Photo: Steve Hirst

New puff adder behaviour uncovered: it uses two ways to entice its prey

Puff adders display diverse predatory strategies. This shows they have higher cognitive abilities than previously though. This is according to University of the Witwatersrand researchers Xavier Glaudas and Graham Alexander, via The Conversation Africa. Predators use a variety of strategies to increase the odds of capturing prey. An amazing example involves the use of luring behaviours, which are…

Credit: Designboom

LEGO tape is a South African product

Did you know that the creators of an adhesive tape with LEGO-compatible studs are from Cape Town? Clinton Matos of HTXT Africa has the full story. In the past few days the world has become enamoured with the Indiegogo campaign for Nimuno Loops – an adhesive tape with LEGO-compatible studs that promises you the ability to stick…

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[LISTEN] The Science Inside: Radio waves, lost continents and skirt lengths

Want to know more about a cellphone that could charge itself, how to build a radio from scratch or how the SKA radio telescope is to probe the radio waves of distant galaxies? Then listen to this episode of “The Science Inside”, produced by the Wits Radio Academy. Other topics in this show include: * News…

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The dream of electric cars

Time to rev your (electric) engine. Funeka P. Nkosi of the CSIR writes in Science Today about electric cars, and the relevant research being done in South Africa.    Twenty years ago, it looked like the dream of the electric car was dead. Even though the first practical electric car was invented in 1884, these…

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Toxic fungi: what’s in your food?

This article by Theodora Ekwomadu of North-West University about food fungi is not for the squeamish. It first appeared in Science Today. Here goes! In 1960 more than 100,000 turkeys died in the United Kingdom. The mass death – linked to peanut meal, containing chemicals produced by fungi known as mycotoxins – brought the existence of…

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Every drop counts: watching water from space

In this article from Science Today, Keneilwe Hlahane of the University of Cape Town writes about how satellites are used to monitor the water quality in our dams. The water is green, a clear sign that it is polluted. Dense mats of algal blooms float on the surface of the dam, turning the water a dark…

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How long until we lose the moon?

Interested in local research about the moon? Then read this article by Sphumelele Ndlovu of the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO) and the University of KwaZulu-Natal, which first appeared in the latest edition of Science Today.   The Moon, every year, moves away from Earth by about 3.8 cm. It seems very small, about the…