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Each year, Technology Review selects what it believes are the 10 most important emerging technologies. The winners are chosen based on the editors’ coverage of key fields. The question that we ask is simple: is the technology likely to change the world? Some of these changes are on the largest scale possible: better biofuels, more efficient solar cells, and green concrete all aim at tackling global warming in the years ahead. Other changes will be more local and involve how we use technology: for example, 3-D screens on mobile devices, new applications for cloud computing, and social television. And new ways to implant medical electronics and develop drugs for diseases will affect us on the most intimate level of all, with the promise of making our lives healthier.



James Baker designs nanoparticles to guide drugs directly into cancer cells, which could lead to far safer treatments.


Measuring the tiny forces acting on cells, Subra Suresh believes, could produce fresh understanding of diseases.


Alexander Olek has developed tests to detect cancer early by measuring its subtle DNA changes.

Comparative Interactomics

By creating maps of the body’s complex molecular inter­actions, Trey Ideker is providing new ways to find drugs.

Diffusion Tensor Imaging

Kelvin Lim is using a new brain-imaging method to understand schizophrenia.

Cognitive Radio

To avoid future wireless traffic jams, Heather “Haitao” Zheng is finding ways to exploit unused radio spectrum.

Pervasive Wireless

Can’t all our wireless gadgets just get along? It’s a question that Dipankar Raychaudhuri is trying to answer.

Universal Authentication

Leading the development of a privacy-protecting online ID system, Scott Cantor is hoping for a safer Internet.

Nuclear Reprogramming

Hoping to resolve the embryonic-stem-cell debate, Markus Grompe envisions a more ethical way to derive the cells.

Stretchable Silicon

By teaching silicon new tricks, John Rogers is reinventing the way we use electronics.

Past 10 Breakthrough Technologies Lists: