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New Medical Device Treats Epilepsy With A Well-Timed Zap

The Food and Drug Administration approved a pacemaker-like device for patients whose epilepsy can't be controlled with drugs. The device senses when seizures are coming and stops them by sending electronic signals through wires inserted deep in the brain.

'Huh': A Word Uttered By The Bewildered, Worldwide

A new study from the Netherlands suggests that all languages share one word: "Huh?" Guest host Don Gonyea talks with linguistic anthropologist Nick Enfield about how "huh" sounds around the world, and why it's so prevalent.

The Importance Of Diet In The First 1,000 Days

New research from the International Food Policy Research Institute looks at the economic rationale for spending money to avoid stunting. Physical and psychological stunting occurs when children receive inadequate nutrition in their first 1,000 days of life. Senior researcher John Hoddinott talks with guest host Don Gonyea about the findings.

Is Running Your Car On Rubbish The Future Of Fuels?

The EPA proposed a new standard on Friday for how much biofuel must be mixed into the nation's gasoline. The portion of vehicle fuel that comes from plants has increased dramatically over recent years to about 10 percent. But most of it comes from corn. Congress hoped that, by now, a billion gallons would be coming from advanced biofuels, which have much smaller greenhouse gas footprints. That hasn't happened. But the nascent cellulosic fuel industry says don't count it out. Several plants are on the verge of opening and more will be on the way.

Federal Brain Science Project Aims To Restore Soldiers' Memory

President Obama has launched basic research to help scientists peer deep into the individual nerve circuits in the brain. There's also a more practical effort to restore the memories of injured soldiers by outfitting them with specialized brain implants.

Study: Odds Of Being Murdered Closely Tied To Social Networks

The authors found that for each degree of separation from a homicide victim, one's odds of also being murdered went down by 57 percent.

How Can Deserts Turn Into Grasslands?

About two-thirds of the world's grasslands have turned into desert. Allan Savory has devoted his life to stopping it. He now believes that a surprising factor can protect grasslands and even reclaim degraded land that was once desert.


There are some truths that we believe in wholeheartedly — but what if we're completely wrong? Once we separate fact from fiction, how do our perceptions change? In this hour, TED speakers move beyond conventional wisdom to reveal complex realities about what we think we know to be true.

A Rancher And A Conservationist Forge An Unlikely Alliance

Scientists suspect that warming air and rivers, as well as smaller winter snowpack, is endangering western trout. But on a ranch in Montana, methods to protect trout from the effects of cattle ranching are helping the trout become more resilient to the inevitable change in their environment.

Bacterial Competition In Lab Shows Evolution Never Stops

Day after day, workers at Michigan State University care for and feed colonies of evolving bacteria. The original microbes have produced more than 50,000 generations in the 25 years since the experiment began. Despite predictions the bacteria might someday reach a point where they would evolve no more, the results show they keep changing.