Jou selfoon-foto’s kan wetenskaplikes help

Iewers in die Villiersdorp-omgewing is daar ‘n kleine naaldekoker wat soos ‘n superheld van kleur kan verander. As die son skyn, lyk die Spesbona angusta waterjuffer metaalblou soos ‘n VW Jetta van ouds. Sodra die temperature daal of ‘n wolk voor die son skuif, word dit so bruin soos donker sjokolade. Navorsers aan die Universiteit…

Sydney Brenner: A Nobel Prize winner’s life dedicated to science

In the more than eight decades that Nobel Laureate, Prof Sydney Brenner, has all-consumingly devoted his life to science, he twice wrote powerful proposals of no longer than a page. Short but sweet, these kick-started the two projects that are part of his lasting legacy. The first was to request funding to study a worm,…

Virtual reality breathes new life into African fossils, art and artefacts

Tammy Hodgskiss shares some of the background work that went into developing the new virtual reality exhibition at Wits University’s Origins Centre. It was launched on 25 September. This article is published via The Conversation Africa. Digital technology has become an integral part of our everyday lives. So it was only a matter of time before…

Citizen science crowdfunding project pays off

Learners from the Kayamandi community in Stellenbosch recently practiced their skills as citizen scientists when they had the opportunity to hike in the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve. In the process, the 31 learners helped to collect samples for an ongoing research project, and learnt how to isolate the fynbos pathogens that they collected. The learners who…

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…

New species named after the man who co-wrote the ultimate Cape orchid book

Bill Liltved, the driving force behind what many people call the “opus” of South Africa’s orchid species, has been honoured by having a newly identified white orchid species from the Kogelberg mountains being named after him: Satyrium liltvedianum. The new species is announced in the latest edition of the South African Journal of Botany which…

Carrion plant’s (only) little helper

Not all flies attracted to foul-smelling carrion plants help with its pollination In the life cycle of smelly yellow carrion plants (Orbea lutea subsp. lutea), all flies are not created equal. Their flowers, which quite literally reek, lure insects from far and wide that are attracted by the smell of decaying matter and faeces. However,…