The key to detecting deepfake photos may be the light in a person’s eyes. New knowledge about how neurons sense pain could lead to non-opioid painkillers. Also, sea anemones can eat ants. In a year that challenged us all, these and other UB discoveries from 2021 reminded us of the multitude of wonders that grace the world we all share. Their findings, writings and art also called attention to the deep problems that modern societies face, and the steps we can take together to move forward.