IBM Announces 11 New IBM Fellows

Video: 50th Anniversary of the IBM Fellow Program

IBM is a great place to work because there are so many smart people.  And the best of the bunch are called IBM Fellows

The IBM Fellows program was founded in 1962 by Thomas J. Watson, Jr., as a way to promote creativity among the company’s “most exceptional” technical professionals. The following year, the first appointments were made and the tradition has since carried on every year. The Fellow honor acknowledges an IBM Researcher’s important contributions and industry-leading innovations in developing some of the world’s most important technologies.

Recently, IBM announced a record number of eleven scientists to the 2014 class of IBM Fellows.  The 2014 IBM Fellows have influenced a broad array of technologies in the following areas: Brain-inspired cognitive computing, security platforms, computational science, cloud computing, business database and analytics, and high performance, enterprise storage technologies. IBM Fellows have a history of pushing the boundaries of science and technology to deliver improved solutions for constantly changing, global business needs.

The 2014 IBM Fellows represent a microcosm of IBM’s diverse global research and technical community. Their backgrounds vary—from a village in southern India to the holy city of Jerusalem to a small town in central Kentucky.   However, from different starting points, today these 11 leaders in their respective fields have reached the same destination…they are now IBM Fellows.

Congrats to the new IBM Fellows!

IDC Health Insights: 2012 Health Industry Predictions

Earlier this week, I attended the annual IDC Health Insights Predictions 2012:  Health conference call.  

This was a global predictions call that covered the entire Health Industry, including health payer, provider and life science sectors.  The team identify major global trends that will impact the has scheduled other prediction calls going into more detail on topics specific to payer, provider and life sciences.  There are also other calls coming up that focus on health industry related predictions in both Europe and Asia.   

Leading this conference call was the IDC Health Insights Group Vice President, Scott Lundstrom.  Also on the call were 8 other members of the IDC Health Insights analyst team

Summary

IDC says significant changes are transforming components of the Health Industry value chain driven by a focus on patient safety, cost containment, quality improvement, and regulatory compliance.  Key topics of importance to business leaders will be EMR and EHR for providers, connected health, healthcare industry reform, and the life sciences value chain. 

Overall, IDC list 5 major technology themes

  1. Reform
  2. Analytics and Big Data
  3. Cloud
  4. Mobile
  5. Social

IDC is hot on themes 2-5 throughout all of its predictions calls.  

The IDC Health Insights Ten Predictions for 2012

The 2012 predictions list below was sourced from the conference call slides.

  1. EHR. “The Majority of U.S. Providers Will Use an EHR by the End of 2012”.
  2. ACOs. “Successful Accountable Care Organizations Will Emerge from Private or Public-Private Initiatives” 
  3. Re-Branding for Care. “Health Plans Rebrand: Care is the New Core”
  4. Integrated Strategies. “Integration of Payment, Clinical Performance and Outcomes”
  5. Analytics for Pharma. “Pharma adds "Actionable" to Analytics in 2012”
  6. Analytics for ACOs. “The Next Mountain for ACOs to Climb Will be the Development of an Enterprise Analytic Framework Including Clinical Analytics”
  7. Outsourcing.  “Outsourcing Best Practices Shift From Vendor to Partner”
  8. Mobile. “Bring Your Own Mobile Device Gains Popularity, But Security Risks Abound”
  9. Communication Strategy. “Second-Generation Communication Strategies Emerge”
  10. Social. “The Next Generation of Consumer Engagement will Leverage Consumers’ Social Graphs”

For More Information

HorizonWatching: Index to 2010 Trends and Prediction Lists

HorizonWatching - Top Trends Index-2010 If you follow this blog regularly, you know I’ve been posting information on trends and predictions since early November.  I do this every year as it helps me become better informed about what trends are emerging and could impact businesses.

Every year from November through February, you see lots of trends and prediction lists coming out.  Many of the trends lists coming out are reputable…and some are a little off in ‘left field’.   Here on HorizonWatching, I’ve tried to cut through noise and provide you with blog posts here covering the higher quality trends lists.

I’ve gathered all 72 of my posts, categorized and sorted them, and created the indexed table below. 

These trends and prediction lists cover lots of different categories of emerging trends, technologies, and business issues.  The focus is on trends impacting businesses, so you will see a few consumer oriented trends lists.  By reading through them, you’ll get a flavor for what the most important trends will be in 2010. 

By becoming more aware of the emerging trends, you will be in a better position to be prepared for the future.  Enjoy!

Index to Trends and Prediction Lists for 2010

Category Title of Trend Post and Hotlink
Analytics Forrester: Five Advanced Analytics Predictions For 2010
Asia IDC: Asia Pacific (excl. Japan) Top Ten 2010 Predictions
Cleantech Cleantech Group: 10 Cleantech Predictions for 2010
Consumer FoodChannel: Top Ten Food Trends for 2010
Consumer Forrester: 10 Predictions For The E-Book Market In 2010
Consumer J. Walter Thompson: 100 Things to Watch in 2010
Consumer Marian Salzman: Top Ten 2010 Trends
Consumer TrendWatching: Ten Consumer Based trends for 2010
CPG IBM: Future of the Consumer Products Industry
CPG Seven Food Trends for 2010
Economy Deloitte: CFOs Reveals Guarded Optimism For 2010
Economy Global Insights: Top 10 Economic Predictions for 2010
Education Forrester: Seven Trends in Learning for 2010
Fin. Svcs IDC: 10 Predictions For Financial Services in 2010
General Canton: 20 Trends That Will Shape the World in 2010
General Global Location Trends Annual Report
Gov. IDC Insights: Predictions 2010 – Government Industry
Healthcare IDC Insights: Healthcare Top 10 Predictions for 2010
Marketing Landor: 2010 Trends and their impact on brands
Marketing MarketingProfs Community: 2010 Marketing Predictions
Marketing Nielsen: Top 10 Online Web Brands in America
Marketing seomoz: 8 Predictions for Search Engine Optimization
Media AdWeek: Top Digital Trends for 2010
Media Deloitte: Eight Media Predictions For 2010
Media eMarketer.com: 7 Media Predictions for 2010
Mfg. IDC Insights: 2010 Manufacturing Industry Predictions
Mfg. IDC Insights: Manufacturing PLM 2010 Predictions
Mfg. IDC: 2010 Predictions for Manufacturing Supply Chains
Mobile AdAge: 5 Mobile Advertising Trends To Watch In 2010
Mobile Gartner:Top Trends in Mobile Apps
Mobile Juniper Research: Top Ten Wireless Predictions for 2010
Mobile Verizon: Top Ten Business Technology Trends For 2010
Mobile Yankee Group: 2010 Predictions
Retail IDC Insights: Retail Industry Predictions for 2010
Science Scientific American: 20 World Changing Ideas in Science
Science The Scientist: 2009 Top 10 Innovations
Science ThomasNet: 10 Exciting Inventions of 2009
Security Gartner’s Neil MacDonald: 6 IT Security Trends For 2010
Small Biz IDC: Worldwide SMB Market Top 10 Predictions 2010
Small Biz Steve Strauss: Top 10 Trends In Small Business
Social B2B Social Media Adoption Factors
Social Gartner: Five Social Collaboration Software Predictions
Social Linden Labs: What Will Second Life Look Like in 2020?
Social Scott Monty: Social Media Predictions for 2010
Social Six Social Media Trends for 2010
Software IDC: 2010 Predictions for Infrastructure Software
Storage IDC: Top 10 Storage Trends for 2010
Tech Baseline: Top 10 Technology Trends for 2010
Tech Deloitte: Seven Technology Predictions for 2010
Tech Feeding Edge: 7 Predictions For The Next Decade
Tech Forrester: 15 Technology Trends For EAs To Watch
Tech Forrester: 5 Topics Driving Our IT Leadership Research
Tech Fortune: 4 Tech Trends To Watch
Tech Gartner: 2010 Predictions for IT Organizations and Users
Tech Gartner: Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2010
Tech Gartner; Disruptive Tech Trends To Watch
Tech IBM & SOA: Innovative Ideas From The Smart Work Jam
Tech IBM IdeaWatch: Intelligent Computing & the Smarter Planet
Tech IBM: 5 Innovations That Will Impact Us Within 5 Years
Tech IBM: CIO Study – Top 8 Emerging IT Project Areas
Tech IDC: Top 10 Predictions for 2010
Tech Morgan Stanley: 10 Trends to Watch
Tech ReadWriteWeb: 10 Enterprise Trends To Watch in 2010
Tech Sydney Herald: 10 Business Technology trends for 2010
Tech The Business Times (Singapore): 8 Tech Trends In 2010
Tech TheStreet.com: Six Top Tech Trends for 2010
Telco Deloitte: Seven Telecommunications Predictions for 2010
Utilities IDC: 10 Predictions for the N.A. Utilities industry
VC Network World: 10 Start-ups to Watch in 2010
VC NVCA: Venture Capital 2010 Predictions
VC VentureBeat: Venture Capital Trends For 2010
Web 2.0 Mashable’s Pete Cashmore: 10 Web Trends for 2010

Scientific American: 20 World Changing Ideas in Science

Scientific American 20 World Changing Ideas Scientific American published an article back in December titled “World Changing Ideas” that caught my eye.   The article provides a laundry list of ideas that Scientific American says have the potential to improve our lives and our planet.  The magazine has been running similar articles on an annual basis for a number of years.

The December article covers ideas in five general categories (Energy,Transportation, Environment, Electronics, and Health) that highlight the power of science and technology to improve the world.

Here’s a summary of some of the 20 ideas from this article

Energy

  • Pay for solar panels on your house like you pay for a house mortgage.
  • Biofuels from genetically engineered plants.
  • Innovations in Nuclear Power production that can stem nuclear proliferation
  • Smart meters in the home
  • Wind Power harvested from a fleet of high-flying giant kites or windmills

Transportation

  • Plug-in hybrid trucks for short-haul cargo trips
  • Subway-like bus lines

Environment

  • Someday the oceans might be regulated by a worldwide marine planning and zoning committee
  • Harvesting energy trapped in garbage via a technology called plasma gasification
  • Cement that naturally absorbs carbon dioxide as it hardens
  • Introducing new honeybee colonies to our farms
  • Developing crops that can handle saltwater

Electronics

  • HP’s Central Nervous System for the Earth (CeNSE) project
  • Smartphones that can act as real-time language translators
  • Advances in Personal Robotics

Health

  • Biomarkers can help understand the causes of complex diseases
  • Satellites can help track and predict the spread of diseases
  • Better and cheaper ways to help blood clot quicker
  • Performing blood tests in real time by putting a drop of blood on a computer chip
  • Innovations in dental care.

The 20 ideas above are all interesting and innovative trends in science and technology.  Some I would say are more ‘world changing’ than other ideas.  And I am sure we could all come up with another 20 trends / ideas in science that are not listed above.

There’s much more detail in the article.  Scientific American articles are available to subscribers only, but at the time of the writing of this post, I found the article at Scribd here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/23475128/20-World-Changing-Ideas.  Also…you can listen to a podcast where Scientific American magazine Editor in Chief Mariette DiChristina and editor Michael Moyer talk about the "World Changing Ideas" feature ( Download this podcast ). 

IBM: 5 Innovations That Will Impact Us Within 5 Years

IBM 5 in 5 The world is experiencing unprecedented urbanization.  Last year marked the first time in history that the majority of the world’s population was residing in cities.  This trend is not stopping and will have huge implications for our large urban environments we call home.  So what can be done to make our cities economically, socially and technologically healthy–and keep them that way?

IBM recently unveiled a list of 5 innovations that will have the potential to change how people live, work and play in cities around the globe over the next five years.  The following text provides a summary and there is a 3 minute video embedded below…

IBM’s Next 5 in 5…

1) Cities will have healthier immune systems:  Because of population densities, cities will remain hotbeds of communicable diseases.  By standardizing methods for sharing health information and analyzing disease outbreaks, public health officials will know precisely when, where and how diseases are spreading.

2) City buildings will sense and respond like living organisms:   The technology that manages building facilities "will operate like a living organism that can sense and respond quickly." Thousands of sensors inside buildings will monitor everything from motion and temperature to humidity, occupancy and light.  These smart buildings will enable repairs to be made before something breaks, will help emergency units respond quickly, and will let people and companies monitor their energy consumption and carbon emission in real-time.

3) Cars and city buses will run on empty:   IBM predicts that improved battery technology will power the next generation of eco-friendly vehicles. It says the new batteries won’t need to be recharged for days or months at a time (depending on how often the vehicles are driven) and will allow trips of 300 to 500 miles on a single charge.  Also smart grids in cities will allow vehicles to be charged in public places using renewable energy, such as wind power, for charging so they no longer rely on coal-powered plants.

4) Smarter systems will quench cities' thirst for water and save energy:  To deal with the estimate that demand for water is expected to increase sixfold in the next 50 years cities will install smarter water systems to reduce water waste by up to 50 percent.  Smart sewer systems will also be installed that not only prevent run-off pollution in rivers and lakes, but purify water to make it drinkable.  Plus, interactive meters and sensors will provide people with real time, accurate information about their water consumption. 

5) Cities will respond to a crisis:  Even before receiving an emergency phone call. In support of the news:  IBM is helping law enforcement agencies analyze information so they can anticipate crime and be ready to respond when it happens.  Also the New York Fire Department has selected IBM to build a state-of-the-art system for collecting and sharing data in real-time and the company is also designing smart levee systems to prevent cities from devastating floods. 

A common denominator in all five of these innovations is a sophisticated data analytics capability that can take volumes of data, perform modeling and simulation on that data, and turn it into actionable insights for decision makers.  Five years could be an optimistic time frame for a few of these, but in this case, I think a little optimism helps to push the envelope on research and development of the innovations.

Watch the 3 minute video….

Read up more on IBM’s Next 5 in 5

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 www.the-scientist.com

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.


Making Healthcare Smarter

Unless you are on Mars, you are aware that there’s a bunch of discussion going on now about making our Healthcare systems better.   Much of that discussion, I feel, is missing the critical topic of the IT infrastructure supporting our healthcare systems.  There needs to be more discussion on how to modernize the technology within the Healthcare systems. 

HealthCare systems should be designed to connect people to information, to experts and to each other so that collectively, we can all act proactively to better manage and deliver preventative and therapeutic care.  Our healthcare system s need better connections, better data, and faster and more detailed analysis.  It needs an integrated view of the underlying data/information and centering it on the patient, so each person "owns" his or her information, controls who access it, and has can provide that access to a networked team of collaborative care. 

We need to move away from paper records to electronic records.  This will reduce medical errors and improve efficiencies.  And more importantly, it will allow us to apply  advanced data analytics to the the vast amounts of data, to improve outcomes.

Some places for you to check out some good discussion going on these days about how technology can improve our healthcare system.

Video

The video to the right (lasts 1:41) makes the case for a smarter HealthCare System

Blogs

The following blogs are great resources on what is happening in Healthcare and IT

Upcoming Webinar

Join IBM and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) on September 16th, at 12:00ET for a complimentary web seminar:  "Making Smarter Healthcare a Reality: Implications for Today's CIO."Dan Pelino, General Manager of IBM Healthcare and Life Sciences, along with a distinguished guest panel will share their points of view on the evolution of smarter healthcare and how the motivational forces of patient safety and quality are driving new levels of transformation.  On the guest panel is…

  • G. Daniel Martich, MD, Chief Medical Information Officer and Associate Chief Medical Officer, UPMC, will discuss how UPMC embodies smarter healthcare and their transformative journey. Dr. Martich will also discuss the Center for Connected Medicine, a showcase facility for patient-centered, collaborative care.
  • Sean Hogan, Vice President, Global Healthcare Delivery Systems, IBM Healthcare and Life Sciences and Peggy Rodebush, RN, MSN, Healthcare Partner, IBM Global Business Services will share the results from the soon-to-be released IBM Global CIO Study providing provocative insights on the evolution of the Healthcare CIO’s role in the organization’s business strategy and in realizing innovative, smarter healthcare.  

Websites

House Passes Wind Energy Research and Development Act of 2009

Wind energy currently makes up 2% of the total energy generation in the United States, but there is the potential for it to provide up to 20% with the right improvements in turbine technology, forecasting, energy storage, and expansion of transmission systems.

So it is great to see that the U.S. lawmakers are starting to focus on this area.  Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Wind Energy Research and Development Act of 2009.  The bill, if eventually signed into law, would authorize a comprehensive program to improve the efficiency, reliability and cost effectiveness of domestic wind energy systems.

The bill would authorize the Secretary of Energy to carry out a program of research and development to improve the energy efficiency, reliability, and capacity of wind turbines; optimize the design and adaptability of wind energy systems; and reduce the cost of construction, generation, and maintenance of wind energy systems.

Specifically, this program would include:

  • Examination of new materials and designs to make larger, lighter, less expensive, and more reliable motor blades
  • Technologies to improve gearbox performance and reliability
  • Technologies to improve transmission from remotely located renewable resource rich areas
  • Low-cost transportable towers greater than 100 meters in height
  • Advanced computational modeling tools, control systems, blade sensors and advanced generators
  • Wind technology for offshore applications
  • Automation, materials, and assembly of large-scale components
  • Methods to assess and mitigate the effects of wind energy systems on radar and electromagnetic fields
  • Wind turbines with a maximum electric power production capacity of 100 kilowatts or less

The bill authorizes $200 million dollars per year from 2010 through 2014 for these programs.

Let’s hope this bill, or something like it, makes it way into law.

For more information

One Million Times Smaller Than A Grain Of Sand

Get a picture in your mind of how big a grain of sand is.  Okay…got it?  Now…think of a really small object one million times smaller than that.  Okay…got that?  Now think of the significance of taking a picture of that small object.

Last week, IBM scientists announced they have successfully used an atomic force microscope (AFM) to reveal the chemical bonds within a molecule.  This is a significant announcement as this is the first time that all the atoms in a imagemolecule have been imaged. 

The image that was taken was of a rectangular-shaped organic molecule is made up of 22 carbon atoms and 14 hydrogen atoms.  The image looks similar to the shape of molecules we all learned in chemistry classes in high school and college.  The image (a bit blurry) shows hexagonal shapes of the five carbon rings are clear and even the positions of the hydrogen atoms around the carbon rings can be seen.

To understand the significance of the first ever image, you have to understand how small the molecule was that was imaged.  The space between the carbon rings is only 0.14 nanometers across, which is roughly one million times smaller than the diameter of a grain of sand.  Now that is small!

So what does this announcement have to do with you?  Perhaps not much, but it means a big deal to future generations that will be in a world made up of very small (nano) things.  The IBM scientists say that this research could have a huge impact of the field of nanotechnology, which seeks to understand and control some of the smallest objects known to mankind.  

"Scanning probe techniques offer amazing potential for prototyping complex functional structures and for tailoring and studying their electronic and chemical properties on the atomic scale.”  – IBM Researcher Gerhard Meyer

More pictures are here on Flickr.  A video is on YouTube here.  And check out IBM’s announcement “IBM Scientists First to Image the Anatomy of a Molecule”

8 Emerging CleanTech Investment Areas

A new report is claiming that, with an aggressive infrastructure investment, eight emerging technologies could meet 60 % of new energy demand by 2020.  It is also claiming that we could abate more CO2 than is necessary for climate stabilization in just 10 years.  

The report, titled  "The Gigaton Throwdown", was developed with the support of many, many people who are tied to the cleantech industry.  The effort was led, in part, by Sunil Paul, who is a founder of Silicon Valley’s Spring Ventures.

The report estimates that if annual global private investment in cleantech tripled between now and 2020, clean energy investments would be in line with fossil-fuel investments.   It is a lofty goal, but the authors say that if we are able to shift investment into ready cleantech solutions, the results would be world changing:  climate mitigation, energy security and 5 million new jobs planetwide.

The report highlights the eight emerging clean technology solution areas that are ready for investment and could yield the stated goals.

  1. Biofuels
  2. Building Efficiency
  3. Concentrating Solar Power
  4. Construction Materials
  5. Geothermal
  6. Nuclear
  7. Solar Photovoltaics
  8. Wind

According to the report each of the eight solutions listed above could feasibly deliver one giagaton of global energy, and each could avoid one gigaton of emissions from being discharged into the atmosphere by 2020, thus the idea for the name of the report.

Apparently the authors considered plug-in electric vehicles , but the projected adoption of this technology is predicted to be too slow to have an impact by 2020.

For more information:

Looking to 2050: Ten Challenges For The Human Race

Peter Schwartz is recognized internationally as a futurist and strategist.  He honed his skills at Royal Dutch/Shell Group in London, where he led a widely respected scenario planning effort.   He has written a number of interesting books about the future, including The Art of the Long View. 

This past May he gave the commencement address at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  During the address, he outlined ten longer term challenges for the human race as we look forward to the next 40-50 years.  He encouraged the graduates to come up with innovative solutions to these challenges. 

The top challenges Schwartz outlined are:

  1. Creating long-term solutions to meet our energy demands sustainably.
  2. Launching a bio-industrial revolution with sustainable manufacturing.
  3. Understanding and enhancing the human brain to avert age-related impairments.
  4. Improving agriculture to reduce costs and increase its energy and water efficiency.
  5. Building sustainable cities through better urban planning and "smart architecture”.
  6. Stimulating job growth and economic development.
  7. Fusing the technological with the spiritual and aesthetic dimensions of human culture.
  8. Advancing technological instruments to drive scientific discovery forward.
  9. Harnessing biological tools to advance human evolution.
  10. Discovering new ways to lower the costs and environmental impact of space flight and development.  

The list above is an interesting list.  I am not sure that these are the top ten most important challenges, but each of the above ten are certainly important. 

Some comments…

  • Energy tops his list and it is hard to argue that it should not be there.  I can’t see the demand for energy going down anytime soon and we need to figure out how to transition to clean energy. 
  • Improving agriculture processes in developing nations will have have a significant impact on the economy and quality of life.
  • Building smarter and sustainable cities is a very large challenge as the number of megacities grow and grow.
  • Number 9 on his list, “Harnessing biological tools to advance human evolution” sounds both scary and beneficial at the same time.
  • Regarding number 10, with announced plans to go back to the moon and to Mars, we will need innovative ways to travel through space and live at the destinations we travel to.

It is worth pointing out that many on the list kind of fall under the push for a smarter planet.

If you want to read a transcript of Peter Schwartz’s commencement address, check out http://news.rpi.edu/update.do?artcenterkey=2585

Can you think of any other challenges Schwartz’s list?  The only one that comes to my mind right now is the never ending desire to live in a world free from war and conflict, but I don’t suppose for one minute that that will be solved in the next 40-50 years.

Science: Top 10 Scientific Breakthroughs of 2008

With the year 2008 wrapping up to an end, the Journal of Science has released its annual list of top ten scientific breakthroughs of 2008 in their December 19th issue.  

  1. Cellular Reprogramming:  A method that produces "made-to-order" cell lines by reprogramming cells from ill patients.   As this was number one on their list, there is an article that provides more detail on it: Breakthrough of the Year: Reprogramming Cells 
  2. Exoplanets:  Using a special telescope techniques, for the first time the astronomers were able to directly observe planets orbiting other stars.
  3. Expanding The Catalog Of Cancer Genes:  Researchers have been able to sequence genes from two deadliest cancer cells, pancreatic cancer and glioblastoma.  They turned up dozens of mutations that remove the brakes on cell division and send the cell down the path to cancer.
  4. New Mystery Materials:  An entirely new second family of high-temperature superconductors were discovered. These materials consisted of iron compounds instead of copper-and-oxygen-compounds.
  5. Watching Proteins At work:  It was a pleasant surprise for the biochemists to watch proteins bind to their targets, switch a cell’s metabolic state and contribute to a tissue’s properties.
  6. Toward Renewable Energy On Demand:  In order to store excess energy generated from part-time sources like wind and solar power, researchers have found a new promising tool using a "cobalt-phosphorus catalyst".
  7. The Video Embryo:  In 2008, researchers observed in unprecedented detail the dance of cells in a developing embryo, recording and analyzing movies that trace the movements of the roughly 16,000 cells that make up the zebrafish embryo by the end of its first day of development.
  8. "Good" Fat, Illuminated:  Scientists have been able to morph "good" brown fat, which burns "bad" white fat to generate heat for the body, into muscle and vice versa.  This has led to a new approach to treat obesity…
  9. Calculating The Weight Of The World:  Physicists have been successful in calculating the mass of proton and neutron from the standard model which describes most of the visible universe’s particles and their interactions.
  10. Faster, Cheaper Genome Sequencing: Researchers have been able to report a sequencing technology that is much cheaper and speedier.  The technique can be applied from woolly mammoths to human cancer patients.

For more information, check out the special section that report on the top breakthrough and nine runners-up.   Online extras include an online video presentation and a special Breakthrough edition of the Science Podcast.