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

New Bionic Human Ear Works Better than Natural Ear

May 18, 2013, 10:45 AM

What's the Latest Development? 

Biologists at Princeton and Johns Hopkins universities have created an artificial human ear—using a three-dimensional printer, no less—that detects sound better than natural human ears. "The technique lets scientists mimic the structural complexity of the ear while achieving a wider range of audible frequencies through the embedded electronics. They used the printed ear to culture genuine cartilage in vitro from calf cells. Once they had one ear, the scientists printed another that was the mirror image, and then had both listen to Beethoven's "Für Elise" while linked to loudspeakers. Researchers were able to assess the sound quality—which was good."

What's the Big Idea?

Advances in creating bionic organs hearkens forth the singularity, an ear in which the human body will be fused with digital technology to enable the average person to assimilate all the digital information currently stored on the Internet. Physical advances, such as regenerative medicine that grows artificial tissue and limbs, will happen concurrently. "Tissue engineering, used to grow new skin for burn patients, will allow even greater advances, such as custom heart valves. Eventually these creations will surpass the originals, and the Olympic controversy over sprinter Oscar Pistorius' artificial legs will seem quaint—to say nothing of what genetic engineering will offer."

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at the Wall Street Journal



New Bionic Human Ear Works ...

Newsletter: Share: