University of Toronto

  • Medicine, soft robotics and wearable electronics are just a few of the fields that could benefit from a new hydrogel that's applied to the body. The transparent material can sense when it's being touched, bent, heated, or otherwise manipulated.
  • Although many materials have been created to soak up oil spills, most of them are designed to simply capture the bulk of the floating slick. A new sponge, however, specializes in grabbing the suspended oil droplets that would otherwise be missed.
  • ​Half a billion years ago, in the Cambrian Period, most animals were smaller than a person's little finger. That makes the recent discovery of a marine predator from that time all the more exciting, as the sucker grew up to one foot (30 cm) long.
  • We owe our lives to our immune systems – without it, even the most minor of sniffles could be fatal. But the immune system makes mistakes too. Now, researchers at the University of Toronto have found that cavities might also be collateral damage from an overzealous immune system.
  • ​It goes without saying that the greater the number of organs available for transplant, the better for patients in need of them. A newly-developed technique could help, as it uses light to kill viruses and bacteria that might otherwise make donated organs unsuitable for use.
  • In future, microscopic robots could help heal us. While some of these have been capable of manipulating individual cells, researchers at the University of Toronto have developed a new way to get nanobots inside cells, and precisely control them once they’re in there.
  • ​It's a sad fact that children can develop arthritis, and while some end up going into remission, the disease becomes worse in others. A new machine-learning technique is reportedly able to predict which kids will fall into which category, allowing for their treatment to be tailored accordingly.
  • The CHIME telescope has picked up 13 unexplained radio signals coming from beyond the Milky Way. These fast radio bursts are part of one of the strangest mysteries of modern astronomy, but the new detections could help unlock their source, thanks to a rare one that seems to be repeating.
  • Science
    ​The scratches that form on stainless steel may seem minuscule to us, but they provide a haven for microscopic bacteria. Scientists at the University of Toronto have developed a method of making those scratches less hospitable to the microbes, using a surprisingly simple substance – cooking oil.
  • Don't like the idea of a stranger finding out who you are, based on a photo? Thanks to the facial recognition systems used by social media sites, it's becoming increasingly possible. Scientists decided to do something about it, by turning a couple of AI systems against one another.
  • ​Four years ago, we heard how researchers had created a microwave-oven-sized 3D printer that could produce sheets of skin for treating burns. Now, some of the same scientists have developed a handheld device that prints skin directly onto deep wounds.
  • Autonomous cars could prove to be splendid news for parking, according to new research from the University of Toronto. Because self-driving cars can park themselves, you can cram many more cars in. But according to the researchers, if autonomous cars work together, even more space can be saved…