We are Big Idea Hunters…
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A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think
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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.
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What's the Latest Development?
University of Derby textiles lecturer Kate Wells is conducting research in an area she says hasn't really been studied before: the connections, if any, between the dye produced from a plant and that plant's medicinal properties. She believes that a piece of clothing dyed using a natural plant extract, such as indigo or turmeric, could possibly provide physical benefits as tiny amounts of the dye are absorbed into the skin. Her work was recently published in the latest issue of Journal of the International Colour Association, and is part of a larger project involving "slow textiles" and sustainable production methods.
What's the Big Idea?
Historically, some of the same plants used for dyeing fabric were also incorporated into traditional medicines. Wells cites indigo as an example of one extract that is found in cultures around the world: "It is extracted from different plants through a process that is steeped in myths, superstitions and religious rituals, and which evolved over centuries." Increased interest in sustainable clothing has coincided with a new focus on cultivating plants, such as woad, that produce natural dyes.
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