The doyenne of seeds: Patricia Berjak

Professor Patricia Berjak was born in Johannesburg on 29 December 1939. After attaining her BSc (Hons) cum laude in biochemistry from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in 1962, Berjak moved to Natal, where she spent a year as a teacher before taking up a post at the University of Natal, now known as the…

Weighty matter: metabolic syndrome on the rise among SA’s Asian Indian population

Metabolic syndrome (MetS) in South African Asian Indians is becoming a considerable health concern. It’s not only confined to older adults either. Worryingly, this lifestyle disease was identified in 6.9% of the young adults tested between the ages of 15 and 24 years. This is the results from the most up-to-date study available on the…

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.…

Shisa Sayensi: Isayensi yeviki 07 July 2016

Kusukela kwababhema ama-habli kuze kufikwe kunonzungezilanga omkhulukazi, nansi isayensi yeviki; Shisa Sayensi! Baningi abafundi ababhema ipayipi lamanzi Ukubhenywa kwepayipi lamanzi (hubbly) sekubonakala kwanda emiphakathini wezikhungo zemfundo ephakeme kwisifundazwe se-Western Cape. Lokhu kutholakale kucwaningo obelenziwa eNyuvesi yeKapa. Abacwaningi bathole ukuthi lokhu kubhema kwande ngenxa yokuthi lelipayipi libhenywa uma abantu behlangene njengabangani uma bexheketha. Bayaxwayisa kodwa abacwaningi…

@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…

Spider flies to catch an elusive wave

Cynthia Chiang, an astrophysicist from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, is part of a team seeking to drag ancient cosmic secrets out of the polar skies. Sarah Wild of the Mail & Guardian tells the story. A giant white balloon with a precious cargo earlier this month crash-landed in a remote corner of snow-covered Antarctica – at 76°21.91…