What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more

A Smartphone Breath Sensor That Quickly Detects Serious Disease

June 13, 2013, 7:00 PM

What's the Latest Development?

Scientists at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have come up with a quick and efficient way to diagnose serious disease through the use of a highly-sensitive exhaled breath sensor. Made of tin dioxide nanofibers coated with catalytic platinum nanoparticles, the sensor can detect the presence of acetone (a diabetes signal) or toluene (a lung cancer signal) even at concentrations of less than 100 parts per billion. It can also be mounted on a smartphone, which makes it ideal in situations where portable gas sensors would be too cumbersome and complex to use. The scientists' research is documented in a paper published in the May 20 issue of Advanced Functional Materials.

What's the Big Idea?

Breath analysis is gaining more attention in the medical community because it's faster, less invasive, and more environmentally friendly than other testing methods. The challenge for scientists involves speed and accuracy as well as portability, all of which the KAIST sensor helps satisfy. The team is now working on developing other sensors using a range of different semiconducting metal oxide nanofibers and catalysts.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at ScienceDaily


A Smartphone Breath Sensor ...

Newsletter: Share: