Scibraai Monday Menu: About fussy eaters, schooling and African horse sickness

Do you have a fussy eater in the family? Want to know more about why some teachers never move to different parts of the country, and how it could influence the quality of schooling in South Africa? Or about how the movement of horses in Namibia and South Africa might in fact be causing African…

The simple bread tag – a menace to society?

It seems that the simple bread tag has its disadvantages. For one, it’s a choking hazard. In the latest edition of the South African Medical Journal, researchers and paediatricians associated with Stellenbosch University elaborate on three cases in which they had to remove this small piece of plastic from someone’s throat. Don’t think at all that…

Some secrets behind Tsonga names

There is nothing arbitrary about how Vatsonga people of Southern Africa receive their names. This is because a name isn’t seen as just an ordinary label provided for the sake of convenience to distinguishing one person from another. It is carefully thought out and considered in advance. “Xitsonga names are not just mere tags but provide…

SciBraai’s #SONA2015 round-up

Science plays a crucial role in improving the state of the nation. Here’s our twitter round-up from Zuma’s #SONA2015, focusing on energy & water, developing our ocean economy, agriculture, broadband access, health (HIV & TB) and rhino poaching. Zuma’s 9 steps: Science will be key to 9 steps for boosting SA economy, esp energy crisis, agro-processing, infrastructure & operation phakisa!…

#ScibraaiSides: Herpes virus linked to why breastfeeding mothers on ARVs still sometimes transmit HIV to their babes

It’s a question that has baffled many an AIDS researcher: why do antiretroviral therapies (ARVs) not in all cases stop breastfeeding HIV positive mothers from transmitting the virus via their breast milk to their offspring? A new study by researchers of the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the University of Montpellier has now confirmed that a…

Let’s have some fun: turn your thesis/dissertation title into click bait

For inspiration, check out these 15 transformed titles, and see what some of our SciBraaiers have submitted: #ThesisClickbait These Plants Are #Biotech Factories. What They Made Will Change the World! http://t.co/pCdvd5b6b9 cc @scibraai — Paul Kennedy (@scientist_kenni) January 27, 2015 #ThesisClickBait YOU WON’T BELIEVE how defensive these plants get! Let’s just say twins turn me…

#ScibraaiSides: Ebola crisis a “serious test” of right to high standards of health

In light of the Ebola crisis, a rethink is needed of global cooperation to prevent such a loss of life from occurring again. This is according to Amahirwe Denyse (@amahirwed) of the University of Pretoria, who reiterates the obligation of states under international law to guarantee the right to health in the context of epidemics…

#ScibraaiSides: WRC report takes look at pesticides in our waters

Local water researchers turned to the study of African clawed frogs and Mozambique tilipia fish to understand how and if environmental chemicals in our rivers could be influencing the working of our hormones. Concern has been expressed as with regards to the health of wildlife and humans as a result of exposure to especially pesticides present in…

#ScibraaiSides: New cousin of the Barberton daisy found in KZN

Here’s interesting news for fans of the Barberton daisy: A new species of Gerbera, related to this popular cut flower, has been found in the forests of KwaZulu-Natal. The newly described Gerbera sylvicola is endemic to South Africa. The flower has felted and prominently veined leaves. The new discovery is closely related to Gerbera kraussii,…

#ScibraaiSides: Parents could be moulding their kids into coach potatoes – or not

Are you a bit of an authoritarian when it comes to parenting your children? Then the chances are good that your offspring will be physically more active than the children of people who follow an easy going, laissez–faire style. So say two researchers of the University of the Western Cape, after systematically reviewing available studies…