Medical Sciences

Medical Sciences advance the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease, but they also help us prevent disease in the first place. Too numerous to name, the medical sciences continuously make miraculous breakthroughs that extend lifetimes and expand our ability to experience life.

Revolutionizing prosthesis prescription

Steve Collins of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Carnegie Mellon University discusses his lab's work in creating robots that are worn on the leg to help people get around.

Mysteries of the brain: thinking brain

Through neural connections, called synapses, the brain can process and store enormous amounts of information. Neuroscientist Gary Lynch at the University of California-Irvine explains how this incredibly complex communication process allows animals to learn and remember.

Mysteries of the brain: brain-computer interface

Neuroengineer Rajesh Rao of the University of Washington is developing brain-computer interfaces or devices that can monitor and extract brain activity to enable a machine or computer to accomplish tasks, from playing video games to controlling a prosthetic arm.

Mysteries of the brain: perceiving brain

Sabine Kastner, a professor of neuroscience and psychology at Princeton University, is studying how the brain weeds out important information from everyday scenes. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, Kastner is able to peek inside the brain and see what areas are active when a person sees a face, place or object.

Mysteries of the brain: Building a brain

Carlos Aizenman, a neuroscientist at Brown University, is studying the brains of tadpoles to understand how neural circuits develop and absorb information from the surrounding environment.

Mysteries of the brain: brain states and consciousness

Neurobiologist Orie Shafer at the University of Michigan is trying to understand how the brain's cells communicate in order to control sleep patterns. To help solve this mystery, Shafer is teaming up with mathematician Victoria Booth to study a tiny and unlikely specimen: the fruit fly.

Mysteries of the brain: emotional brain

For years, researchers have struggled to understand how emotions are formed and processed by the brain. Now, neuroscientist Kevin LaBar and his graduate students at Duke University are using a virtual reality room to study how the brain reacts to both negative and positive emotions.

Mysteries of the brain: evolving brain

Using amazing new technologies, evolutionary neuroscientist Melina Hale and her graduate students at the University of Chicago are discovering that the basic movements in one tiny fish can teach us big ideas about how the brain's circuitry works.

Mysteries of the brain

For centuries, scientists and engineers have studied the brain and yet, how it works largely remains a mystery. Understanding the brain means knowing the fundamental principles underlying brain structure and function. Explore the mysteries of the brain with investigators who span the spectrum of scientific and engineering disciplines. "Mysteries of the Brain" is produced by NBC Learn in partnership with the National Science Foundation. For more information, please visit: http://www.nsf.gov/brain/.

SMART Shoes

It may look like an insole, but this Smart Shoe system developed at the Mechanical Systems Control Lab at the University of California, Berkeley, could help physical therapists get their patients walking better, faster.

Walking assist clutch

Assistant professor for mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University: Steve Collins, discusses his research published in Nature in which he and his colleague have developed an unpowered, untethered exoskeleton (the walking assist clutch) to help people walk with 7 percent less effort. This can be of tremendous help to people who walk for hours a day or who have disabilities.

Episode 13: Part of the pack

In this week's episode, Jordan and Charlie chat about the importance of a pack, discover a new antibody that may combat urinary tract infections and chase down storms with Doppler on Wheels.

Forensics: Follow the science

Forensic science is an integral part of the American judicial process--essential to both prosecutions and defenses. However, the field has also come under scrutiny. A briefing on May 12 at the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the American Psychological Association, highlighted how the use of the scientific method can inform the field of forensics and ways to improve judicial system outcomes through evidence-based inquiry.

Episode 12: Bioprinting

In Episode 12, Charlie and Jordan chat about 3-D bioprinting, plugging up leaky graphene and a new approach to learning for the Pre-k crowd called Connect4Learning.