Gas sensing machine a breath of fresh air for Unizulu physicists

PHYSICISTS at the University of Zululand are beside themselves with joy after obtaining an important gas sensing machine, one of only two in the country. UNIZULU clinched the important instrument after impressing the National Research Foundation (NRF) with a tenacious application and landed them the R4.6 million instrument. “The machine is a great blessing for…

Big discoveries and sharper pictures for growing MeerKAT telescope

THE MEERKAT telescope turned its eyes to deep space for the first time last year, and this year has produced even more captivating images with all its 32 eyes. Minister at the Department of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, delivered news on the progress of the telescope to parliament on Tuesday. In July 2016, the…

A few shortcuts to the latest Homo naledi news

Still feel as if you’re not quite yet on top of the biggest science news coming out of South Africa this week? About the latest news about Homo naledi? Here’s a few essential links:   Here’s the full press release from Wits University. The first two paragraphs read: “The Rising Star Cave system in South Africa…

[LISTEN] The Science Inside: Radio waves, lost continents and skirt lengths

Want to know more about a cellphone that could charge itself, how to build a radio from scratch or how the SKA radio telescope is to probe the radio waves of distant galaxies? Then listen to this episode of “The Science Inside”, produced by the Wits Radio Academy. Other topics in this show include: * News…

2017 SCIENCE BUDGET GOES UP, BUT THE MONEY BUYS LESS

Analysis On paper, South Africa’s science and technology budget continues to edge up. On Wednesday, finance minister Pravin Gordhan delivered his national budget to Parliament, sharing out the country’s R1.56-trillion. The department of science and technology’s budget’s looks set to continue to increase: From R7,44-billion in 2015-16, and R7,43-billion in 2016-17,  it will be hitting…

Toxic fungi: what’s in your food?

This article by Theodora Ekwomadu of North-West University about food fungi is not for the squeamish. It first appeared in Science Today. Here goes! In 1960 more than 100,000 turkeys died in the United Kingdom. The mass death – linked to peanut meal, containing chemicals produced by fungi known as mycotoxins – brought the existence of…

How long until we lose the moon?

Interested in local research about the moon? Then read this article by Sphumelele Ndlovu of the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO) and the University of KwaZulu-Natal, which first appeared in the latest edition of Science Today.   The Moon, every year, moves away from Earth by about 3.8 cm. It seems very small, about the…