Category Archives: TED Talks

Heather Barnett: What humans can learn from semi-intelligent slime

A fascinating TED Talk about Physarum polycephalum (slime mould), and it’s amazing abilities including

  • Ability to merge with others to form a super sized single cell organism to maximize resources
  • Solve the Traveling Salesman problem
  • Learn, remember,  solve problems, adapt to surroundings and form efficient biological networks

It  does not have a visible nervous system, but apparently uses the pulsing rhythm of flow back and forth to transmit information and nutrients.

What intrigues me about this organism is that as a single celled organism with its primitive intelligence, it can solve complex problems. What does that mean to us?  our bodies are made up of trillions of cells and I believe, our cells should have the same capabilities.

Given my area of research, in cardiac electrophysiology, I am always learning, investigating and experimenting with cardiac cells and tissue. I have always believed that these cells have intelligence and the ability to adapt and solve most biological problems – diseases, foreign invasion etc., on their own, without outside help.  Perhaps, there is a way, we can learn from these cells and find more effective ways to treat heart diseases.

Shai Reshef: An ultra-low-cost college degree

If you are interested in a bachelor’s degree in computer science (CS) or  business administration (BA),  consider this online university: University of the People

  • It is a non-profit and accredited university.
  • There are no tuition costs.  You pay $100 for every course  exam. This means,  for a bachelor’s degree in CS or BA, which requires 40 courses, you will end up paying $4K for a accredited bachelor’s degree.
  • Incidentally,  there are only 2 degrees offered – CS or BA.

If you’d like to learn more about this opportunity, you can access the university website link above, or listen to this TED talk.

If you are considering an online university for higher education,  I would definitely give them a look.

In my opinion, education should never be a privilege for the few, but a basic right for all who want to better themselves. If you have the drive to learn, there are opportunities all over the internet, that offer free resources. This is just one of them.