Do you think parents should be able to select their children’s talents and personalities, or do you want to run and hide in the woods at the thought of it? Whatever your opinion, philosopher Julian Savulescu wants you to take the question seriously.

Julian is the director of The Oxford Centre for Neuroethics at Oxford University and his TEDxBarcelona talk — "Pills that improve morality" — proposes the fascinating idea that humans may have a moral imperative to use advancements in biology and psychology to augment and improve human morality.

Read more in the TED Blog’s interview with Julian»

You’ve probably heard of kombucha tea — that bubbly, fermented, sorta vingeary drink lining the shelves of your health food store. But did you know it can make clothes?

If you’re science-loving fashion designer Suzanne Lee, you know. She coaxes the bacteria in the drink to expel a material for designing clothes.

How? "Tea, sugar, a few microbes and a little time," she says in her talk at TED2011. “I’m essentially using a kombucha recipe,” she says, “which is a symbiotic mix of bacteria, yeasts and other micro-organisms, which spin cellulose in a fermentation process. Over time, these tiny threads form in the liquid into layers and produce a mat on the surface.” Watch the whole talk here»

Above, some of Suzanne’s creations made from her kombucha-based material as part of the BioCouture research project.

And for a super cool complement to this talk, check out this talk from TEDxVienna about fabric … you spray on.

(All photos Suzanne Lee & BioCouture)