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

Scientists Capture Images of Viruses at the Nanoscale

December 29, 2012, 4:00 PM
Virus_ss

What's the Latest Development?

Researchers at Virginia Tech have created a way to directly image biological structures, such as viruses, at nanometer-resolutions in their natural habitats. "The technique uses two silicon-nitride microchips with windows etched in their centers and pressing them together until only a 150-nanometer space between them remains." Then researchers coat the microchip's interior with biological tethers that naturally hold the viruses in place. "The ultimate goal is live electron-microscope imaging of molecular mechanisms, such as viral assembly pathways and viral entry into host cells."

What's the Big Idea?

Currently, scientists are testing the imaging technology with the rotavirus, which is the most common cause of severe diarrhea in infants and children, killing more than 450,000 per year. Importantly, the new technology allows the rotavirus to be imaged without killing it first. "The next step is to continue to develop the technique with an eye toward imaging biological structures dynamically in action. Specifically, the researchers are looking to understand how rotavirus assembles, so as to better know and develop tools to combat this particular enemy of children’s health."

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

 

Scientists Capture Images o...

Newsletter: Share: