In tough times young mice take things slow

When the going gets tough, the young slow down and the old keep going. That’s what happens to African striped mice (Rhabdomys pumilio) in times of drought, according to researchers from the University of the Witwatersrand. Their findings are published in the journal Ethology. These highlight the influence of different seasons and the use of…

Monday Menu: Bottled water and human rights

Have you ever thought about the fact that bottled water might be having an impact on one of man’s most basic human rights – access to water? It’s all about commodification and boils down to money, says Maria Macarena Pereda of the University of Pretoria, in a mini-thesis she completed as part of her LLM…

Monday Menu: What happens when athletes have to quit?

So what happens to former elite athletes once they become too old to chase their Olympic dreams, or have to retire because of forced injuries? Many of those who develop injuries such as osteoarthritis don’t take it well. This can lead them to feel distress and suffer from sleep disorders and alcohol problems. This is…

MeerKAT science: First Light

MeerKAT science: First Light THE MEERKAT radio telescope opened its eyes for the very first time last month and with the science being done, produced amazing images. MeerKAT lead scientist, Dr Fernando Camilo, took journalists and government officials on a journey that started with KAT-7 to the 16-dish MeerKAT array that ends with a stunning…

Coconuts can give nesting terns the edge

When it comes to the breeding success of common white terns, “artificial” seems to be better than “natural”. This is the results from a study conducted by researchers from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and colleagues in the Seychelles. Their findings about how well hollowed out coconut husks work as nests are published in African Journal…

Monday menu: are SA youngsters up to date with the ABC’s of abortion?

So how much do South African youngsters know about abortion legislation, and what it all entails? Most know that it is legal to get an abortion, but their knowledge about the actual details are quite limited. That was some of the findings in a study by Devashnee Ramiyad and Cynthia Patel of the University of KwaZulu-Natal.…

Monday Menu: WCape students and their waterpipes

Is waterpipe smoking a “passing fad” among young people, and especially students, or is it the start of a different strain of the tobacco epidemic? The literature is divided on this issue, says Lara Kruger of the University of Cape Town’s School of Economics. “Some researchers argue that it is too early to comment, whereas…