Time Magazine Picks the Top 50 Inventions of the Year

The editors at Time have gazed at the world of high-tech and picked the cream of the crop to appear this year. In its annual Best Inventions List, the news magazine has selected 50 innovations that hold the promise of improving our lives.

But enough talk. You just want to see the results. So without further ado, here are the winners. Coming in at Number 1 (drum roll) is The Retail DNA Test.

A start-up called 23andMe, in Mountain View, Calif., funded by Google, has created a US $399 DNA analysis kit that supposedly can study your saliva to predict the likelihood that you will suffer from any of more than 90 traits and conditions ranging from baldness to blindness. Although it has competitors (at a higher price) and detractors who worry about the wisdom of DNA testing without medical consultation, Time wrote that The Retail DNA Test's "retail genomics" kit is the 2008 Invention of the Year.

The top five inventions on the Time list are:

  1. The Retail DNA Test

  2. The Tesla Roadster

  3. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

  4. Hulu.com

  5. The Large Hadron Collider

Time has also added an interactive element to its list this year, enabling readers to cast their votes on its Web site for what they think are the top inventions. As of this moment, the reader poll listed the following as the most popular: 1) Peek, a remote email reader; 2) the T-Mobile G1, the Android smartphone; 3) the MacBook, the sleek laptop from Apple; 4) the iPod Touch, the iconic phone with everything; and 5) the Eye-Fi Explore SD Card, the wireless SD card.

The Time inventions list may not be as insightful as IEEE Spectrum's annual Winners and Losers report, but we think its findings are compelling (mostly because we have covered so many of them this year in our pages;).


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