Disrupted Health – Top 10 Scientific Innovations in 2014

The Scientist Magazine has just published its annual Top 10 Innovations which are poised to revolutionise the work of scientists around the world. Winners include well known companies, such as Leica, but also include newcomers, such as Edico Genome.

The top 5 of this year’s winning innovations involve the process of genome sequencing, such as tools to do the actual sequencing, technologies to make it easier to prepare genetics for sequencing and a processor that can handle the deluge of data that results from such analyses.

Winners are as follows:

1: DRAGEN Bio-IT Processor – Edico Genome

The DRAGEN Bio-IT Processor developed by Edico Genome in La Jolla, California, shrinks the physical bulk of genomic analysis to a chip that could be installed in a server the size of a desktop computer. A genome that ordinarily takes 24 hours to analyze takes just 18 minutes with DRAGEN, according to Edico.

2: MiSeqDx • Illumina

The MiSeqDx, a $120,000, breadbox-sized gadget, brings next-generation sequencing to clinical labs.

3: HiSeq X Ten • Illumina

Illumina’s newest sequencer reaches a long-anticipated milestone: the $1,000 human genome. The HiSeq X Ten is sold as a group of 10 machines, each with the ability to sequence 32 human genomes per week at 30x coverage.

4: IrysChip V2 • BioNano Genomics

The IrysChip from BioNano Genomics provides a high-throughput platform for visualizing large-scale genomic structure, with applications for mapping, assembly, and evolutionary analyses.

5: RainDance Technologies • RainDrop Digital PCR System

By harnessing the power of droplets to divide and direct a sample into separate reactions, researchers using the RainDrop Digital PCR System can pick up—and quantify—rare sequences, providing an estimate of relative gene expression in single cells.

6: TCS SP8 STED 3X • Leica Microsystems

The TCS SP8 STED 3X allows researchers to peer deeper than ever into cells to image molecular function in three dimensions and at several frames per second.

7: exVive3D Liver • Organovo

Organovo has unveiled the next step in the evolution of these systems with its exVive3D Liver model. The product distinguishes itself from traditional in-vitro human organ proxies, such as immortalized cell lines, by mimicking the macro and micro 3D structure of the human liver and includes a suite of the organ’s cell types.

8: HAP1 Knock-Out Cell Lines • Haplogen Genomics

Haplogen Genomics launched a new human haploid cell line service that uses CRISPR-Cas9 technology to knock out any gene a customer wants.

9: Immucor • PreciseType Human Erythrocyte Antigen Test

Blood donor/patient matching is critical for transfusions. Beyond blood type, blood banks and hospitals screen for rare antigens on the surface of red blood cells to assess compatibility. Immucor’s array-based PreciseType HEA test provides more detailed results in less time than traditional serological screening.

10: Sciencescape

Sciencescape, which offers a “Twitter-like experience,” allows scientists to browse their personalized news feeds for newly published papers that fall into any of the categories they choose to follow. To date, there are more than 50 million such categories, including specific topics, researchers, genes, diseases, proteins, journals, and more, collated by sophisticated text-mining techniques.


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