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10 essential SmartPlanet stories from 2010

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SmartPlanet editor Andrew Nusca offers his picks for the top 10 SmartPlanet stories of 2010, from magnetic stroke therapy to human-brain interfaces to "frozen smoke" to how American cities will change in the next decade.

It's been one heck of a year here at SmartPlanet.

Since our quiet relaunch in June of 2009, we've grown significantly to cover a broad group of topics, from high-speed rail to biofuels to medical imaging technology to corporate sustainability to green building. (Phew!)

And we just keep rolling, with big plans for 2011 (more on that soon!).

In the meantime, check out these 10 essential SmartPlanet posts, chosen by yours truly.

Why did I choose these, you ask? Some are engaging interviews with amazing people, some are incredible feats of technological advancement and some just foreshadow what's coming next year.

At SmartPlanet, our focus is on "insight and ideas that impact your world."

So here are 10 of them:

Top 20 most popular future jobs of 2030

In this post from January, a British report predicts what some of the most popular jobs could be in 2030, including vertical farmer, limb maker, waste data handler or narrowcaster.

Retired NFL player finds hope for his brain in oxygen chamber

In this touching post from February, correspondent Melanie D.G. Kaplan speaks with George Visger, one of the many retired NFL players struggling to deal with permanent brain damage as a result of numerous football-related concussions.

Award-winning teen develops a faster way to detect E. Coli

SmartPlanet correspondent Christina Hernandez spoke with a 17-year-old high school graduate in July about her discovery of a more efficient way to test for harmful E. Coli strains in our water.

Berkeley studies brain stimulation to help with stroke therapy

In November, SmartPlanet's talented video team visited University of California neuroscientist Flavio Oliveira to discuss his research on Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and his effort to understand how decisions are made by studying which hand a person chooses for an action.

Reanimating the body, with the power of thought

In November, SmartPlanet editor Andrew Nusca -- yes, me -- visited the TEDxPhilly conference, where Temple University researcher Iyad Obeid demonstrated how his team is working to control mechanical devices with the human brain.

For the real robot uprising, look to the disabled

In October, tech correspondent John Herrman explained how and why medical researchers, not defense contractors, are delivering the first wave of wearable robotics.

Meet the 'Indiana Jones' of NASA

In February, SmartPlanet's video team interviewed NASA scientist Chris McKay, who takes his work to the far reaches of planet Earth to study extreme conditions in pursuit of life on other planets.

Five waves of change that will reshape U.S. cities in the 2010s

Business Brains blogger Joe McKendrick outlines a June study by the Brookings Institute that predicts that growth, diversity, aging populations, income polarization and educational issues will dominate big city agendas over the coming decade.

Aerogels: 'Frozen smoke' that can soak up oil

Energy correspondent Melissa Mahony writes in May about aerogels, ultra-lightweight sponges that can absorb toxins in air, water and -- most importantly for the energy industry -- oil.

Church: Sequencing human genome ‘high priority’ for China

Science correspondent Boonsri Dickinson in June interviewed geneticist George Church about the race between China and U.S. researchers to decode the entire human genome -- and his own ambitions to beat everyone to the finish line.

Here's to 2011.

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Andrew Nusca

Editor Emeritus

Andrew Nusca is editor of SmartPlanet and an associate editor for ZDNet. Previously, he worked at Money, Men's Vogue and Popular Mechanics magazines. He holds degrees from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and New York University. He is based in New York but resides in Philadelphia. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure