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…

Homo Naledi goes virtual

Thanks to funding received from the Royal Society of South Africa, Scibraai will be publishing a few new science stories in the coming months by local journalists. First up is an insert about Dinaledi VR, the world’s first free mobile palaeoanthropology virtual reality app. It provides virtual access to the underground Dinaledi chamber in the…

Prof Trefor Jenkins: a good man in Africa

When the Ford Foundation and the Oppenheimer Family Trust agreed, in 2004, to make a joint Endowment Grant to the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) to found the Institute for Human Evolution (now transformed into the Evolutionary Studies Institute) the university set about finding a suitable Director for the institute. When the selected candidate (Dr…

[LISTEN] What do you know about the shot hole borer?

This week’s The Science Inside radio show tells the story of a tiny beetle that is threatening Johannesburg’s trees. Hear from the people working on this, Prof Wilhelm de Beer and Neil Hill. In Unscience we find out how a bug might be the answer to the world’s plastic problem. Prof Mandeep Kaur explains how she…