Packing a meal can be restrictive. Will you have access to refrigeration or a microwave? Do you mind if your sandwich gets too cold or a frozen icebox results in condensation that gets everything wet? Do you have to pack different lunchboxes for warm meals and for things that must remain cold?
KBox solves those issues by creating a lunchbox with two separate compartments, one for cold items and one for warm ones. The lunchbox takes advantage of the electrical properties of a specific type of semiconductors that can actually move heat from cold to warm. This makes it possible to make a lunchbox that keeps your lunch at the right temperature, no matter what.
Overflowing garbage cans may sound like an unlikely source of inspiration, but they provided the spark that led to the formation of Microbe Hub, one of the Science Discovery Zone’s start-ups. Where most people see trash, the company’s founders saw an opportunity to not only create a new product, but also to increase public education and engagement in environmental stewardship. Microbe Hub’s vision is to reduce the amount of garbage that is unnecessarily directed to landfills by promoting the adoption of vermicomposting, which can be used to make environmentally-friendly plant food using food waste and other types of organic matter.
Microbe Hub produces makerspace composting kits, which are designed to serve as educational and engagement materials that allow children to establish a vermicomposting system in their school. In addition to seeking to running a vermicomposting trial within Ryerson University, the company aims to commercialize the resulting nutrient-rich product as a soil additive or fertilizer.
uBioDiscovery wants to engage the general population into scientific conversation by providing them with information that affects their daily lives. Few other fields are more impactful and personal than an individual’s health, and uBiodiscovery wants to empower customers to take charge of it. The company accomplishes this by using next-generation sequencing technology to catalogue the different bacterial populations that make up individual’s gut microbiome. They provide these customers with information about the diversity within their microbiome and lifestyle choices that may help in maintaining a healthy population of bacteria within the gut.
Multiple conditions—including Parkinson’s Disease, mood disorders, gastrointestinal conditions and even autism—have been found to correlate with disturbances in the microbial populations within the digestive system. The gut microbiome can be affected by dietary choices, medications, and other conditions. However, though the gut microbiome plays a significant role in human health, it has only recently become a subject of study or a potential target for treatments. By engaging the general population in scientific curiosity, the company hopes to help advance our understanding of this important aspect of human health.