Explainer: What’s behind the rabies outbreak in SA?

In the last four months five cases of rabies in humans have been reported in South Africa, and an additional two cases are probable. The country’s National Institute of Communicable Diseases warns that steps need to be taken to curb the trend. The Conversation Africa’s health and medicine editor Candice Bailey spoke to the institute’s Jacqueline Weyer…

Prof Wieland Gevers: Institution builder of note

    Prof Wieland Gevers: Institution builder of note   In 1970, a 32-year-old Wieland Gevers faced a big decision: To stay in North America, taking up a prestigious tenured Associate Professorship at the leading Canadian university, or to return to his native South Africa. The Canadian job involved setting up a research laboratory in…

Whiskers tell what’s on a lion’s menu

World Wildlife Day is celebrated on 3 March. This year the spotlight falls on the world’s big cats. New research by South African researchers have shown that the details trapped in a lion’s whiskers provide minute detail about the type of animal that has been on its menu. They were also able to tell at what…

Bernie Fanaroff brought SA the world’s largest telescope

Dr Bernie Fanaroff did his PhD because of his interest in physics – and in the process developed a way to classify very distant radio sources that is still being used today. Since then, much of his efforts have gone into South Africa – among others as a union movement leader, as a civil servant…

[LISTEN] The Science Inside show about listeriosis and fake medicine

South Africa is facing the world’s biggest recorded outbreak of listeriosis. This week’s The Science Inside Radio Show finds out why this food-borne disease is so unique. In Unscience, hear why expensive fake medicine might just work better than cheap placebos. Content hosted by iono.fm This broadcast is made possible through the Wits Radio Academy.…

Jill Farrant: resurrection (plant) woman

Prof Jill Farrant’s life merges with water. To be more specific, she’s occupied by the ability of a rare few so-called resurrection plants to seemingly die off when none of this life-giving source is available, only to bounce back within hours once a few drops come their way. She was born in the summer of…

A sports car and a glitter ball are now in space – what does that say about us as humans?

In this article from The Conversation, Alice Gorman of Flinders University weighs in on the symbolism behind South African-born Elon Musk’s red sports car being part of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch – and other items in space.  Two controversial objects have recently been launched in space, and their messages couldn’t be more different. One is Elon…