Top Stories

Hope for ALS patients? Discovery of a gene's function offers clues

Sub-title: 
“This is an extremely important finding"
Author: 
Katie Babcock and Heidi Singer

U of T researchers have found a missing link that helps to explain how ALS, one of the world’s most feared diseases, paralyses and ultimately kills its victims.

The breakthrough is helping them trace a path to a treatment or even a cure.

“ALS research has been taking baby steps for decades, but this has recently started changing to giant leaps,” said Karim Mekhail, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology. 

Earlier Stone Age artifacts found in Northern Cape of South Africa

Excavations at an archaeological site at Kathu in the Northern Cape province of South Africa have produced tens of thousands of Earlier Stone Age artifacts, including hand axes and other tools.

These discoveries were made by archaeologists from the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa and the University of Toronto (U of T), in collaboration with the McGregor Museum in Kimberley, South Africa.

News from Jupiter-like planets: it's drier than we thought

Sub-title: 
"These results challenge our current understanding of planet formation"
Author: 
Chris Sasaki

A team of astronomers has made the most precise measurements yet of water vapour in the atmospheres of Jupiter-like planets beyond our Solar System and found them to be much drier worlds than expected.

The team, including Nicolas Crouzet of the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Toronto, has found that the abundance of atmospheric water vapour is between ten and a thousand times less than what models predict.

Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17: examining the evidence

Sub-title: 
What the experts can learn from human remains, aircraft debris
Author: 
Jelena Damjanovic

Nearly a week after the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was destroyed over Ukraine, questions abound over what exactly happened.

Writer Jelena Damjanovic spoke to professors Tracy Rogers and Doug Perovic about the procedures − and the challenges − of gathering scientific evidence and performing analysis to determine the causes of such tragedies.

In Memoriam: remembering the First World War at U of T

Sub-title: 
Archivist Harold Averill on the war that changed the world
Author: 
Jelena Damjanovic

They called it The Great War. The War to End All Wars. A conflict that killed, wounded and maimed millions of soldiers and civilians, destroying empires, transforming the world’s political and economic structures and spreading heartbreak and loss from the tiniest of Canadian villages to the most powerful cities on earth.   

Lab-on-chip technology developed by U of T brothers draws researchers from around the world

Sub-title: 
Dropbot created by grad students Ryan and Christian Fobel
Author: 
Sean Bettam

The opportunity to learn about a revolutionary technology that could significantly advance microfluidics research brought scientists from Brazil, England, Taiwan and elsewhere to Aaron Wheeler’s chemistry laboratory recently.

They came to learn how to use DropBot, a technology that bolsters microfluidics by adding a digital component.

Low-carb diet cuts risk of colon cancer

Sub-title: 
But study finds no evidence inflammation plays a role
Author: 
Jim Oldfield

Researchers at the University of Toronto have found that gut bacteria drive a common form of colon cancer, and that a low-carbohydrate diet can prevent the disease.

The researchers found that microbes in the intestine convert carbohydrates into metabolites that spur cancer growth. A low-carbohydrate diet shut down this process and led to a 75 per cent reduction in cancer incidence.

Rude a #1 Billboard hit for MAGIC! man Mark Pellizzer

Sub-title: 
Alumnus talks about performing on Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, playing with Usher
Author: 
Tyler Greenleaf

For Faculty of Music graduate and MAGIC! guitarist Mark Pellizzer there are no tricks to writing a Billboard #1 hit single – just hard work, an ear for a musical hook, and persistence.

Everyone says sitting is the new smoking. How dangerous is it really?

Sub-title: 
"it's possible that employers could be held accountable in the future"
Author: 
Jenny Hall

Study after study has highlighted the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle that includes extended periods of sitting, and the catchphrase “sitting is the new smoking” has gained traction in the media and in popular consciousness.

Cerebral palsy rates higher among children with Canadian-born mothers

Sub-title: 
Lower rates for children of mothers who immigrated to Ontario
Author: 
Leslie Shepherd

Babies born to mothers who immigrated to Ontario from other countries have significantly lower rates of cerebral palsy than those of Canadian-born mothers, especially those from the Caribbean and East Asia, new research has found.

“Predicting who is at highest risk of having a child with CP remains an international priority,” said lead author Dr. Joel Ray, who notes that CP rates have not declined much over the last decade.

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