Top Stories

Ancient, lobster-like predator discovered in 508-million-year-old fossil site

First new species from Marble Canyon site within Burgess Shale
Sean Bettam

What do butterflies, spiders and lobsters have in common? They are all surviving relatives of a newly-identified species called Yawunik kootenayi, a marine creature with two pairs of eyes and prominent grasping appendages that lived as much as 508 million years ago – more than 250 million years before the first dinosaur.

Waakebiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health

First endowed institute in the world to focus on building thriving Indigenous communities
Nicole Bodnar

The Waakebiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health is the name given to the University of Toronto’s new research institute dedicated to the health of Indigenous Canadians.

The institute – among the first of its kind in the world – was created last June with a $10 million gift from Michael and Amiran Dan and received its name at a ceremony March 23 at U of T’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health. 

2015 Canada Gairdner Wightman Award goes to Dr. Janet Rossant

University Professor Janet Rossant is the winner of the 2015 Canada Gairdner Wightman Award – one of the most prestigious medical research awards in Canada. 

Rossant was recognized March 25 for her extensive scientific contributions to developmental biology, her international leadership in stem cell biology and policy-making, and her pivotal role in advancing research programs for children’s health. 

Brain bleeds in newborns and fetuses may be caused by immune system, research shows

Study challenges notion that low platelet counts are behind life-threatening condition
Melissa Di Costanzo

A newly-discovered bodily process in mice may explain why some human fetuses who have different antigens than their mothers suffer life-threatening brain bleeds, says a new study.

“Antigens are like the body’s national flag. They’re planted on each cell in the body and tell the immune system whether something in the body, such as a bacteria or virus, is foreign,” said Heyu Ni, a professor in the departments of laboratory medicine and pathobiology, medicine and physiology.

First light for a “made in Canada” search for extraterrestrial intelligence

Chris Sasaki and Susan Brown

On PI Day, March 14 2015, a team of astronomers expanded the search for extraterrestrial intelligence into a new realm when they made their first observation, known as “first-light”, with a ground-breaking instrument. 

While most searches for a signal from an advanced alien civilization have been conducted with radio telescopes, the new instrument, called NIROSETI, is the first capable of detecting extremely short, extremely bright pulses of infrared light.

How expectant mothers' diets can affect offspring

Study shows diet high in vitamin K, D, E and A can affect brain development and food preferences in animals
Vitaly Kazakov

High-vitamin diets in pregnant rats can alter their offspring’s brain development and behaviour, University of Toronto researchers have found. 

The study raises questions about the effects of diets, fortification of foods with nutrients and the use of vitamin supplements on prenatal brain development in humans.

Portable HIV blood-testing device from U of T startup, ChipCare, readies for market with $5 million in funding

Headquartered at U of T's Banting & Best Centre, global health venture wins millions above target for its field-testing technology
Brianna Goldberg

Imagine having blood drawn for HIV-related testing. And then imagine never finding out the results.

In many low-income and middle-income countries around the world, research suggests that up to 50 per cent of patients don’t receive test results for treatable diseases such as HIV. They’re cut off from labs by poor infrastructure, unreliable sources of electricity, and other realities of life in rural or developing areas.

But what if the testing could be brought to them and performed on the spot?

Canada needs a universal drug plan – and it won't require tax increases, study finds

Plan would reduce total spending on prescription drugs by $7.3 billion per year
Allison Mullin

Contrary to common public perception, Canadian taxpayers could save billions by the introduction of a universal public drug plan to provide prescriptions to all Canadians, researchers say.

“In many of the scenarios that we modelled, universal pharmacare was cost neutral for governments. This goes against current thinking that a universal program will cost more,” said Dr. Danielle Martin, one of the authors of the study, published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Winter months SAD for U.S. Treasury securities, study reveals

“In the world of Treasuries, that kind of a systematic difference is huge,” says Rotman prof
Ken McGuffin

The best time to invest in U.S. Treasury securities may be spring, thanks to seasonal variations in investor risk tolerance linked to depression, new research says.

A team of finance researchers found that the monthly return on those securities showed an average swing of 80 basis points between October – when returns peaked – and April, when they bottomed out.

Actors, screenwriters, alumni and students celebrate re-opening of Innis Town Hall

Ennis Blentic

Acclaimed actress Sarah Gadon, a graduate of the University of Toronto’s Cinema Studies Institute, recently returned to Innis College to celebrate the reopening of its 200-seat theatre, Town Hall.  

Syndicate content