Welcome To The Future: The 8 Most Game-Changing Innovations Of 2014

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As the year draws to a close, it’s worth glancing over our shoulder. What technologies and themes were brightest in 2014? Read on. (And keep in mind, attempting such a summation is ambitious to the extreme — let us know what we missed!)

Illumina Breaks DNA Reading ‘Sound Barrier’

In January, Illumina announced that their latest DNA sequencing machine can transcribe 18,000 human genomes a year for $1,000 each — down from hundreds of millions a decade ago. The $1,000 genome enables broad genomic studies that may yield insights into the origins of disease. To date, some 225,000 genomes have been sequenced, and genomic pioneer Craig Venter believes we’ll sequence 5 million by 2020. Next steps include perfecting intelligent software to analyze all that data.

SpaceX Falcon 9 launch

Mars Ambitions, Reusable Rockets, and 3D Space Printers

According to Elon Musk, billionaire space entrepreneur, humans have to become a multi-planetary species if we’re to survive. Musk hopes to begin colonizing Mars in the 2030s, but we’ll have to first reduce the cost of space travel. He believes reusable rockets, which the firm began testing in 2014, may slash launch costs by a factor of 100.

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