At TEDxYouth@Manchester, genetics researcher Dan Davis introduces the audience to compatibility genes — key players in our immune system’s functioning, and the reason why it’s so difficult to transplant organs from person to person: one’s compatibility genes must match another’s for a transplant to take.

To learn more about these fascinating genes, watch the whole talk here»

(Images from Davis’s talk, Drew Berry’s animations, and the TED-Ed lessons A needle in countless haystacks: Finding habitable worlds - Ariel Anbar and How we conquered the deadly smallpox virus - Simona Zompi)

The dung beetle is more than just a poo pusher. This fascinating animal has a brain about the size of a grain of rice, and yet it is capable of doing some amazing things — says dung beetle researcher Marcus Byrne in a talk at TEDxWitsUniversity like use celestial cues to roll giant balls of dung in a straight line, keep cool in sweltering heat through a complex dance, and track landmarks on the way to its nest. 

In his talk, Byrne explains how he and his team used refrigerated balls of poo, tiny dung-beetle-sized boots, and mini dung beetle highways to learn how these fascinating creatures have evolved to handle their very peculiar food source.

Watch the whole talk here»

Can we really trust the crowd? Jens Krause at TEDxGhent

Crowd-sourcing, crowd-funding, is all really that great? Well, Jens Krause has made a life of studying how crowds, or swarms, make decisions, and it turns out that crowds make terrible ones sometimes, depending on the type of problems they’re facing.

Whether you’re about to launch a big crowd-sourced project at work or are simply trying to find the best place to eat tonight, Jens’s results are worth knowing. Check it out above.

awkwardsituationist

awkwardsituationist:

photos of butterfly and moth wings taken by linden gledhil at seven to ten times life size.

"evolution is written on the wings of butterflies" - charles darwin

Spectacular. We’re reminded of this talk from butterfly expert Peter Smetacek on the relationship between butterflies and rivers in India. Watch the whole talk here»