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

Using Nanotechnology To Create An Alternative To Condoms

November 30, 2012, 4:46 PM
Shutterstock_104930423

What's the Latest Development?

A team of researchers at the University of Washington has developed a material that is made from a liquid combination of polymers and drugs that was spun into nanometer-size fibers using an electric field. This method, known as electrospinning, created a very fine, stretchy, and dissolvable fabric that can be inserted into a woman's body to provide varying degrees of protection against pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. The team has received a Gates Foundation grant to pursue the results of their study, which was published in this week's PLOS ONE.

What's the Big Idea?

Two types of fabrics were made, demonstrating the versatility of electrospinning: One dissolves within minutes, providing quick contraception, and the other dissolves over a period of days, offering sustained drug delivery. In addition, different fibers can be combined using a variety of drugs for even more protection. As is the case with all devices of this type, usability plays a role, says study co-author Emily Krogstad: "At the time of sex, are people going to actually use it? That's where having multiple options really comes into play." The study has largely focused on HIV prevention, and the team hopes to try out their technology among populations where the disease is most prevalent.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

 

Using Nanotechnology To Cre...

Newsletter: Share: