The Scientist’s annual “Science Innovations” competition uncovered a bonanza of interesting technologies that made their way into labs this year, and our very own Dr Kevin Lustig was invited to be on the expert panel of judges.

Despite the diminishing funding sources, increased cost of drug development and the two-week federal government shutdown this year was actually a good one for life science innovation. With more than 80 products submitted to this year’s Top 10 Innovations contest, Kevin Lustig and the rest of the judges had the tall task of whittling the crowded field down to the very best.  The competition proved to be so tight that this year’s top 10 is actually a top 12. The top 3 science innovations are as follows:

assay depot top 10 Science Innovations Kevin Lustig

Top 10 Science Innovations

  • nVista HD – Inscopix

The nVista HD, is a new mini fluorescence microscope. “Basically, we are imaging at the cellular level the activity of thousands of neurons while an animal is able to freely navigate an established behavioral task,” says Scott Norviel, the company’s director of product marketing. The microscope sticks to a magnetic platform that frames a window in the skull. The detachable microscope weighs just 2 grams and can be plugged in during behavioral tasks or removed to share among a number of animals.

  • X-MAN – Reporter Kits Horizon Discovery

These X-MAN reporter kits are essentially cell lines with built-in reporter constructs. This removes the traditional step of treating cells with reporter-bearing plasmids, which can introduce hundreds of copies of the gene of interest or its promoter.

  • SmartFlare RNA Detection Probes – EMD Millipore

The SmartFlare RNA Detection Probes offer an alternative option for cell sorting by allowing fluorescent detection of internal RNA species without harm to the cell—no antibodies required.

The following products and companies completes the list

  • SR GSD 3D – Leica Microsystems
  • Prosigna Breast Cancer Prognostic Gene Signature Assay – NanoString
  • ClearColi – Lucigen
  • Humanized Bacterial Luciferase – 490 BioTech
  • SynVivo – CFD Research Corporation
  • NumaTac – SynTouch
  • ADCC Reporter Bioassay – Promega
  • NOMe-Seq – Active Motif
  • Quantitative Multiplex Reference Standard – Horizon Diagnostics

Read about all the products that rose to the top of a very competitive list of submissions to The Scientist’s Top 10 Science Innovations of 2013.