Research & Ideas

Three petri dishes containing microplastic samples

Sea of Troubles

Prof. Chelsea Rochman explores how plastic is breaking down – and where it’s ending up

Michael Inzlicht, a U of T professor of social psychology, shown here at his UTSC lab

Ghost Effects

Social psychologist Michael Inzlicht launched his academic career on the study of “ego depletion.” His research suggested it was real. Then came doubts

Prof. J.B. Caron of ecology and evolutionary biology in his lab at the Royal Ontario Museum

The Big Bang

Life on Earth exploded about 540 million years ago. Scientists are now beginning to understand why

The Day the Stars Collided

It was all hands on deck for U of T astronomers during a rare cosmic event that led to the first sighting of a new object

Photo of Colin Arrowsmith biking along Huron Street, pulling a device.

How Much Methane?

A U of T study aims to create the most accurate estimate yet of Toronto’s greenhouse gas emissions

The War of Currents

U of T startup ARDA Power is looking to change people’s ideas about where electricity should come from

Photo of Graham Collingridge in a lab

When Memory Fails

Understanding how we learn and make memories will lead to better treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, says Brain Prize winner Graham Collingridge

Illustration of a laptop with gene sequencing on the screen.

The Gene Editors

U of T scientists are using a powerful new technology to alter DNA and possibly cure disease

How CRISPR works.

How CRISPR Works

Proteins and RNA all play a part in this age-old defense against invading viruses

Why Do Tornadoes Form?

UTSC researcher uses 30 years of climate data to understand what causes these devastating storms

Illustration of a barbecue and a log.

Biochar

Agriculture scientists have become interested in this potential environmental champion

Honest Lying

Brain dysfunction can cause us to make false statements that we believe to be true

Instructor Janine Newton works with students at the Summer Math Kangaroo Camp

Fighting Math Anxiety

U of T’s Math Outreach instructors are changing hearts and minds about an often-feared subject

Prof. Shelley Wright of the Dunlap Institute

First Contact

A professor at the Dunlap Institute is trying to answer one of the biggest questions in all of science: Is there intelligent life beyond Earth?

Photo of a pile of petroleum coke.

Garbage into Gas

An idea developed at U of T would help turn polluting oilsands waste into clean-burning hydrogen gas

Jane Gooddall.

Into the Wild

U of T partners with the Jane Goodall Institute to send students to Uganda to study endangered wildlife

Christina Nona. Courtesy of NSERC

The Glutamate Riddle

Grad student Christina Nona seeks to unlock the role of an important brain chemical in Alzheimer’s and addiction

Emma Master. Illustration by Adam Cruft

Goodbye to Plastic?

Emma Master imagines a world with much less garbage, thanks to new organic materials she’s researching

Julie Claycomb. Illustration by Adam Cruft

Go Argonautes!

Julie Claycomb is researching a group of proteins that may yield new treatments for a variety of genetic and viral diseases

Digging Deep

How many new dinosaur species can one person help find? Professor David Evans is up to eight

Illustration of a heart, ear, and brain.

How Music Gets Inside

At its simplest, music is just sound. And sound is just vibration. So how does it get inside us, and influence us?

Photo by Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources - Forestry Archive

Debugging

A forestry prof believes a local parasite could help protect Ontario’s ash trees from a deadly invader