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

E. coli Bacteria Engineered to Kill Pathogens

September 14, 2013, 10:53 AM
Bacteria

What's the Latest Development?

In the fight against infectious disease, scientists have found an unlikely ally in E. coli, the bacterium infamous for making weekend barbecues and fast food meals into a serious health issue. But now, researchers at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore have  armed E. coli bacteria with a "seek and kill" system that targets cells of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an invasive bacterium that causes pneumonia and other illnesses. "In preliminary tests with infected mice, the modified bacterium left a trail of dead P. aeruginosa in its wake."

What's the Big Idea?

While studies that document miracle medical procedures performed on mice will not necessarily benefit human populations, the researchers who modified the E. coli believe that the treatment will work effectively in humans. "Most conventional antibiotic treatments kill bacteria indiscriminately, taking out both pathogenic microbes and beneficial bacteria in the gut, for example. By contrast, [the researchers'] E. coli offers the possibility of a surgical strike." What's more, the E. coli could lie dormant in the gut, and activate only once its enemy makes an appearance.

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at Nature

 

E. coli Bacteria Engineered...

Newsletter: Share: