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Wanted: Adaptive Encouragement

It’s that time of year again. The global holiday of January 1, and with it, the annual ritual of self-improvement: setting New Year’s resolutions.  It’s a time when we’re called on to reflect on our lives and the behaviors we might want to change—and bombarded with ideas on how to do so.  It’s the time of year that makes me crave the realization of one of our Science and Technology forecasts: Adaptive Encouragement.

Programming Immunity: Defense to Offense

As we scanned the horizon of science and technology’s ability to create health and well-being, we became fascinated with the idea of tinkering: experimenting with incremental improvements to our selves and surroundings. And one of the bits of our biology we’ll be tinkering with over the next decade is our immune systems.

Our immune systems are the key to humans’ profound resilience in the face of all the other organisms around and inside of us.

Keep on breathing ... Notes from TEDMED 2010 (part 1)

TEDMED 2010 kicked off last Tuesday night with a performance by opera singer Charity Tilleman-Dick.  At first I thought, "Well, she has a lovely voice, but what does that have to do with anything?"  Then she started to tell her story, and what an incredible story it is.  In short, Charity is still alive—and able again to perform—as a result of the double lung transplant she received more than a year ago at the Cleveland Clinic.

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