Bone accountancy

As part of her PhD in Anatomy, Mandi Alblas regularly visits Stellenbosch University’s Kirsten Skeletal Collection. Like an accountant she packs out, photographs and tallies each of 206 bones in each of the 700 skeletons included in her study – 144 200 bones in all.    There’s something moving about the way that Mandi Alblas switches between…

Bernie Fanaroff brought SA the world’s largest telescope

Dr Bernie Fanaroff did his PhD because of his interest in physics – and in the process developed a way to classify very distant radio sources that is still being used today. Since then, much of his efforts have gone into South Africa – among others as a union movement leader, as a civil servant…

Scibraai Monday Menu #3: About singers, fossil teeth and vaccines

This week’s Scibraai Monday Menu contains a trio of research snippets about vaccine development (read: the answer might be in tobacco), ancient fossils (the latest from Australopithecus sediba) and singing (and how water can help). Australopithecus sediba preferred things soft and chewy Researchers from the University of the Witwatersrand played dentist and examined the teeth…

“Kry die dino-tannie se handtekening, Ma

  As jy gelukkig genoeg is om ‘n ouer te hê wat ‘n dinosouruskenner is, sal jy absoluut geen idee hê hoe dit voel om die kind van ‘n eertydse Latyn-onderwyseres te wees nie. Want waar jy gewoond is om ‘n hele paar “wow’s” te kry wanneer mense vra wat jou ma-hulle dan doen, is…