By sequencing the DNA of single neurons, Harvard Medical School's Gilad Evrony found that neurons that are situated right next to each other don't always share the same mutations. Evrony, who is on Technology Review's 35 Innovators Under 35 list this year, further mapped these mutations back to their origins to find that many arise in brain cells over the course of a person's life. This, Tech Review notes, has implications for psychiatric diseases and mental disorders, as it indicates that some condition could be due to "just a few bad neurons."
Tech Review's list of innovators runs the gamut from researchers studying physical characteristics of cells and the potential of anaerobic bacteria to make better biofuels to using big data to gauge the death toll of wars and developing re-useable rockets for space travel.
In addition to Evrony, a number of other innovators on the list are drawing on omic tools. For instance, Dena Marrinucci cofounded Epic Sciences, which uses a cell detection and analysis technology that Tech Review notes searches for both genomic abnormalities and the expression of certain proteins to uncover tumor cells earlier. Meanwhile, Cigall Kadoch is examining the role of mutated BAF in activating genes that then drive cancer.