11 episodes

National Geographic's Explorers Program recognizes and supports uniquely gifted scientists, explorers and photographers who are making a difference. Among the 2015 Class of Emerging Explorers is a nuclear engineer, biophysicist, urban agriculturalist, and marine conservationist.

National Geographic Explorers Symposium 2015 National Geographic

    • Science

National Geographic's Explorers Program recognizes and supports uniquely gifted scientists, explorers and photographers who are making a difference. Among the 2015 Class of Emerging Explorers is a nuclear engineer, biophysicist, urban agriculturalist, and marine conservationist.

    • video
    Making Artificial Limbs More Comfortable

    Making Artificial Limbs More Comfortable

    During the decade-long civil war in Sierra Leone, rebels would cut off the arms and legs of civilians as a scare tactic, leaving behind thousands of war amputees. After the war, 2015 National Geographic Emerging Explorer David Moinina Sengeh, who was born and raised in Sierra Leone, became involved in helping these amputees. They were given prosthetics to wear, but most chose not to wear them because they were so uncomfortable.

    Later in life, Sengeh joined the Biomechatronics group in the MIT Media Lab as a Ph.D. candidate, where he began work on designing comfortable prosthetics. There, he began to realize that it wasn't just the prosthetics in Sierra Leone that were uncomfortable.

    • 4 min
    • video
    Creating Objects That Build Themselves

    Creating Objects That Build Themselves

    What if, in the future, a chair could morph its shape to fit your own unique body so it is truly comfortable? National Geographic Emerging Explorer Skylar Tibbits just might be able to make this a reality. As the director of the Self-Assembly Lab at MIT, Tibbits is taking 3-D printing to a whole new level by adding a fourth dimension, the element of time. Through 4-D printing, Tibbits is developing ways to program materials so they can build themselves or change shape over time, which will allow us to reinvent products and construction in the future.

    • 10 min
    • video
    Can We Use Bacteria to Treat Diseases?

    Can We Use Bacteria to Treat Diseases?

    In the intestines alone, the average person houses around 100 trillion microbes, and for every human cell in the body there are 10 microbial cells—making us more microbial than human. Scientific studies are beginning to show that these bacteria may be playing a much larger role in our lives than we originally thought. It appears that microbes may be influencing our brain and behavior, and many conditions, including schizophrenia, depression, and autism, have been linked to microbial abnormalities within the body. Elaine Hsiao, a 2015 National Geographic emerging explorer, is working on the cutting edge of this science to better understand how our microbiota influences our health. Is it possible that in the future we could treat health conditions with the right microbes?

    • 9 min
    • video
    Revolutionizing the Way We Grow Food

    Revolutionizing the Way We Grow Food

    As the climate changes and water becomes scarce in many parts of the world, growing enough food to feed the world's increasing population will be a challenge. Caleb Harper, a 2015 National Geographic emerging explorer, is working to solve this problem by using technology to reenvision the way we grow our food and move farms into the city. Imagine living in a world where food can be farmed from anywhere via a personal food computer, and your plants can send you a tweet when you're away to tell you how they're doing.

    • 10 min
    • video
    Undercover: Catching Wildlife Traffickers

    Undercover: Catching Wildlife Traffickers

    Wildlife trafficking is one of the largest illegal trades in the world, bringing in billions of dollars each year. Government agencies are often ill equipped to deal with wildlife crimes, causing many criminals to see the trade as an enticing low risk, high-profit venture. A 2015 National Geographic emerging explorer, Onkuri Majumdar, is trying to change this by helping government agencies crack down on the illegal trade. Here, Majumdar talks about strategically working to protect these animals—including slow lorises, tigers, and pangolins—and bring wildlife criminals to justice.

    • 11 min
    • video
    Why We Need to Change How We Combat Rabies

    Why We Need to Change How We Combat Rabies

    One person dies of rabies every 15 minutes and another 300 are exposed. Disease ecologist and National Geographic 2015 Emerging Explorer Daniel Streicker is rethinking the way we currently manage bat rabies in his effort to limit the spread of the disease from bats to humans and livestock.

    • 11 min

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