What’s on KZN’s crowned eagles’ menu?

  This one’s for bird lovers, especially those who spend their time watching the feathered inhabitants of KwaZulu-Natal. A new study in the Ostrich journal sheds light on exactly what African crowned eagles in the province eat. Remains of 195 collected items of prey were collected from 17 nest sites. Rock hyrax (Procavia capensis), vervet…

The nuts and bolts that make up the KAT-7 #Scibraai Monday Menu

Do you want to get up to speed with what’s been happening in the Karoo since the construction of the first KAT-7 radio telescopes started? Then have a look at this paper written by a host of local and international experts in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. In it, Tony Folley and…

Money the big issue when it comes to surviving HIV/AIDS # Scibraai Monday Menu

There is a cold reality contained in South Africa’s HIV/AIDS statistics: if you are poor, your chances of dying from the disease are more than 50% higher than if you have money in the bank. Your household will also be affected more severely, according to a systematic review in the journal Tropical Medicine & International…

Plastics are the death of sea turtles – @Scibraai Monday Menu

Pieces of plastic floating in our oceans are creating an often life-threatening problem for our sea life. Of the 40 loggerhead turtles that died after being stranded along the southern Cape coastline in one month alone, 24 (60%) had ingested debris such as plastics, fibres and pieces of packaging material. In an article in Marine…

What is in the water that great white sharks swim in? #Scibraai Monday Menu

Skin samples of great white sharks contain worrying levels of environmental and biological contaminants. This is among the findings of a recent study in the journal Expert Opinion on Environmental Biology. Skin biopsies were taken from 15 great white sharks near Dyer Island off the Overberg coastline. The Italian and South African researchers involved ascribe…

The curse of cellphone bullies

This week’s Scibraai Monday Menu focuses on a worrying issue: mobile or cellphone bullying, and its occurrence in Western Cape high schools. Cyberbullies – and those who use cell phones in particular – are more prevalent in the Western Cape’s public schools located in high safety risk areas and without anti-bullying policies than in any…

Scibraai Monday Menu: About “third forces”, rheumatiod arthritis and more

This week, the Scibraai Monday Menu looks at the insights of South African academics on the following topics: the possibility of a “third force” at work on South African campuses, the link between smoking and rheumatoid arthritis, and the use of SMSes to deliver health message.  Can smoking and air pollution trigger rheumatoid arthritis Smoking…

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…

@Scibraai Monday Menu: of tennis players’ BMT and frogs

This week’s @Scibraai Monday Menu features two research papers – one from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (featuring mental toughness in tennis players) and another from North-West University and the Endangered Wildlife Trust staffers (on what South Africans think about frogs). Being a mentally tough tennis player Psychologists of the University of KwaZulu-Natal have delved into…

#Scibraai Monday Menu: About #Feesmustfall, soccer and spit, and cancers

Today’s @Scibraai Monday Menu should probably be called the Scibraai Tuesday Treat. Better late than never! So here’s this week’s snippets of interesting local South African science: an economic perspective on rising university fees, the value of soccer in reducing stress, and some of the reasons for the high incidence of esophageal cancer in the Eastern…