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These are the 10 most important technological milestones reached over the previous 12 months. To compile the list, the editors of MIT Technology Review select the technologies we believe will have the greatest impact on the shape of innovation in years to come. This impact can take very different forms, but in all cases, these are breakthroughs with the potential to transform the world.


Egg Stem Cells

A recent discovery could increase older women’s chances of having babies.

Ultra-Efficient Solar

Under the right circumstances, solar cells from Semprius could produce power more cheaply than fossil fuels.

Light-Field Photography

Lytro reinvented the camera so that it can evolve faster.

Solar Microgrids

Village-scale DC grids provide power for lighting and cell phones.

3-D Transistors

Intel creates faster and more energy-efficient processors.

A Faster Fourier Transform

A mathematical upgrade promises a speedier digital world.

Nanopore Sequencing

Simple and direct analysis of DNA will make genetic testing routine in more situations.


Kickstarter is funding the commercialization of new technologies.

High-Speed Materials Discovery

A new way to identify battery materials suitable for mass production could revolutionize energy storage.

Facebook's Timeline

The social-networking company is collecting and analyzing consumer data on an unprecedented scale.

Past 10 Breakthrough Technologies Lists: