Science

Scientists split on South Africa’s winter and summer rainfall zones

There needs to be a more systematic approach to classifying rainfall seasonality in South Africa. Shutterstock

South Africa is among a handful of countries that experience winter rainfall in some areas and summer rainfall in others. The southwestern tip of the country has a Mediterranean climate, with hot dry summers and cool wet winters.

What’s stopping young African scientists from achieving their potential

Young African scientists face persistent barriers which cause them to leave academia. Shutterstock/WAYHOME studio

Young African scientists face persistent barriers which cause them to leave their own countries, and even academia. This means the continent’s work force loses highly trained people who are crucial for scientific and technological advancement, and for economic development.

New research proves the long-held theory that lasers can create fractals

A cross section of a fractal pattern, created by a laser in the Wits Structured Light Laboratory. Wits University

We all appreciate the beauty of Nature, whether it be cloud patterns, mountain ranges or coastlines. These structures have complex shapes that at first appearance are hard to quantify: how could we describe them in a “scientific manner”?

How biobanks can help improve the integrity of scientific research

Biobanks can help scientists retain quality samples for future experiments. Microgen/Shutterstock

Biobanks are repositories which receive, store, process and disseminate specimens. These include DNA derived from humans and animals; bacterial strains; and environmental samples like plants and soil. Biobanks also provide the vital infrastructure for research to support scientific advancement and innovation.