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

Nanotechnology Fights Cancer

June 23, 2011, 6:26 AM
Nanotech

What's the Latest Development?

Dr. Bhatia and Dr. von Maltzahn of M.I.T. were inspired by the natural process of corporeal cell communication, specifically the way that injured tissue calls for help to stem bleeding, to develop a system where nanoparticles carry cancer treatment drugs directly to malignant cells. "They wondered if they might be able to piggyback on this system to deliver drugs to tumours—and they found that they could. ... To do so, they realised that they would need two types of nanoparticles." Signalling nanoparticles and receiving nanoparticles simulated the body's own communication network.

What's the Big Idea?

In recent years, the use of drug-carrying particles a few nanometres across has improved cancer treatment. "Such particles can be tailored to release their payloads only when the surrounding environment indicates that they are near a tumour, thus reducing collateral damage." The result of Dr Bhatia and Dr von Maltzahn's work is "a delivery system 40-times more effective than using nanoparticles by themselves. Moreover, in mice, at least, it shrinks cancers more effectively than other nanoparticle-based treatments. Work on men (and women) should follow soon."

 

Nanotechnology Fights Cancer

Newsletter: Share: