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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.

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Jewish Genetics: Harry Ostrer Discovers Ashkenazim and Sephardim Ancestral Similarities

June 11, 2010, 7:00 PM
Past Big Think interviewee Dr. Harry Ostrer made headlines today for discovering a genetic closeness between the two Jewish communities of Europe, the Ashkenazim and the Sephardim. According to the New York Times article Dr. Ostrer, who serves as the Director of the Human Genetics Program at New York University, developed a method for timing demographic events from the genetic similarities between Jewish communities along with Dr. Gil Atzmon of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Some of the shared genetic elements show that Jewish community members are related to one another as closely as fourth or fifth cousins in a large population, which is almost ten times higher than the relationship between two random people chosen off the streets of New York City.

Ostrer joined Big Think to participate in our series, "The Personal Genome," which examined the promises and perils of genetic information becoming a part of our everyday life. During the talk, Dr. Ostrer criticized companies that offer home DNA tests. He also said in the years to come he envisions predictive genetic tests for prostate cancer, breast cancer and melanoma. 

Jewish Genetics: Harry Ostr...

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