The Ion Proton Sequencer, from San Francisco-based Life Technologies, makes this list because it might just represent a landmark step toward fulfilling the promise of personalized medicine. Designed to sequence the entire human genome in one day for $1,000, this tabletop model decodes DNA with a semiconductor chip, making it much faster and significantly less expensive than optical gene sequencers.
Life Technologies is setting the price for the Ion Proton Sequencer at $149,000, when larger, slower optical devices cost half a million dollars or more and take weeks to return results. Perhaps that is why >em>Forbes columnist Matthew Herper called the device "today's coolest new gadget."
Expect the Ion Proton Sequencer to hit the market by the end of 2012, pending FDA approval, of course.