As a countdown to the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting at Davos, we’re profiling all 30 of our fellow 2011 Tech Pioneer award winners. Check our full profile series to learn more.
What they do:
Ion Torrent has created a gene sequencing approach that is faster and less expensive than current methods. Gene sequencing is crucial for basic (and complex) biological research, but it currently requires proprietary chemistry and optics–suffice to say, it’s expensive and only affordable for the most well-heeled of research labs. Ion Torrent’s proprietary ion chip quickly and directly detects each nucleotide (chemistry refresher: nucleotides are the building blocks of DNA)–speeding up the process as well as lowering the cost of gene sequencing.
Why it’s cool:
America was built on democracy. Now gene sequencing can be too. Ion Torrent’s technology has the potential to make gene sequencing as accessible as blue jeans and Gene Simmons. With Ion Torrent, any lab or clinic will be able to perform gene sequencing and use it to pioneer advances in a variety of fields.