The Brilliant Ten of 2014

For the 13th year, Popular Science honors the brightest young minds reshaping science, engineering, and the world.

The 2014 Brilliant Ten.

Illustrations by Alvaro Tapia Hidalgo

Each year, Popular Science goes through a six-month selection process to identify the most inspired young scientists and engineers—researchers whose ideas will transform the future. Here are 2014's best and brightest.

Studies how animals swarm in order to glean insights that will improve robotic drones, such as underwater vehicles that rely on sonar.

Creates tiny sensors that scavenge energy from their surroundings so that they can run forever, ushering in the Internet of Things.

Teaches the cloud to forget personal data by building software that allows the public to see where the information they share goes.

Designs biodegradable particles that teach the human immune system how to fight even the most elusive cancers.

Uncovers the secrets of dinosaurs by creating simulations that reveal, for example, how pterosaurs flew and how large they could grow.

Models how viruses mutate and spread in order to predict why emerging diseases turn deadly—and how we can best contain them.

Sequences the genes of everything from subway microbes to NASA astronauts to learn how the environment affects genetic code.

Invents scientific tools from everyday materials like paper that anyone can use to explore the world or improve global health.

Makes surprising discoveries about the sophisticated role of mucus, information she’s using to create an alternative to antibiotics.

Builds devices that decipher the brain, work that’s poised to transform the way scientists understand and treat neurological disorders.

To read about the Brillliant Ten winners from previous years, click here.

This article was originally published in the October 2014 issue of Popular Science.