The Scientist: 2009 Top 10 Innovations

It’s been a tough year for every industry, and the life sciences are no exception. Yet companies and academic laboratories across the globe have developed innumerable new products designed to take your research to the next level. But with many lab budgets tighter than last year, which technologies are worth the investment?  via

The top ten innovations listed in the article are

1) Pluripotency from proteins. New technique uses protein-induced stem cell technology and the specialized cells derived from it to reprogram cells to an embryonic-like state.

2) Quick pathogen ID. Breakthroughs in pathogen detection and testing basic mutation rates in viruses, forensics, and other applications

3) Manipulate cells using light. Tagging proteins to watch cellular events unfold and then manipulating those events with the molecular-level precision.

4) A camera that quantifies. The Evolve camera makes imaging data quantifiable and reproducible by measuring images in units of photoelectrons.

5) Zinc fingers create knockout rat.  ZFN technology from Sigma has numerous applications in basic research, agriculture, and possibly medical therapeutics.

6) All-in-one microscopes. New microscopes from Olympus combine illumination systems, microscopes, movable stages, and cameras all into a simple little box.

7) New sequence capture tool. New tool called HybSelect uses DNA microarrays to narrow in on regions of the genome that play an important role in a particular disease.

8) New measure of metabolism. The new XF96 Analyzer provides a comprehensive picture of cellular metabolism and how that process goes awry in disease.

9) New recipe for protein expression. Highlights a trend towards synthetic genes

10) Cell culture in 3D. $35,000 Benchtop BioLevitator combines an incubator and a centrifuge into a single unit. It is one of the first 3D cell culture systems.

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