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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.

Year:

Intelligent Software Assistant

Adam Cheyer is leading the design of powerful software that acts as a personal aide.

$100 Genome

Han Cao's nanofluidic chip could cut DNA sequencing costs dramatically.

Racetrack Memory

Stuart Parkin is using nanowires to create an ultradense memory chip.

Biological Machines

Michel Maharbiz's novel interfaces between machines and living systems could give rise to a new generation of cyborg devices.

Paper Diagnostics

George Whitesides has created a cheap, easy-to-use diagnostic test out of paper.

Liquid Battery

Donald Sadoway conceived of a novel battery that could allow cities to run on solar power at night.

Traveling-Wave Reactor

A new reactor design could make nuclear power safer and cheaper, says John Gilleland.

Nanopiezoelectronics

Zhong Lin Wang thinks piezoelectric nanowires could power implantable medical devices and serve as tiny sensors.

HashCache

Vivek Pai's new method for storing Web content could make Internet access more affordable around the world.

Software-Defined Networking

Nick McKeown believes that remotely controlling network hardware with software can bring the Internet up to speed.

Past 10 Breakthrough Technologies Lists:

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