The future of healthcare is data-driven

By Michelle Galloway, media officer for the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS). “The future of health care is data-driven,” said Michal Linial. “Our management of health and disease will depend to a huge extent on our ability to manage big data.” Prof. Linial is the Director of the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies and the…

City slums: a big health risk in southern Africa

By Michelle Galloway, media officer for the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS). Edited by Anina Mumm Urbanisation has a huge impact on health in South Africa if one considers that, according to a 2012 UNICEF report, South Africa is the most urbanised country in southern Africa and more than half of children in South Africa…

Plate reflects purse in South Africa

Thandi Puoane, University of the Western Cape The stream of media coverage about diets may suggest that the majority of South Africans are pre-occupied with the latest food fads. But what people choose to eat is more often dictated by class and their purses than clinical decisions about what is good for them. Malnutrition, diabetes,…

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!…

It starts with a zozo in Kuruman

It’s eight o’clock in the morning in the Northern Cape town of Kuruman. At a small clinic, two nurses are about to start attending to the 60 or so patients who began queuing early on. Half of the patients fit inside the little waiting room; the rest wait outside, including a young mother with her…

Eight ways to fix our water woes

The South African water crisis is a complex series of interlocking problems that preclude a silver-bullet solution. Each water system is unique, with different geographies, weather, populations and quirks, such as an unwillingness to reuse treated waste water. Some short-term interventions are obvious, if expensive, such as reducing demand by cutting losses from leaking pipes.…

We ate McDonald’s in the name of science

In this episode we investigate diet fads like #Paleo and #Noakes. We find out if high-fat, low-carb eating is good for your cholesterol, and we look at the recent news that sugary drinks may soon be taxed just like alcohol and cigarettes. [View the story “We ate MacDonald’s in the name of science” on Storify]

Bringing researchers and the public together for science

Forensics, facial recognition, psychiatry and eye health may not seem inherently connected. But they all have two things in common: they are all relevant to the public, and they are all grounded in basic science. These were the topics of discussion at Thursday’s Science Awareness Day, hosted by the Department of Science and Technology (DST),…

#SciBraaiSides 13 April 2014

The use of snuff among SA teens, the impact of invasive water hyacinth on biodiversity, gardening in Limpopo and what to do with intellectual property developed at SA universities – here’s this week’s #ScibraaiSides: SA teens snuff too Thought that using snuff or chewing tobacco was only something your grandfather did? Think again. It’s a…

South Africa’s first health hackathon

I recently had the privilege of taking part in South Africa’s inaugural Health Hackathon – two days of building technological solutions to health problems in South Africa. I was totally out of my depth but loved every minute of it. Having taken Friday off work to attend the Hackathon, I arrived at Groote Schuur Hospital…