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Which expression do you think shows real pain? (Photo: UC San Diego)

A computer-vision system able to detect false expressions of pain 30 percent more accurately than humans has been developed. Authors of the study, titled Automatic Decoding of Deceptive Pain Expressions, believe the technology has the potential for detecting other misleading behaviors and could be applied in areas including homeland security, recruitment, medicine and law.  Read More

View of the equipment supporting an active invisibility cloak and the cloak itself (Photo:...

Sometimes everything can seem to happen at once. The new game in town is active invisibility cloaks (AIC), which use electronics and antennas to generate a cloaking field to hide an object. Two types of active cloaks have just been revealed (excuse the pun). While being impressive feats of technology, such cloaks could easily be defeated in practice.  Read More

Does water hold the key to more efficient windows? (Photo: Nathan Larkin)

Researchers at the University of Toronto say they can improve the energy of efficiency buildings by fitting window panes with tiny channels of water. The scientists says that these channels, inspired by vascular systems in nature such as the network of blood vessels in the human body, can provide 7º to 9º C of cooling in the summer, and reduce heat loss during winter.  Read More

One of the BRITE nano-satellites, as it was being assembled in Toronto

At the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, India this morning (Feb. 25), the smallest astronomical satellite ever built was launched into orbit aboard the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C20 rocket. In fact, it wasn’t just one satellite, but two – each of the twin BRIght Target Explorer (BRITE) spacecraft take the form of a cube that measures just 20 cm (7.8 inches) per side, and weighs in at under seven kilograms (15.4 lbs).  Read More

Bill Gates weighs evaluates the Toronto Toilet at the Reinvent the Toilet fair in Seattle

In an effort to improve conditions for the more than 2.5 billion people worldwide with no access to safe sanitation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation last year awarded grants totaling US$3 million to eight universities to reinvent the toilet. At the two-day “Reinventing the Toilet” fair held in Seattle this week, where Bill Gates was on hand with 50 gallons (189 l) of fake feces made from soybeans and rice to put the various designs through their paces, a California Institute of Technology (Caltech) team claimed first place for their solar-powered toilet.  Read More

A diagram of the tissue-producing device

Tissue engineering is definitely an exciting field – the ability to create living biological tissue in a lab could allow scientists to do things such as testing new drugs without the need for human subjects, or even to create patient-specific replacement organs or other body parts. While some previous efforts have yielded finished products that were very small, a microfluidic device being developed at the University of Toronto can reportedly produce sections of precisely-engineered tissue that measure within the centimeters.  Read More

Researchers at the University of Toronto have set a new efficiency record for colloidal qu...

Advancing solar technology is a trade-off between the efficiency of the cells themselves and the cost of producing and installing them. Quantum dot solar cells, which use nanoscale semiconductors to produce electricity, promise low-cost production and, because they can be sprayed or painted on, big benefits in terms of installation. In the efficiency stakes quantum cells don't score as well as silicon-based or CIGS solar cells, but a new efficiency record for colloidal quantum dot solar cells represents a big step towards narrowing the gap. This breakthrough isn't about the quantum dots though, it's about the wrapping.  Read More

L to R: Zhibin Wang (PhD Candidate), Professor Zheng-Hong Lu, and Michael Helander (PhD Ca...

A team of researchers from the University of Toronto has developed a new technique to produce OLED devices that they say will accelerate the adoption of OLED technology into mainstream flat-panel displays and other lighting technologies. The process involves engineering a one-atom thick sheet of chlorine onto the surface of an indium tin oxide (ITO) material, which is used as a standard electrode material in today’s flat panel displays. The end result is an OLED device that is not only more efficient, but also simpler and cheaper to produce.  Read More

A new head-worn device uses sonar for quick detection, diagnosis and monitoring of stroke

A team of radiologists and retired US Navy sonar experts have used technology developed for submarines as the basis for a new device which offers quick detection, diagnosis and monitoring of stroke. Combined with a portable laptop based console, the head-worn device enables different types of stroke and brain injury to be discovered and located, differentiating normal blood flow from life threatening conditions and delivering an initial diagnosis in under a couple of minutes.  Read More

Study shows winning Best Actress Oscar significantly increases risk of divorce

In one of the clearest demonstrations yet of the interplay of power, success and historical gender roles, a university study has demonstrated that Oscar winners in the Best Actress category are at a higher risk of divorce than nominees who do not win. A long line of best actress winners including Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Halle Berry and Kate Winslet experienced marriage breakdowns not long after taking home their awards. By contrast, Best Actor winners do not experience an increase in the risk of divorce after an Oscar.  Read More

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