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Ben Coxworth

Project leader Ollie Szyszka, with one of the electronically-tagged cows

With diseases such as Foot and Mouth, TB, and of course Mad Cow still presenting a danger to cattle, it’s of the utmost importance that farmers monitor the health of their animals, and immediately proceed to isolate any that might be showing symptoms. If you have a herd of over 500 cows, however, keeping track of individuals can be rather tricky. That’s why scientists at England’s Newcastle University have developed electronic ears tags, that they’re trying out on a herd of test cattle.  Read More

The Beep-It optical theremin produces eerie tones when exposed to various light sources

If you’ve ever heard the eerie electronic music at the beginning of a 1950s science fiction movie (The Day the Earth Stood Still, for example), then you’ve heard a theremin. Invented in Russia in the 1920s, the instrument is unique, in that the person playing it doesn’t touch it at all. Instead, they move their hands around its two antennas, causing it to emit different sounds by altering radio frequencies that the machine emits. Although still used by some modern musicians, theremins can be a little pricey, and somewhat difficult to master. That’s where the $35 Beep-It optical theremin comes in.  Read More

A schematic of an acoustic diode, showing how the elastic spheres are able to convert the ...

When it comes to the sound-proofing of buildings, most people likely think of using materials that simply absorb the sound waves in a noisy room, so they can't proceed into a neighboring quiet room. Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), however, are taking a different approach. They have created something known as an acoustic diode, that only allows sound traveling through it to go in one direction. If incorporated into building materials, such diodes would let sound travel from the quiet room to the noisy one, but would simply block noise transmission in the opposite direction.  Read More

A new system for detecting counterfeit whiskey is simpler and less costly than traditional...

So, is that really Johnnie Walker Blue that you’re drinking, or is it perhaps actually Johnny Woker Bloo? Counterfeit Scotch whiskeys are more common than you might think, with the Scotch Whiskey Association reportedly handling between 60 to 70 active cases of counterfeiting at any one time. While there are lab tests that can identify the fakes, not every bar owner or restaurateur has the time or funds for those. Fortunately for them, scientists from Glasgow’s University of Strathclyde have devised a quicker, simpler, less costly system.  Read More

A new understanding of the workings of a DNA-repairing enzyme could lead to medications th...

While there may be medications that help soothe sunburnt skin, when it comes to healing that skin ... well, we pretty much have to just wait for our bodies to do that on their own. Recent research conducted at Ohio State University, however, suggests that an actual healing treatment for sunburn may be on the way. It all comes down to some new understandings about an enzyme named photolyase.  Read More

Drift Innovation is releasing a smaller, lighter version of its HD-170 actioncam, called t...

Last August, we did a side-by-side video comparison of Drift Innovation’s HD-170 actioncam, and the ever-popular GoPro HERO HD. While we liked the HD-170’s image quality, LCD screen, ease of use and swiveling lens, we noted that it lacked the HERO’s replaceable lens, and that it was considerably longer (although narrower) than the GoPro camera. Well, with its new compact Drift HD, Drift Innovation has addressed both of those shortcomings.  Read More

'Dynamic Charging' technology would see electric race cars (such as this Peugeot EX1, perh...

As some Gizmag readers will already know, the new technical regulations for Formula One racing state that cars must move under electrical power only when in the pit lanes. Eyebrow-raising though that may be, two companies are currently collaborating on technology that would see cars being powered by electric motors for the entire race. Instead of looking at ultra-powerful batteries or three-hour recharging pit stops, however, they're taking another approach - they propose that the cars could wirelessly receive power from transmitters embedded in the track.  Read More

The IT Future of Medicine project is developing computer models of human patients, that wo...

The way things currently stand in the field of medicine, doctors often have to try out a number of treatments on any one patient, before (hopefully) finding one that works. This wastes both time and medications, and potentially endangers the patients, as they could have negative reactions to some drugs. In the future, however, all that experimenting may not be necessary. The pan-European IT Future of Medicine (ITFoM) project, a consortium of over 25 member organizations, is currently developing a system in which every person would have a computer model of themselves, that incorporated their own genome. Doctors could then run simulations with that model, to see how various courses of treatment would work on the actual person.  Read More

Watch out, Barack and Michelle - recent studies have concluded that viewing 3D content cau...

No, it's not just you. According to studies recently conducted by the University of California, Berkeley, the viewing of stereoscopic 3D displays does indeed cause visual discomfort, fatigue and headaches. The problem appears to come from the fact that the viewers' eyes are simultaneously trying to focus on the screen, and on objects that appear to be located either in front of or behind that screen.  Read More

Newly-developed software has been shown to pick out deceptive online reviews with almost 9...

One of the great things about the internet is the fact that everyday people can share what they know with the entire world, so if they’ve had a particularly good or bad experience with a business or product, they can notify everyone via customer review websites. The flip-side of that, however, is that business owners can plant fake reviews on those same sites, that either praise their own business or slam their competition. Well, confused consumers can now take heart – researchers from Cornell University have developed software that is able to identify phony reviews with close to 90 percent accuracy.  Read More

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