Haroon Saloojee. Photo by Anina Mumm

It starts with a zozo in Kuruman

It’s eight o’clock in the morning in the Northern Cape town of Kuruman. At a small clinic, two nurses are about to start attending to the 60 or so patients who began queuing early on. Half of the patients fit inside the little waiting room; the rest wait outside, including a young mother with her…

Ashraf Coovadia 2

#SAscienceHero: Ashraf Coovadia, paediatrician

American doctors recently reported promising indications that it might be possible to cure babies born with HIV by starting intensive anti-HIV drug therapy shortly after birth. Clinicians around the world, including Professor Ashraf Coovadia, a paediatrician based at the Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital (RMMCH), are trying to replicate and decipher what has been…

Colourful-Condoms-resize-810x450

A new biosensor for the early detection of HIV

“The condom broke.” These three words can be terrifying in a country where over 12% of the population is HIV positive. The responsible thing to do if the condom should break during sexual intercourse, or after any incident that might put one at risk of HIV infection, is of course to go and get tested.…

25may2014

#SciBraaiSides 25 May 2014

Did you know that up to 19 million cigarettes are sold illegally in South Africa per day? Or that the stem-wilter might just be the end of the leaf cactus, which is invading KZN forests? Do you know about the new species discovered in Lambert’s Bay? And is enough being done to educate HIV positive…

The poplar helichrysum is an indigenous grey-leaved shrub with clusters of tiny honey-scented flowers. Photo: Dr Heino Heyman

Testing for anti-HIV drugs – one indigenous plant at a time

An indigenous grey-leaved shrub called poplar helichrysum has helped medical plant scientist Dr Heino Heyman to develop a technique that speeds up the sifting process for new anti-HIV compounds. As part of his PhD work, Dr Heyman developed nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) based metabolomics techniques and showed that these can be used to speed up…

28Mar2014FI

#SciBraaiSides 28 March 2014

Dish up some sides with your Friday afternoon SciBraai: From Grahamstown’s trees and a study on what ex-combatants think, to drinking ginger when pregnant and chatting to kids about sexual matters. Ginger gets the green light to fight queasiness Here’s a note to pregnant women: Ginger not only works to relieve symptoms of nausea, but…

07marchcollage

Caught by the SciBraai Eye

07 March 2014: Fresh off the SciBraai grill: a different kind of green card, Fairtrade in the South African context, herbal remedies for skin conditions and the safety of tourists during township tours. This is rare, locally-sourced mental meat you’re not likely to find elsewhere. The secret of the green and white cards Did you know…