In accidental spacefarers, bureaucratic aliens and depressed androids, the inimitable Douglas Adams gave a voice to the many facets of the human condition -- with sidesplitting (and bestselling) results.
Henry Markram is director of Blue Brain, a supercomputing project that can model components of the mammalian brain to precise cellular detail -- and simulate their activity in 3D. Soon he'll simulate a whole rat brain in real time.
Dean Kamen landed in the limelight with the Segway, but he has been innovating since high school, with more than 150 patents under his belt. Recent projects include portable energy and water purification for the developing world, and a prosthetic arm for maimed soldiers.
Peter Donnelly is an expert in probability theory who applies statistical methods to genetic data -- spurring advances in disease treatment and insight on our evolution. He's also an expert on DNA analysis, and an advocate for sensible statistical analysis in the courtroom.
Gabe Barcia-Colombo creates madcap art inspired both by Renaissance era curiosity cabinets and the modern-day digital chronicling of everyday life. Think: miniature people projected in objects and a DNA Vending Machine.