TEDTalks: George Whitesides' Lab That is the Size of a Postage Stamp

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Traditional lab tests for disease diagnosis can be too expensive and cumbersome for regions that are most in need. George Whitesides' ingenious answer, at TEDxBoston, is a foolproof tool that can be manufactured at virtually zero cost.

In his legendary career in chemistry, George Whitesides has been a pioneer in microfabrication and nanoscale self-assembly. Now, he's fabbing a diagnostic lab on a chip.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Featured speakers have included Al Gore on climate change, Philippe Starck on design, Jill Bolte Taylor on observing her own stroke, Nicholas Negroponte on One Laptop per Child, Jane Goodall on chimpanzees, Bill Gates on malaria and mosquitoes, Pattie Maes on the "Sixth Sense" wearable tech, and "Lost" producer JJ Abrams on the allure of mystery. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts.

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I like the definition of simplicity. That said, there's something akin to this in Douglas Adams' "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency". It's the part where Dirk asks a child about Professor Chronotis trick with the salt cellar in the ancient pottery. The child answers that yes he must have a time machine.

Just watched this just prior to coming here. It is a great presentation. Coincidentally, along with other TEDtalks that are up right now on TEDtalks is J.K.Rowland's commencement speech from 2008 at Harvard and while not specifically science, and technically not even a TEDtalk, and what's more it's not even about Harry Potter, it is one of the best and most inspiring presentations, and will put the entire notion of what success is into a perspective anyone with a conscience will appreciate. Cheers.