
they’ll throw you a theory, and they’ll do it
in a very convincing fashion, so much so that they might even further
their career in one way or another. That’s the problem with these IKA experts. The second way that they do this is they do it in moments
where good medicine has proved that tangible positive effect
is only achieved through hard work and dedication. Take diet, take exercise, take sleep. The way to improve all of these things
is through hard work. But the IKA expert
will give you a shortcut. And I’m sure many of you here today
have heard of these shortcuts. Take, for instance, the shortcut
of the miracle weight-loss diet known as the cookie diet. Or better yet, the miracle detox plan that will detoxify your body
through a juice cleanse, will boost your immune system. How do these IKA experts cause you to ignore legitimate
scientific evidence and advice and listen to their theories? They do so through stress. When your mind is stressed,
your mind is very easily influenced. There’s a great book called
The Influential Mind. And there was a great example
from this book I’d like to share with you. Take September 11th, 2001,
in New York City, one of the worst
terrorist attacks of all time. The day after those terrorist attacks, distress in New York City
has an all-time high. It takes only one person to run and scream
to get hundreds to do the same. Now, if you take that same person
one day prior to the terrorist attacks, what will you get? You’ll get a lot of New Yorkers
looking at this person running and saying, “Ah, just another crazy New Yorker.” Your mind does not respond well to stress. As a survival mechanism, your mind uses stress as a way
to be influenced by the majority. So what these IKA experts do is they throw around words
like “cancer,” “disease,” “death,” even get your family involved at times. And that’s how they get you. Now, because of my social media fame, I find myself at a very
interesting crossroads between marketing and medicine. A marketer’s job is to sell product
or to push a brand, and they do so by studying
your human psyche to figure out the best way
to accomplish that. They often pair celebrities with products
in order to get better results, because they know that when you hear
advice from a familiar face, they’ll sell more products. I’m going to be honest
with you here today. I’ve received some of these offers
in near seven-figure totals to support the IKA products. Me! Imagine what a true celebrity gets
if I’m being offered these deals. Forget that. Imagine what these companies
make from IKA products that they’re able to pay
these huge sums of money. Look, I get it. We live in a fast-paced world. We want quick answers
and even faster results. But before you go on this desperate search
for answers and shortcuts, let’s talk about what a true expert is. A true expert not only looks at the current, most up-to-date
scientific evidence, but also looks at history as a guide. How many times have you heard
doctors go back and forth on the health benefits
and risks of coffee, something we all drink every day? In 1981, the New York Times
published a study that said two cups of coffee
increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. In 2017, we claimed
that coffee extends your life. Doctors used to advocate smoking
as a stress reliever. We used to believe that bloodletting,
a.k.a letting a patient bleed out, was a way to cure an infection. This doesn’t mean
that doctors are not smart. What this means is that expert opinion is and should be
considered the lowest form of evidence. That is what our job as a true expert is:
to explain that to the general population. Take any PhD in this room
and they’ll all tell you the same thing. The more years they’ve spent
studying a subject, the more they realize they don’t know, the more questions you have, because they more questions you have, that’s the sign of intelligence. Now, look, this isn’t just
a theoretical discussion, where we’re going to talk
about philosophical change and things of that nature. I’m going to have some
practical tips for you as well. Number 1: ask better questions. A doctor prescribes a treatment
or tells you not to go for a treatment. Ask, “Hey, doc, why do I need
these antibiotics? Do I even need these antibiotics?” When an IKA expert claims there’s
a miracle cure for whatever ails you, ask how is it possible that there are
millions of doctors across the world, whose sole mission,
and it’s the same mission, to eradicate diseases
and restore optimal health, don’t agree with them. Why is it the same five IKA experts
you see appearing in documentaries, talking about doom and gloom
from all the things that ail you. Second: understand basic research. Oftentimes these IKA experts
will tout a single study, and try and convince you
of their theories. Take the recent uproar of autism
and childhood immunizations. This uproar started from a single study, with 12 subjects, which was done by a doctor who’s been discredited
and lost their license. And yet, children are dying. So it’s your job to be
aware of this research. And here I’ll tell you how to do that. Know that the best form of research
is a metaanalysis. It’s a combination
of studies, not just one, which allows for the decreased likelihood
of chance and bias within the results. Note that newer studies are not
necessarily better than older studies. Know that studies
that focus on disease markers are not nearly as good as studies
that focus on outcomes and developments of disease. And no matter what media tells you
is a breakthrough, there is no single study that will influence
the field of medicine enough to change the standard of care. It can guide us, it can put itself into the context
of the entire body of evidence. to allow us to figure out what the true results are
and what they mean. And lastly, third: do not write off health professionals
who say “I don’t know.” Instead, what you should infer
is that this doctor is self-aware, this doctor acknowledges
scientific limitations. And most importantly, this doctor is not interested
in slimming your wallet. Let’s move away from the era
of juice cleanses, and move to an era we judge doctors
not by the answers, but by the quality of their questions. Do not be afraid to say, “I don’t know.” Thank you. (Applause)