Maths, computer science students at HLF meet their heroes

University of KwaZulu-Natal maths doctoral student Chinedu Izuchukwu is pretty clear about one of the highlights of attending the weeklong 7th Heidelberg Laureate Forum in Germany: it is meeting the man behind a software programme that has made his academic life so much easier. The brain in question belongs American Prof Leslie Lamport, winner of…

The UCT prof who helped save the bluefin tuna

Later this month, Professor Doug Butterworth will be formally honoured by the Emperor of Japan with the Order of the Rising Sun for contributing to the sustainable management of the very lucrative bluefin tuna fishery. In 2008, Butterworth received a similar national order from the South African president, after he helped to set the benchmark…

Legs gets an extra (3D printed) leg

A secretary bird called Legs is the first raptor in South Africa to sport a 3D-printed prosthesis. It was designed by some of the South African team members involved in the recent development of the world’s first 3D-printed middle ear bones. Scibraai visited Eagle Encounters Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation Centre  at Spier Wine Estate near Stellenbosch…

Edible insects in South Africa; to regulate or not to regulate?

I’ve never eaten an insect on purpose before, but I am willing to try. The concept of entomophagy, or eating insects may be quite a foriegn curiosity to me, but not so to some South Africans who love the stuff. I recently came across a research paper that essentially called for the regulation of edible…

Dark energy – the next frontier?

by Thabiso Goba Dark energy has dominated the 69th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting with a few playful murmurs of a future Nobel Prize for the next discovery.  About 5% of the universe is made up of known atoms like protons, neutrons, and electrons and the rest of it is an unknown, invisible gas substance that…

Climate grief: when hope (doesn’t) spring eternal

by Wiida Fourie For those of us living in the cities, facing up to the realities of the climate crisis – such as contemplating the mere possibility of a Day Zero – can be challenging at the most. Some describe it as a vague unease about the changes you see in nature. Others talk of…

Video – Mbali Mahleyeye on being a black woman in science

Mbali Mahleyeye recently attended the 25th celebration of the finding of Little Foot fossil at an event held by French ambassador in Pretoria. SciBraai contributor, Sibusiso Biyela sat down with Mahleyeye, who is a remote sensing scientist working at the Department of Water and Sanitation, and asked her what her journey as a young, black,…

The doctor who saved 51 kidney patients

Prof Elmi Muller is a South African pioneer in transplant surgery and attached to the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital. More than a decade ago, she transplanted the first kidney of an HIV-positive donor into another HIV-positive recipient.

A remarkable scientist – and a stellar role model

Astronomer Prof. Renée C. Kraan-Korteweg’s work on the large-scale structure and distance scale of galaxies has made her an internationally-recognised researcher, but it is as leader and educator that this quiet-spoken astronomer has also excelled throughout her career.