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

Dehydrating Blood & Vaccine Supplies Could Transform Global Health

November 24, 2012, 11:35 AM
Vaccine%20ss

What's the Latest Development?

By taking a cue from nature, biologists are working to create dehydrated blood and vaccine supplies that could last monthseven years—in a suspended state, then be reanimated simply by adding water. John Crowe, a biologist at the University of California, Davis, studies special organisms that can survive without water—a feat known as anhydrobiosis. In this class of animals, a simple sugar known as trehalose is manufactured when water supplies dwindle. The sugar preserves the structural integrity of the animals' cells such that, when water returns, the animal can simply pick up where it left off. 

What's the Big Idea?

By mixing the simple sugar trehalose with blood platelets, Crowe has created a freeze-dried source of blood that, when mixed with water, retains 90 percent of its blood cells. The solution is currently being tested and is expected to be ready for use in two years. "Meanwhile, others are using trehalose to preserve DNA in a dry state or create dry vaccines that do not need to be refrigerated. Shelf-stable and easy to transport, such vaccines could be shipped to even the most remote corners of the globe, expanding access to a crucial tool of public health."

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

 

Dehydrating Blood & Vaccine...

Newsletter: Share: