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Breakthrough Technologies

1. Nano-Architecture
Breakthrough: Materials whose structures can be precisely tailored so they are strong yet flexible and extremely light.
Why It Matters: Lighter structural materials would be more energy-efficient and versatile.
Key Players: 
§  Julia Greer, Caltech
§  William Carter, HRL Laboratories
§  Nicholas Fang, MIT
§Christopher Spadaccini, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory                   
2. Magic Leap
Breakthrough: A device that can make virtual objects appear in real life.
Why It Matters: The technology ­ could open new opportunities for the film, gaming, travel, and telecommunications industries.
Key Players:
§  Magic Leap
§  Microsoft
3. Car-to-Car Communication
Breakthrough: Cars that can talk to each other to avoid crashes.
Why It Matters: More than a ­million people are killed on roads worldwide every year.
Key Players:
§  General Motors
§  University of Michigan
§  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

4. Project Loon
Breakthrough: A reliable and cost-effective way to beam Internet service from the sky to places lacking it.
Why It Matters: Internet access could expand educational and economic opportunities for the 4.3 billion people who are offline.
Key Players:
§  Google
§  Facebook
5. Liquid Biopsy
Breakthrough: A blood test to catch cancer early.
Why It Matters: Cancer kills some eight million people a year around the world.
Key Players: 
§  Dennis Lo, Chinese University of Hong Kong
§  Illumina
§  Bert Vogelstein, Johns Hopkins 
6. Megascale Desalination
Breakthrough: Demonstrating that seawater desalination can cost-effectively provide a substantial portion of a nation’s water supply.
Why It Matters: The world’s supplies of fresh water are inadequate to meet the needs of a growing population.
Key Players:
§  IDE Technologies
§  Poseidon Water
§  Desalitech
§  Evoqua
7. Apple Pay
Breakthrough: A service that makes it practical to use your smartphone as a wallet in everyday situations.
Why It Matters: Credit card fraud damages the economy by raising the costs of goods and services.
Key Players:
§  Apple
§  Visa
§  MasterCard
§  Google
8. Brain Organoids
Breakthrough: Three-dimensional clusters of living neurons that can be grown in a lab from human stem cells.
Why It Matters: Researchers need new ways of understanding brain disorders and testing possible treatments.
Key Players: 
§  Madeline Lancaster and Jürgen Knoblich, Institute of Molecular Biotechnology
§  Rudolph Tanzi and Doo Yeon Kim, Massachusetts General Hospital
9. Supercharged Photosynthesis
Breakthrough: Engineering rice plants to extract energy from sunlight far more efficiently than they do now.
Why It Matters: Crop yields aren’t increasing fast enough to keep up with demand from a growing population.
Key Players: 
§  Paul Quick, International Rice Research Institute
§  Daniel Voytas, University of Minnesota
§  Julian Hibberd, University of Cambridge
§  Susanne von Caemmerer, Australian National University
10. Internet of DNA
Breakthrough: Technical standards that let DNA databases communicate.
Why It Matters: Your medical treatment could benefit from the experiences of millions of others.
Key Players: 
§  Global Alliance for Genomics and Health
§  Google
§  Personal Genome Project

Bhakti Dua covers Technology and Automotive industry.

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