Madison Region companies appear on “Top 10 Innovations” list
Excerpted from The Scientist
By The Scientist Staff
with editorial additions by MadREP staff
While innovation has been a buzzword since the early 1990s, its ubiquitous usage threatens to dilute the very meaning of the word. The fifth annual “Top 10 Innovations” competition refocuses on the core meaning of innovation – a new idea, method, or device. This year’s winners exemplify true innovation, and MadREP congratulates the two companies headquartered in the Madison Region that appear among the top ten: Cellular Dynamics International (CDI) and Promega. We also congratulate Life Technologies, which has an office in the Madison Region.
Promega has introduced a new fluorescent reporter enzyme called NanoLuc Lucferase, a tool that offers improvements such as its smaller size and capacity to shine 240 times as brightly as other luminescent reporters. “Bioluminescence has become one of the fundamental measurement technologies used in life science,” says Promega head of research Keith Wood. “We think with NanoLuc we’ve advanced that technology in a number of ways.”
CDI is utilizing a revolutionary technology in biomedical research to produce induced pluripotent stem cells “on demand” with high quality and purity. This development has high potential to transform both numerous fields of life sciences research and open the door to potential medical applications. “[Customers] don’t have to be stem-cell biologists to leverage this technology,” says Chris Parker, CDI’s chief commercial officer. “They can simply be interested in a disease state and get the human cells they need to answer appropriate questions.”
Life Technologies’ Ion Proton machine will make human-scale genome sequencing more accessible by taking a technology that was $1 billion 12 years ago, to just $1,000 while increasing its speed. “By making large-scale sequencing more widely available, this machine will enable a new era of discovery,” says Maneesh Jain of Ion Torrent, the sequencing technology start-up acquired by Life Technologies in 2010