9. Archon Genomics X Prize
Headache-inducing math problems too hard? The Archon Genomics X Prize requires a little less math. For a $10 million prize, all the winner has to do is create a device that can sequence 100 human genomes within 10 days, with an accuracy of only one error in 100,000 DNA parts. Oh, and the cost has to be under $10,000.
Unlike the math problems, however, this can potentially do a hell of a lot more for humanity than just match numbers together like they were set up on a blind date or something. If this ends up being feasible, genome sequencing can go mainstream, detect future health risks, help make tailor-made medications and can be accessible to everyone with even the most fraudulent health plan.
Also, $10 million dollars. That’s cool too.