Top 10 Life Science Innovations of 2016
This year’s selection of winning products features a wide variety of technologies, from a single-cell Western blot machine to reagents that fine tune the powerful tool of CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing. Other winning products include a synthetic human kidney tissue model that may speed early stages of drug development, a camera that enables the capture of super-resolution microscopy data, and a device that makes in vitro optogenetics a viable, high-throughput methodology.
The winners of The Scientist’s Top 10 Innovations of 2016 contest are:
1) Milo (ProteinSimple) – This bench top instrument can perform a Western blot on 1,000 single cells simultaneously, making it possible to characterize cellular protein constituents faster.
2) ExVive Human Kidney Tissue (Organovo) – Three-dimensional printing makes this synthetic human kidney tissue model possible. With in vitro tissue that approximates the function of a human kidney more closely than ever, drug development may get more efficient by leaps and bounds.
3) The Sequel System (Pacific Biosciences) – Long reads and single-molecule resolution are the name of the modern sequencing game. This sequencer delivers those traits in a high-throughput, relatively low-cost package.
4) Lumos (Axion BioSystems) – In vitro optogenetics is set to become a laboratory powerhouse with the introduction of this tool. Precision and multiplexing define this potentially transformative innovation.
5) LentiArray CRISPR Libraries (Thermo Fisher Scientific) – User-friendly CRISPR-Cas9 tools may lead to the democratization of precision genome editing. These libraries approach that goal by providing researchers with a variety of options and the potential to target about 18,000 genes.
6) nCounter Vantage 3D Panels (NanoString Technologies) – Quantifying RNAs, DNAs, and proteins in a single sample is now a reality with these new reagent kits. Both basic and medical science could benefit from this methodological streamlining.
7) ZipChip (908 Devices) – This microfluidic device drastically speeds up the front end of mass spectrometry, making sample separation a breeze.
8) Turbo GFP Tagged HAP1 Cells (Horizon Discovery) – Fluorescently tagging proteins has myriad uses in biological research. These custom-made products improve upon standard methods of tagging cellular proteins, making the process quicker and more accurate, while rendering proteins of interest easier to image.
9) Prime sCMOS Camera (Photometrics) – This 4.2 megapixel camera makes low-light microscopy just as data-rich as other techniques that subject samples to higher light intensities.
10) GeneArt Platinum Cas9 Nuclease (Thermo Fisher Scientific) – This enzyme was tweaked to provide just the right mix of purity and specificity to facilitate more-precise and powerful CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing.
Congratulations to all of this year’s winners. Be sure to visit www.the-scientist.com/2016Top10 where you can read more about the products that earned top spots and see bios and comments from our expert judges.
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