Why it’s still worth getting the flu vaccine this year

Is it worth getting a flu shot this winter? Dr Sibongile Walaza, a medical epidemiologist at South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases and lecturer at Wits, explains more about it. Influenza, more commonly known as flu, kills between 6000 and 11 000 South Africans every year. About half of those deaths are in the elderly…

Green diamonds of the Witwatersrand reveal earth’s shifty secrets

A group of researchers at the Wits School of Geosciences have pin-pointed the age at which the earth’s plate tectonics began. Their results were recently published in an article in the Nature Geosciences journal. In an interview with SciBraai, lead author on the paper, Katie A. Smart, explained the significance of the study. “We are…

“Puff adders don’t smell … like anything” – meerkats, dogs

These little guys learn much faster than dogs apparently, at least when it comes to learning how to pick out a snake’s scent from a line-up. A photo posted by Anina Mumm (@aninja_m) on Jan 11, 2016 at 12:19pm PST In this photo, Ash Miller, a Wits post-grad, demonstrates how she trained meerkats to recognise…

[LIVE STREAM] Follow major fossil announcement by Prof Lee Berger’s team

One of the greatest fossil discoveries ever is set to by announced and unveiled by Prof Lee Berger’s team at the University of Witwatersrand at 10:00. Follow it here: http://streaming.wits.ac.za/live/index.html      

Evolution Day – the SciBraai round-up

Darwin apparently described South Africa as dull and uninteresting when he first visited, but we know today, thanks to many a #SAscienceHero, that SA’s evolutionary history is anything but boring. Below is our round-up of Evolution Day, hosted by Wits on 20 June 2015. Prof Francis Thackeray says Charles Darwin called SA a dull and un-interesting…

Xenophobia in SA: How prejudice is born

“Prejudice is a group phenomenon. You don’t have a personal feeling about someone who has something different, just by yourself. It’s somehow created, somehow part of social norms.” – Social psychologist Prof Gillian Finchilescu from the University of Witwatersrand, who has been studying prejudice for years. This week The Science Inside looks at xenophobia, xenophobic violence…

Previn Naicker, 23, is youngest Witsie to get PhD

By Riante Naidoo (Wits Vuvuzela) After skipping grades 7, 9 and 10, Previn Naicker graduated from Wits with a PhD in Biochemistry last year at the age of 23. Wits Vuvuzela caught up with the alum at the end of  graduation week. He hopped out of his dad’s car, slung his sling bag over his right shoulder…