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

1

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

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

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

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

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
Close

Could Being Fat Make You More Jolly?

November 24, 2012, 5:15 PM
Fat%20happy

What's the Latest Development?

Canadian researchers have found that when a particular gene—known as the FTO genepredisposes a person toward obesity, there is an associated 8 percent drop in the probability of becoming depressed. David Meyre, who led the study for McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, "suspects that the gene, which methylates DNA and therefore turns other genes off and on, is able to independently influence several disorders—all of which may involve 'appetitive' drives such as eating, and the mood that goes with them." 

What's the Big Idea?

Because of its modest contribution to a person's happiness, Meyre is happy to call FTO the happiness gene. Based on its prevalence among ethnic groups, it should prevent 6.7 per cent of the cases of depression that would otherwise afflict Africans, 5.3 per cent of cases in Europeans, and 2.2 per cent in Chinese. "This varying prevalence suggests it was selected for in the past by different histories, probably involving famine, when being better at storing fat was an advantage. A tendency to have a positive attitude as well, Mayre speculates, also had survival value."

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

 

 

Could Being Fat Make You Mo...

Newsletter: Share: