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San and Khoi claim benefits from rooibos
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 - 09:15

Transformation in the rooibos sector has been slow. The genocide of the indigenous San people and the virtual enslavement of the Khoi people in rooibos-growing landscapes of the Cape centuries ago, coupled with a government-controlled monopoly during the apartheid years, has led to a highly skewed and fractured industry.

Extinct plant rediscovered after 200 years
Mon, 18 Nov 2019 - 08:30

One of the first recorded species to have been lost to forestry and agriculture in the Western Cape in the 1800s, a type of fountain bush from the pea family that used to grow next to mountain streams in the Tulbagh region, has been rediscovered.

Psoralea cataracta was discovered by Brian du Preez, a PhD student in botany at the University of Cape Town, when he accidentally stumbled upon a population on a narrow track close to a river on a farm near Tulbagh

UCT researchers excel at L’Oréal-UNESCO awards
Thu, 14 Nov 2019 - 08:45

Four women researchers from the University of Cape Town (UCT) were among the seven recognised by the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science South African National Programme for their excellent contributions to science.  Emma Platts from the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, a PhD graduate, was awarded an R80 000 grant to be put towards the completion of her doctoral studies.

Rewriting a piece of history
Tue, 05 Nov 2019 - 08:30

More than a century after they died, and almost 90 years after the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) unethically obtained the skeletal remains of nine people from the Sutherland area of the Northern Cape, a significant part of their history has been revealed.  Professor Judith Sealy, from UCT’s Department of Archaeology, was tasked with analysing the bones and teeth of the Sutherland individuals, to help determine their origins, as reflected in the chemistry of the foods they ate.

Stay-at-home dad’s curious mating rituals
Mon, 04 Nov 2019 - 14:15

He’s usually a nondescript, greyish fella when he arrives at his chosen nesting site in False Bay, but  transforms as the spring breeding season approaches when he dons a black nuptial dress, develops handsome white bands on his sides, and swim sideways just to show them off. “The change is mind-blowing,” said University of Cape Town (UCT) MSc student Nina Faure Beaulieu, whose thesis will examine the curious mating rituals of this ubiquitous little South African fish, just 20 to 30 cm long. It’s the first study of the species’ behaviour pre-, during and post-nesting.

Communicating Science to make it more accessible
Fri, 01 Nov 2019 - 13:45

Sameshan Perumal, a Masters student in the Science Faculty, recently returned from presenting his research in Switzerland at CERN Open Days with the assistance of SA-CERN and his supervisor, Dr Tom Dietel.

Thinking about the future of fishing
Tue, 29 Oct 2019 - 14:00

South Africa’s approach to managing its fishing industry is supposed to include all interested parties. Fishers and government should work together to make decisions. But this has proven to be easier said than done. A scenario-based appraoch has been developed by UCT post doctoral research fellow Louise Gammage, helps fishers capture important local ecological knowledge to integrate into formal decision-making processes.

Science code tackles discrimination, harassment
Fri, 25 Oct 2019 - 14:30

The University of Cape Town (UCT) Faculty of Science’s new code of conduct promotes safety and well-being among staff and students, by tackling discrimination and harassment in classrooms, laboratories, during field camps and in other settings.

HIRAX telescope milestone
Mon, 21 Oct 2019 - 13:30

The Hydrogen and Real-time Analysis eXperiment (HIRAX) hit a milestone this past week with the launch of its prototype, custom-built telescope dishes. HIRAX, led by the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) with collaborators including the University of Cape Town (UCT), is a planned radio telescope that will sit alongside the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) in the Karoo Desert.

Medicines for Africans by Africans
Fri, 18 Oct 2019 - 09:00

Africa accounts for 15% of the global population and 25% of the global disease burden, yet the discovery and development of medicines that end up in Africa has historically only happened in the global north. It is time for the situation to change, says Professor Kelly Chibale, director and founder of the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Drug Discovery and Development Centre, H3D.

New IT school already at home in 4IR
Fri, 18 Oct 2019 - 08:30

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is not coming, it is already here, and the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) new School of Information Technology (IT) is already well positioned to prepare students, says its director Professor Ulrike Rivett.  Rivett was speaking at the official launch of the school, which opened last year and which merges the innovative technological and multidisciplinary capacities and knowledge of the faculties of Science, Commerce and Humanities.

Research projects boost aquaculture in Africa
Wed, 16 Oct 2019 - 12:00

The University of Cape Town (UCT) is set to make its mark in the development of sustainable aquaculture in Africa, as it embarks on two large collaborative research projects.