SA water experts have studied the African clawed frog to understand the influence of pesticides on our health. Photo: Brian Gratwicke

#ScibraaiSides: WRC report takes look at pesticides in our waters

Local water researchers turned to the study of African clawed frogs and Mozambique tilipia fish to understand how and if environmental chemicals in our rivers could be influencing the working of our hormones. Concern has been expressed as with regards to the health of wildlife and humans as a result of exposure to especially pesticides present in…

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#ScibraaiSides: New cousin of the Barberton daisy found in KZN

Here’s interesting news for fans of the Barberton daisy: A new species of Gerbera, related to this popular cut flower, has been found in the forests of KwaZulu-Natal. The newly described Gerbera sylvicola is endemic to South Africa. The flower has felted and prominently veined leaves. The new discovery is closely related to Gerbera kraussii,…

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#ScibraaiSides: Parents could be moulding their kids into coach potatoes – or not

Are you a bit of an authoritarian when it comes to parenting your children? Then the chances are good that your offspring will be physically more active than the children of people who follow an easy going, laissez–faire style. So say two researchers of the University of the Western Cape, after systematically reviewing available studies…

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Scibraai Sides: Rugby’s BokSmart programme gets nod from researchers

Scientists have given the thumbs up to the BokSmart intervention programme – an initiative that aims to teach South African rugby players how to play the game with gusto without causing too many injuries to themselves or others. This national injury prevention programme was introduced in South African in 2009, partly because rugby players have…

Death

#Scibraai Sides: Who dies of what in rural KwaZulu-Natal?

Women living in rural northern KwaZulu-Natal are more likely than men to pass away because of HIV/Aids, heart related reasons, strokes or diabetes. Male residents from this region, on the other hand, are far more likely than their female counterparts to die because of assaults, tuberculosis, road traffic accidents or by their own hand. Overall,…

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Scibraai Sides: Criminals beware: CCTV specialists know what they are doing

Closed circuit television (CCTV) footage was in the news this week as part of the so-called “Anni Dewani Honeymoon Murder Trail” in Cape Town. With this in mind, one has to wonder just how well most CCTV operators actually are in detecting anything untoward. The answer? If it’s a specialist watching, “skelms” are in trouble! This…

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#SciBraaiSides 24 October 2014

After a short break, Scibraai Sides are back, with thoughts about mountain biking and mediation on the one side, and diabetes and the use of Vitamin A supplements in children. Put some science behind your MTB tyre talk When next you and your mountain bike buddies have a discussion about which to use – 26in.…