(The Scientist Magazine – Dec 1, 2014) The Scientist’s annual Top 10 Innovations competition has again turned up some exciting new products that are poised to revolutionize the work of life scientists. Familiar names, such as Illumina and Leica, win again with updates to their sequencing and imaging technologies, while newcomers like Sciencescape, Organovo, and Edico Genome debut with novel products that caught the eyes of our independent, expert judges.
The Top 5 of this year’s winning innovations involve the process of genome sequencing: tools to do the actual sequencing, technologies to make it easier to prepare genetic regions for sequencing, and a processor that can handle the avalanche of data that results from such analyses. The Dragen Bio-IT Processor can cut genome analysis to a fraction of the time it takes using older technologies—a feat that earns it top billing in this year’s contest. San Diego–based Illumina garners the second and third spots with its latest sequencers, one of which (the third-place HiSeq X 10) achieves the long-awaited $1,000 human genome milestone.
Other cool tech rounds out the 2014 Top 10 innovations, from a human liver model that remains phenotypically stable for 40 days, to a literature-management tool that makes keeping track of the flood of papers coming out in any field as easy as following a Twitter feed.
It was a tough job for our panel of expert judges to pick the 10 best life-science products in a year when so many innovations came down the pike, but as ever, the cream has risen to the top. Read all about the winners of the Top 10 Innovations for 2014, and be sure to visit www.the-scientist.com for lots of extra Top 10 information, including expanded comments from our judges and a look at products that earned honorable mentions in this year’s contest.