When the water flows in Alex
Rivers of untreated greywater flow through dusty township streets across South Africa.
We are facing our biggest leadership challenge yet
It is not the robots that will take our jobs but a crisis of imagination and leadership, says futurist Valter Adão.
Ancient asteroid impacts played a role in creation of Earth’s future continents
The heavy bombardment of terrestrial planets by asteroids from space has contributed to the formation of the early evolved crust on Earth.
South African-Scottish research team demonstrate fractal light from lasers
Team confirms a 20-year-old prediction that “nature’s geometry” could be recreated by the use of laser technology.
Australopithecus sediba: No such thing as a missing link
Autralopithecus sediba is not the missing link that connects modern man to its more primitive ancestors.
International researchers confirm species status of Sediba skeleton
Four papers published in a special issue of the open access journal, PaleoAnthropology, address critiques of Sediba, confirming it is indeed a unique species.
Little Foot’s inner ear sheds light on her movement and behaviour
MicroCT scans of the 3.67-million-year-old Australopithecus fossil known as Little Foot shed some light on how she lived and moved.
Curiosity, Issue 6: You are what you eat
Our online research magazine focuses on the socio-economic, political, physiological and psychological dynamics of food and nutrition.
The Hunger Games
EDITORIAL: It is tragic that we live in the midst of the fourth industrial revolution, yet we have millions of people who starve every day.
Disco soups and nutraceuticals
FOOD BITES: From a new form of food activism making gardening “cool” to developing new ways to deliver the medicines – or nutraceuticals – that our bodies need.
Food takes root in Africa
Africa has the ability and resources to feed the world, but much needs to be done on a continent full of challenges, opportunities and pitfalls.
Phansi, profiteers, Phansi!
The Constitution guarantees the right to food and there is enough for all but a system that prioritises profits over people undermines both society and justice.
A healthy meal in every neighbourhood
Few Johannesburg residents enjoy the right to food and even fewer are aware that they have such a right. Community Food Centres could help change that.
Appetite for dignity
Despite efforts to address hunger at Wits, ad hoc food security interventions cannot keep pace with increasing numbers of hungry students.
No space at the table for food communing
Food commons promote returning food (and access to it) to a place where food exists for the public good, rather than to benefit private, commercial interests.
The fight in food prices
New research due this year show link between relative increase in food and beer prices with levels of crime and violent behaviour.
Slave Maize: The truth about mielies
Most Africans consider maize (corn) to be their staple food but few realise it carries a history of slavery, colonisation, modernisation and globalisation.
Crunchy on the outside, squishy on the inside
Edible stinkbugs and pre-dawn insect hunts; only for the brave.
What not to eat
Although eating insects might stave off starvation in a survival situation, chowing down on foam grasshoppers or red-yellow-black bugs could be fatal.
The rat race towards obesity
The fast food generation is trapped in an “obesogenic environment” due to international junk food giants and sugary sweet marketing.
Eat to live not to shrink
There are almost 10 billion people on Earth and possibly 9 billion ideas of the perfect diet but there is no scientific proof the latest fad diet will work.
Adolescent South Africans increasingly struggle with eating disorders, unhealthy eating attitudes and body image issues, in both city and rural settings.
You are what your Ouma ate
The health of your mother when you were born is a known indicator of your prospects in future, but new research shows that you inherit your health even earlier.
Breastfeeding advances society
Breastfed babies are healthier and smarter than formula-fed babies yet these benefits still do not translate into policy and practice.
Beware the monster in your energy drink
Q&A: Dr Aviva Tugendhaft, Deputy Director of PRICELESS SA sheds light on what energy drinks really do to the body.
Misleading labels and insidious ingredients
Only limited legislation protects us against incomprehensible, misleading and detrimental food labels.
The chemistry of chaos and the magic moringa
PROFILE: Professor Luke Chimuka developed a method to produce an extract from the moringa plant that is used as a dietary supplement.
For sauerkraut’s sake, teach our children right!
COLUMN: Sauerkraut. That is how I start my day. Fermented cabbage leaves served with two boiled eggs and a slice of juicy cucumber on the side.
Blue-ribbon bulls and agriculture
HISTORY: The annual Rand Easter Show has it muddy and beefy origins on Wits’ Braamfontein campus.
Little Foot's history revealed for the first time
Professor Ron Clarke's 14-year-long excavation of the Little Foot skeleton reveals her history through the ages.
Peering into Little Foot’s 3.67 million-year-old brain
First ever endocast of the nearly complete brain of the hominin known as Little Foot reveals a small brain combining ape-like and human-like features.
The parable of universal health cover for people on the move
The United Nations declared 12 December Universal Health Coverage Day but for migrants worldwide, accessing healthcare is often fraught with prejudice.
Shedding a new light on optical trapping and tweezing
Wits physicists demonstrate a new device for manipulating and moving tiny objects with light.
Detective mission to characterise and trace the history of a new African meteorite
Wits researchers go on a mission to describe, classify and trace the 4.5 billion-year-old history of a meteorite that landed in Madagascar.
10 years of SA-CERN
Collaboration on Fundamental Physics celebrates a decade, of among others, Wits’ involvement in accelerated technology development.
#4IRSA – Creating the future we want
First round table set the stage for South Africa to formulate a collective response to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Fifth A-rating for 82-year-old engineer
An 82-year-old engineer at Wits has received an A-rating from the National Research Foundation for the fifth time.
Extensive survey shows Quality of Life improving in Gauteng
Despite the challenging economic conditions, the GCRO’s 5th Quality of Life Survey (2017/2018) show the overall quality of life in Gauteng continues to improve.
Experts find stone tools connected communities
Stone tools from the Middle Stone Age in South Africa shows that different communities were connected over long time periods over vast geographical areas.
Wits and Perot Museum launch virtual reality app of Dinaledi cave
Free virtual reality experience provides global access to the Dinaledi caves to researchers, students and amateur explorers.
Wits Cardiovascular Pathophysiology Research Unit a first in the private sector
Wits physiologists and cardiologists have established the Cardiovascular Pathophysiology Research Unit at the Mayo Clinic in Gauteng.
Wits Professor Lee Berger wins Science for Society Gold Medal
The Academy for Science SA (ASSAf) awarded Berger its Gold Medal for excellence in the application of outstanding scientific thinking in service to society.
Climate change: We should react with speed, focus and urgency
GCI Director Barend Erasmus gives insight into the latest alarming IPCC Special Report on Global Warming.
World’s first intentional HIV+ liver transplant
Wits doctors transplanted the liver from a mother living with HIV to her critically ill HIV negative child, who had end-stage liver disease.
Wits partner on physics education conference
Wits University is the co-host of the International Conference on Physics Education, which is being held at the Misty Hills Hotel this week.
Ledumahadi mafube – South Africa’s new Jurassic Giant
A team of international scientists, led by Professor Jonah Choiniere from Wits, described a new species of a giant dinosaur that has been found near Clarens.
Awards for Wits researchers advancing science for society
The National Research Foundation has recognised Wits researchers for advancing their fields.
The hidden technology
Automatic control is a technology that modern society cannot live without.
First South African fossil hunters
Public Lecture series to celebrate Heritage Day will focus on the earliest fossil hunters in Southern Africa and their findings.
Living the Legacy
Editorial: This year marked the centenary of a remarkable leader who transformed our world and left a legacy difficult to emulate.
A country for all its citizens
Opinion: Advocate George Bizos SC is proud to call Nelson Mandela his life-long friend.
At the end of the Rainbow
Nelson Mandela embodied kaleidoscopic reconciliation in 1994, but what is the prism fracturing his legacy in 2018?
It's in your hands
Blaming Nelson Mandela for our current faults conveniently shifts introspection from the mistakes that the ANC and leaders subsequently made in power.
The Brothers Manhattan captured Mandela
Three brothers captured Nelson Mandela shortly before he became South Africa’s first democratically elected President in 1994.
More than Mandela’s wife
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela married Nelson Mandela on 14 June 1958, just six years before he was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Sustaining a legend through song
The oeuvre symbolising the life of Nelson Mandela is expansive. These are a selection of the most evocative.
Notes on South Africa through a jazz lens
A patriot at heart, Dr Lindelwa Dalamba is enchanted by South Africa’s cultural history.
In Nelson Mandela’s personal office in Houghton, there is a stately wooden desk covered in brightly coloured cattle figurines.
A hospital just as Madiba envisioned it
Based at Wits University, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital is a true icon of the legacy that South Africa’s favourite son has left behind.
The Mandela-Obama effect
Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama are widely seen as two of the greatest leaders in the world in modern history. What are their legacies?
The making of Mandela in the media
From “dangerous” black anti-apartheid fighter to iconic leader hailed the world over, to bitter ex-husband and “sell out”.
A Long Walk to Freedom vs the Mthatha Archives
Taking a closer look at the documentary record of his father’s life and Mandela’s recollection in A Long Walk to Freedom.
'Where does daddy live?'
To win the hearts of millions, Nelson Mandela paid dearly – with the hearts of those he loved most.
The 46-year-long Wits LLB that never was
Nelson Mandela is among Wits University’s most famous alumni, but he is not a graduate of the University.
Mandela and military force
20 years since South Africa's military intervention into Lesotho - an opportune moment to consider the Mandela's position on the use of military force.
Creating collective memory
Creating a collective memory in a country with a fragmented past and persistent inequality needs money, skills and political will to preserve its history.
No new Mandela – yet
Sello Hatang, Head of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, shared some intimate moments with Madiba, and nostalgically shares what he beliefs is Mandela's legacy.
Brand Mandela: What’s in a name?
From his name and image, to quotes, pictures, voice and artefacts, the Brand Mandela and the legacy of the ‘father of the nation’ is complicated to manage.
Dare not linger
The following excerpt from the book, “Dare Not Linger”, shows Mandela’s belief in education as the liberator of the human spirit.
Walk a mile in his shoes
Nelson Mandela and his colleagues walked a minefield strewn with political, economic and social traps to prevent civil war and set our democratic path.
Facets of a legacy
Mandela recognised we live in a world that is, and not in a world we wish existed. To truly honour him we must be responsive to his entire political legacy.
Evolution of an anthem
South Africa has the best anthem in the world, a product of a negotiated settlement intended as a measure of reconciliation for a new South Africa.
Multimedia graphic design – 73 000 years ago
Drawing on a piece of silcrete found in Blombos Cave in South Africa predates previous human-made drawings by at least 30 000 years.
Wits scientists closer to slowing progression of Alzheimer’s
A breakthrough by Wits scientists could see patients with Alzheimer’s use a nasal spray to slow down the progression of the disease, the main cause of dementia.
#SA4IR to explore how the 4th Industrial Revolution could shape SA
Wits, UJ, Fort Hare and Telkom to develop a national response to the Fourth Industrial Revolution that could shape the futures of South Africa.
Art and science collide to provoke new thinking about water
What does a polluted river sound like? How does sand-filtered water taste? Will acid mine drainage scald your skin? Do oceans echo?
Wits lifetime and emerging research recognised
Four scientists in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Wits last night won South African Medical Research Council Scientific Merit Awards.
Study by blood doctors a breakthrough for haemophiliacs
A Wits University haematologist is the lead author in research set to revolutionise the treatment of haemophilia, a genetic blood disorder.
Two new Chinese dinosaurs discovered
New fossils from north China shed light on the incremental evolution of insect-eating dinosaurs.
Curiosity 5: #Mandela100
Is Nelson Mandela still a relevant guiding spirit for South Africans in 2018? Curiosity’s latest issue explores Madiba's life and legacy.
Wits signs Memorandum of Understanding with Perot Museum
The MOU is part of the Museum’s new focus on human origins, plans to increase research, produce traveling exhibitions, and cultivate scientific communications.
Wits Lung Lab a breath of fresh air for public health
Wits pulmonologists and partners launched the Lung Laboratory Research and Intervention Centre on World Lung Cancer Day on 1 August 2018.
Wits scientists part of a global coalition to eliminate hepatitis B virus
It is World Hepatitis Day on 28 July. Two research entities at Wits University are part of the International Coalition to Eradicate Hepatitis B Virus (ICE-HBV).
We are all connected
Wits scientists share humanity’s common heritage with Heads of State during 10th BRICS Summit.
Bringing comfort and closure to those who loved them
Identifying the deceased is a mammoth task for forensic specialists in South Africa.
Africa Rising - the future of investment
Unique Wits-researched UN report maps out key areas for African cities to attract Foreign Direct Investment.
Fragment of impacting asteroid recovered in Botswana
Researchers from the Wits School of Geosciences were involved in locating the fall area of the meteorite in Botswana’s Central Kalahari Game Reserve.
Wits researchers on the red carpet at "Science Oscars”
Wits academics Prof. Ian Jandrell, Dr Musa Manzi and Prof. Stephen Tollman have won prestigious NSTF-South32 Awards, the “Science Oscars” of research.
Research and innovation drivers honoured
Wits Enterprise takes top honours at the annual DST/SARIMA Excellence Awards.
In the gaping mouth of ancient crocodiles
As a modern apex preditor, the crocodile's mode of attack - its mouth - had humble beginnings
Scientists peep deep into a diamond to examine its defects
Researchers take a deep look into a diamond to see how the atoms in its platelet defects are arranged in the hardest natural material known to man.
Computational models show that planets can easily exist in triple star systems
Researchers map out regions where exoplanets can exist within triple star systems.
First tetrapods of Africa lived within the Devonian Antarctic Circle
Fossils of two new species of these four-legged vertebrates also evolved in polar regions, and not just in the tropics as previously believed.
Bridging the digital divide with photonics
Wits physicists and engineers team up to tackle Africa’s digital divide with home grown technologies
Wits students at CERN meet with Science Minister and UN ambassador
Students rub shoulders with Minister of Science and Technology and the Head of the Mission of South Africa to the United Nations in Geneva.
Making massive leaps in electronics at nano-scale
Wits PhD student finds a way to control the spin transport in networks of the smallest conductor known to man.
The vehicle of nature
Editorial: Future world wars will be fought over water – a resource that is scarce in many parts of the world, including sub-Saharan Africa.
From 'crisis' to opportunity
Lessons from Cape Town’s water shortage.
Parched Cape Town, Johannesburg drowning
Water security is a complex challenge. Rain both alleviates drought but causes floods. David Olivier and Paulose Mvulane seek the silver lining.
What makes waves in water crises?
Column: Water problems are in large measure problems of people and organisation, not problems of engineering.
Big Bang, water, life
Column: We have had some tyrants in our time but not until the last century or so have we ever come up with the idea of taking a dump in our own drinking water.
The heat of acid mine drainage
Mining is a key contributor to South Africa’s economic development but its effect on the environment could spell disaster.
Washing away our heritage
The effect of water on rock art is a major concern, particularly due to climate change.
Hunting aliens from space
Wits researchers are using high-tech imagery and biological agents to save our water resources and economy from invasive alien plants.
A WATERSHED in arts and science
WATERSHED is a programme that enmeshes the arts and science to provoke new thinking about water.
A People’s Water Charter for South Africa
A social sciences course on Empire and the Crisis of Civilisation contextualises water, food and climate crises as systemic and demanding activist solutions.
Whose water is it anyway?
South Africa’s hydrocolonisation of Lesotho.
Bulawayo’s water wars
The history of water inequality in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, shows that the colonisation of land cannot be separated from the colonisation of water.
(GRACE) unleashes Earth’s water potential
Satellite data helps to track changes in groundwater storage.
Diving deeper in a time of dryness
Finding ways to explore water and oceans differently requires a new kind of fluidity, the kind proposed by Oceanic Humanities.
Using the court to secure water rights
Access to sufficient water is a human right but failures of government often compel people to access this through law.
WASH - a pipeline to saving lives
Diarrhoea is one of the leading causes of sickness and death in children under five in South Africa.
The Good, the Bad and the Dirty
Column: Lessons unlearnt from a week in dry Cape Town.
The 180-million year old quirk
The story of why rainfall at Wits dispenses to the Atlantic and Indian Oceans respectively is a tale as old as Africa itself.
Our pale blue dot
Q&A with Professor David Block from the Wits School of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics.
From slow sand filters and to towers that measure energy and gases.
Thirsty for change
Profile: As a photographer, swimmer and researcher, Dyani Jeram’s life is all about water.
Building the world’s most powerful microscope using particle accelerators
Bruce Mellado, National Contact Physicist of South Africa at the ATLAS experiment at CERN, says there are future plans for a bigger, better LHC.
National Geographic seek to fund Wits student projects
Society seeks to increase its funding to South African students doing research in the country.
Where hominid brains are concerned, size doesn’t matter
The human-like features of Homo naledi's brain surprised the research team that examined the fossil's brain imprints.
CSI for bacteria: Inside Listeria
In a lab in Joburg, a crack team of Wits scientists led the investigation into the ubiquitous Listeria bacteria that stick like glue and thrive in the cold.
It is now up to us
Humans are facing a #Watershed moment in our efforts to secure a collective future.
Pan African Research College on sustainable cities founded at Wits
College supported with five-year grant by Robert Bosch Stiftung and include partner institutions from Ghana, Kenya, the UN and the University of Cape Town.
Public Health postgraduate earns sole distinction for cervical cancer research
A Master's graduate has produced research that impacts health policy in the field of cervical cancer, which is one of the top five cancers that kill women.
Wits professor first ever NRF A-rated political scientist
Professor Lawrence Hamilton is the first political scientist in the history of the National Research Foundation (NRF) rating system to receive an A-rating.
Tech giant recognises African machine learning research
Wits robotics researcher awarded Africa’s only grant in the 2017 round of the Google Faculty Research Awards.
Flu vaccine protects pregnant women against pertussis
Research by Wits scientists shows that pregnant women vaccinated against influenza also have less pertussis infection.
Recreating our ancestral past
Wits – in the champion’s league of archaeology – hosted the first African Conference on Experimental Archaeology.
NMW Bill heads to Parliament amid concerns
The National Minimum Wage Research Initiative at Wits raises concerns over serious shortcomings of the Bills.
DigiMine, the future of mining research
Celebrating the research of the new Sibanye-Stillwater Digital Mining Laboratory (DigiMine) at Wits University.
Cold-blooded pythons make for caring mums
Female South African pythons are the first ever egg-laying snake shown to care for their babies - at great cost to themselves.
Accelerating high-tech training
Wits students contribute to the upgrade of the high-tech software and hardware at the CERN ATLAS detector.
Scifest Africa 2018
Catch these Wits researchers at South Africa’s National Science Festival that kicks off in Grahamstown today.
New study reveals the secret of magmas that produce South Africa's national treasures
Study conducted by the School of Geosciences reveals how platinum-bearing chromite layers form in the crust of the Earth.
Innovative "invisible ink" detects TB
Scientists have pioneered a process to detect TB bacteria by adding a molecule to the bacteria's own armour that lights up under fluorescent light.
Wits researcher co-chairs task force on global cost of epilepsy
Epilepsy affects more than 60 million individuals globally with at least 70% of cases found in low- and middle-income countries.
Wits researchers are World Academy Scientists
Professors Bob Scholes and Shabir Madhi have been elected as Fellows of the prestigious The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS).
Sustainable impact from a founding father of green chemistry
A Distinguished Professor of Biocatalysis at Wits, Roger Sheldon has published a paper on green chemistry in a prestigious high-impact research journal.
Mathematics education lessons from SA and Ireland
The Marang Centre for Mathematics and Science Education is advancing specialized knowledge in the field locally and through collaboration with the global north.
Unique research unit in Wits Health Consortium targets non-communicable diseases
It is World Cancer Day on 4 February and Wits specialists are poised to challenge cancer and other non-communicable diseases.
Solving the puzzle of multicellularity
Wits PhD student pieces together the mystery of how single cell life forms evolved into multicellular organisms.
Yum yum! Tasty termites
Rich in proteins, fats, vitamins and nutrients - PhD-student unearths the benefits of edible termites in new study.
"Mrs Ples" is actually a "Mr"
A study of the tooth sockets of one of the world’s most famous fossil skulls, “Mrs” Ples, has made scientists think differently about “her” sex.
Print a 200-million-year-old dinosaur fossil in your own home
CT-scan study of Wits PHD student makes it possible to 3D print the skull of the dinosaur species Massospondylus that roamed South Africa 200 million years ago.
Tackling global crime networks
Interview with Lord Peter Hain about his efforts to bring British banks to justice for their alleged involvement in state capture.
The unfinished business of apartheid
Can we finally see beyond the hashtags, clever memes, and witty commentary that #StateCapture, the #Guptas and #EdwardsFather elicit?
Capitalising on consumers' sweet spot has dangerous implications for public health.
His master’s voice
What are the prospects for a free media in a captured state in 21st Century South Africa?
Lessons from muckrakers
Let’s celebrate the work of investigative reporters in exposing state capture but also interrogate where they got it wrong, and how damaging this has been.
Guardians of the democracy
Public-private sector relationships should serve society broadly and when it starts serving the interest of a individuals it undermines our hard-won democracy.
SA will not escape this revolution
Professor Zeblon Vilakazi’s editorial in the latest issue of Curiosity, Wits’ new research magazine:
Lee Berger named SA’s ‘most visible’ scientist
Wits palaeoanthropologist tops 25 300 others in a new study on highly visible scientists.
Tackling the missing miner problem with wireless sensor networks
A matchbox-sized circuit board with a short aerial could save lives by transmitting the vital statistics and location of miners missing underground.
Wits’ optics research among best in 2017
Research into optics and photonics by Wits physicists has been highlighted as some of the most influential in 2017.
African genetic diversity to unlock disease susceptibility
Wits scientists and partners have sequenced the genomes of 24 South African individuals of different ethnolinguistic origins.
Little Foot takes a bow
After 20 years of painstaking excavation and preparation, Professor Ron Clarke introduces the most complete Australopithecus fossil ever found to the world.
Wits Dean of Science a Royal Society Fellow
The Dean of the Faculty of Science at Wits University has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa.
Wits University scientists highly cited worldwide
Two scientists from Wits University are on the list of Highly Cited Researchers in the world.
Gold Fields enter a three-year partnership with Wits
Three-year funding will aim to further academic knowledge of mechanised mining and rock engineering in South Africa.
Wits research on HIV viral load urges updates to WHO therapy guidelines
The study shows that clinical interventions should take place at lower viral loads than those proposed by the current World Health Organization guidelines.
Thinking big by burning small
Creative management of grazing through the use small fires can draw back herbivores to grazing areas that are avoided by animals.
Wits leads innovative African laboratory network initiative
The Wits-led African Innovation Laboratory Network (iLEAD) launched today with a mission to integrate and optimise laboratory systems to improve patient care.
New Centre of Centre of Excellence to focus on early human behaviour
Collaboration between Wits and the new CoE at University of Bergen is essential to answer some of the most fundamental questions about our ancestry.
More accurate aging of teeth could hold the key to identifying health-compromised children in Africa.
World-renowned Wits vaccines prof to chair SA medicine regulatory board
The Minister of Health has appointed Wits Professor Helen Rees to chair the Board of the South African Health Products Authority.
Wits scientists pioneer vaccine to safeguard pregnant women against stillbirth and infant death
A global study of GBS, bacteria that cause stillbirth and infant death, shows that Africa has the highest incidence. Wits University is pioneering a vaccine.
Life-saving new vaccines for Africa
"Wits and Vaccines: the impact and potential of vaccines for Africa” is the title of a lecture hosted by Wits Faculty of Health Sciences on 1 November, 17:30.
Energetic engineering at EIE Open Day 2017
The ‘Brainternet’, robotic arm, mosquito repeller, adaptive digital hearing aid, leaf recognition software – our future engineers show their stuff.
Lost mountains in the Karoo reveal the secrets of massive extinction event
Fossil records near the lost Gondwanides mountains show that the Permian-Triassic extinction started 1 million years prior to what was previously believed.
Wits team involved in international breakthrough in astronomical observation
Breakthrough paves the way for future Multi-Messenger astronomical observations
Academy of Science SA elects Wits researchers for their scholarship and social impact
Seven scholars from Wits were inaugurated into the Academy of Science of South Africa at its annual Awards Ceremony held on 11 October 2017.
Systems Analysis: Seeing the bigger picture
In September, the Wits Rural Facility became a ‘lab in the bush’ for a hands-on systems analysis thinking and modelling programme.
New study finds 'staying longer at home' was key to Stone Age technology change some 60 000 years ago.
Wits-Cambridge exchange in political theory aims to redress historical colonial power relations
Wits University and the University of Cambridge, UK, have announced an academic exchange programme in political theory.
The mud beneath the digital magic
The bones of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, like every industrial revolution in the past, come from the dirt under our feet.
Tech as eyes and ears
Wits alumnus, Elash Mistry was elated when he became the first blind person in Africa to be admitted as a fellow of the Actuarial Society of SA in 2017.
Human rights in a digital world
Digital access itself does not untangle past inequalities. In many cases, it may even increase inequality.
Death of the chalkboard and the demise of the sage on the stage
The launch of a high-tech eZone, eFundanathi – “Learn with Us”, is set to revolutionise teaching and learning at Wits.
The future of work
Tech advances are already impacting skilled white-collar and unskilled workers whereas the digital revolution affected mainly semi-skilled, blue-collar workers.
Q&A about Watson, the iHuman supercomputer
In 2011, a faceless, emotionless voice named Watson famously defeated two of the greatest champions of Jeopardy!, an American TV gameshow.
Researchers demonstrate quantum teleportation of patterns of light
Technique paves the way for high-bit-rate secure long distance quantum communication.
Complex life evolved out of the chance coupling of small molecules
Complex life, as we know it, started completely by chance, with small strands of molecules linking up, which eventually would have given them the ability to rep
Cricket fast bowling researcher elected to SA Young Academy of Science
Benita Olivier is an Associate Professor in musculo-skeletal physiotherapy in the Physiotherapy Department at Wits.
Light to break bandwidth ceiling
The rise of big data and advances in information technology has serious implications for our ability to deliver sufficient bandwidth to meet the growing demand.
(Hu)man vs. Machine
In a world controlled and dominated by robots, is there still space for humans?
Improving the accuracy of TB testing
Wits scientists have developed technology that ensures the efficacy of equipment that tests for tuberculosis (TB).
Wits researchers excel at National Research Foundation Awards
Nine researchers from Wits University were recognised by the National Research Foundation (NRF) at the 2017 NRF Research Awards in Bloemfontein last night.
Can you read my mind?
In research thought to be a world first, biomedical engineers at Wits are connecting a human brain to the internet in real time.
Using high tech to tell the story of ancient man
Origin Centre's new Virtual Reality experience uses state of the art communications technology to tell the story of what makes us human.
Talking tech and African languages
Is tech killing indigenous African languages? Prof. Leketi Makalela, head of Languages, Literacies and Literatures in the Wits School of Education talks back.
Interpreting brainwaves to give amputees a hand
Biomedical engineers at Wits are researching how brainwaves can be used to control a robotic prosthetic hand.
Africa app'tly rising
There are over 300 tech hubs in Africa and maybe 52 or more in South Africa, one of which is the Wits Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct in Braamfontein.
Bridging of urban borders
The GCRO to shift borders at first Seoul Biennale on Architecture and Urbanism.
Wits to host first Deep Learning Indaba in Africa
The Indaba will bring leaders in machine learning and artificial intelligence to Wits University to teach and mentor students, researchers and entrepreneurs.
A leader among leaders in archaeology
The National Research Foundation (NRF) has awarded an A1-rating to Professor Lyn Wadley.
Habitat destruction and poaching is threatening the Sungazer
Novel genetic techniques might be used to understand the effects of habitat transformation as well as to combat illegal trade of the animals.
Corridors of freedom and transformation through transit
Researchers have confirmed that transit-orientated development (ToD) is a good choice to ensure a spatially transformed Johannesburg in 2057.
Aardvarks’ tragic fate points to worrying consequences for wildlife as a result of climate change
The aardvark will become increasingly rare as the world warms and dries, and the consequences go well beyond a decline in aardvark safari encounters.
Cultural flexibility was key for early humans to survive extreme dry periods in southern Africa
Early human's ability to survive through prolonged arid areas in southern Africa developed from their ability to innovate and adapt.
SA child living with HIV maintains remission without antiretroviral drugs since 2008
A 9-year-old South African diagnosed with HIV at a month old who received antiretroviral treatment during infancy has suppressed the virus for almost 9 years.
'Invasive' species have been around much longer than believed
Pollen record of plant, that is currently being eradicated, extends much further back than the 100 years it is believed to be growing in the Lesotho Highlands.
Overcrowding, disease and torture
[FACT SHEET] The state of South Africa’s prisons.
No scientific credibility to claim that vaping is 95% safer than cigarettes
Lancet calls research ‘extraordinarily flimsy’. What do we know about the safety of e-cigarettes?
A finger or not
Fewer than 1 in 7 doctors examine the prostate gland for cancer, a new study finds.
Diabetes poses risk to health gains made in recent years
Wits researchers contribute to the new Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology Commission report on diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa.
Bernie Fanaroff awarded prestigious Jansky Lectureship
The Wits alumnus is among a select group, including seven Nobel laureates, who have received this honour.
Two wins for Wits at research awards
Academics from Wits won in two categories at the prestigious 2016/2017 NSTF-South32 Awards held last night.
Waste management in the future
New book reviews the current status and future trends in the recycling and reuse of mineral and metal waste.
Exciting advances in managing common cancers in the 21st century
Wits hosts the 15th Prestigious Research Lecture, "Practice changing advances in common cancers (breast and colorectal)", on 20 June 2017.
SA has highest blood pressure in southern Africa
A study by Wits scientists and peers has revealed that South Africa has the highest prevalence of hypertension in southern Africa.
Wits HIV vaccine researcher wins Harry Oppenheimer Fellowship Award
Professor Lynn Morris received the prestigious Harry Oppenheimer Fellowship Award, arguably equivalent to the Nobel Prize, on 2 June 2017.
New research reveals earliest directly dated rock paintings from southern Africa
Scientists have pioneered a technique to directly date prehistoric rock paintings in southern Africa, which reveals dates much older than previously thought.
Wits Research Director amongst southern Africa’s best
Dr Robin Drennan, Director of Research Development at Wits, has been awarded by his southern African peers for his contribution to research management.
Betrayal of the promise: How South Africa is being stolen
Wits researchers co-authored a state capture report produced by the State Capacity Research Project, an interdisciplinary, interuniversity research partnership.
SA kids not on the ball
Wits researchers and their peers have awarded South African children a C-grade on the Healthy Active Kids South Africa Report Card for physical activity levels.
Young Homo naledi surprises
250 000 year old species from Rising Star Cave raises more questions about our origins.
Scientists find genetic mutation responsible for rare skin disease in Afrikaners
Scientists have discovered the genetic mutation that causes the rare skin disease, keratolytic winter erythema (KWE), or ‘Oudtshoorn skin’, in Afrikaners.
WiSER scholar elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Professor Achille Mbembe of the Wits Institute of Social and Economic Research (WiSER) has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Glenda Gray on TIME 100 List
TIME has named Glenda Gray, Full Professor: Research, in the School of Clinical Medicine at Wits, among the top 100 most influential people in the world.
SA students benefit from major digital electronics update at CERN
International scientists share knowledge with SA students and industry at a workshop, dedicated to the CERN electronics upgrade.
Wits’ rated researchers recognised
The Wits Research Office last night recognised 67 researchers at the University whom the National Research Foundation (NRF) has rated or re-rated.
New ultra-clean isotope geoscience laboratory opens up a new world of research
New laboratory will work closely with the University of Johannesburg to offer southern African scientists a local solution for isotope analysis.
Reduced JSE fees have a cost
Regulatory changes aimed at encouraging very fast, technology-driven trading on the JSE may have some unintended consequences.
Norwegian Centre of Excellence awarded to Wits Archaeologist for early humans research
With its new Centre of Excellence status, the Centre for Early Human Behaviour will receive funding amounting to about R540 million over the next 10 years.
Reported ‘Odyssean’ malaria cases not linked to new malaria vector discovery
A new malaria vector discovered in South Africa is not linked to the ‘Odyssean’ malaria cases reported in two provinces this week.
The ultimate power nap
Researchers use “Fitbits” to track elephant sleep in the wild.
A-rating for Wits cancer geneticist
The National Research Foundation (NRF) has awarded an A-rating to Professor Christopher Mathew.
Wits hosts Famelab science communication competition
This competition is an exciting chance to enhance your communications skills, and, maybe, represent your country internationally.
High Energy Physics workshop inspires young talent
Workshop included an overview of the exciting results coming from astrophysics and how future experiments can shed more light on these results.
A kiss of death – mammals were the first animals to produce venom
CT scans of fossils of the pre-mammalian reptile, Euchambersia, shows anatomical features, designed for venom production.
A lure at both ends - puff adders leave nothing to chance
One of Africa's iconic snakes, the puff adder use what is termed “lingual luring” to attract amphibian prey closer, and increase the odds of catching it.
Priceless research finds evidence for fiscal measures to address burden on health sector
A research report released by PRICELESS SA has revealed evidence that fiscal measures could address the burden on the healthcare sector.
"Lost continent" found under Mauritius
Lava-covered piece of continent is an ancient remnant, left over from the break-up of the supercontinent, Gondwana, which started about 200 million years ago.
Extracting maximum value from the Moringa plant
Professor Luke Chimuka in the School of Chemistry developed a method to produce an extract from the Moringa plant through pressurised hot water extraction.
Improving the accuracy of TB testing
Tuberculosis (TB) affects some 35-million people globally. In 2009 testing for TB using molecular diagnostics proved a game-changer for national TB programmes.
Smart cities and the quality of life in post-apartheid Gauteng
The Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) is a partnership between Wits, the University of Johannesburg and the Gauteng provincial and local government.
Big Brother will have some difficulty 'watching you' in future
Wits physicists show that real-time error correction in quantum communications is possible.
Some kinds of childhood
The books of Prof. Robert Muponde illustrate how critical redress in cultures of representation can yield cross-disciplinary innovation in global humanities.
The urgency of transformation in the global South
Professor Felix Maringe has since 2004 researched higher education markets in the context of international and global developments.
Languages and literacies in the 21st Century
Professor Leketi Makalela chairs a research programme on complex multilingual encounters, a growing field attracting increasing numbers of PhD candidates.
Where the power to dominate resides
Pumla Dineo Gqola is a Professor in the Department of African Literature. She is interested in how power works in contemporary societies.
Researching threats to adolescent survival
Dr Nicole De Wet is a lecturer in demography and population studies at Wits. Her research is on adolescent health outcomes in South Africa.
CARTA: Building research leaders for Africa
The Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa (CARTA) aims to establish a vibrant African academy able to lead research that impacts public health.
Analysing data to inform public health
Biostatistics is the analysis and interpretation of data generated in the biological and health sciences to inform clinical or health policy and practice.
Studying the making of smart cities
Professor Ronald Wall is an economic geographer and urban planner and the Johannesburg City Chair in Economic Development at Wits.
Economic constraints of why few African women marry
Professor Dorrit (Dori) Posel holds the Helen Suzman Chair in Political Economics at Wits.
The character of capitalism in South Africa before and since democracy
Professor Vishnu Padyachee in the School of Economic and Business Sciences at Wits holds the Derek Schrier and Cecily Cameron Chair in Development Economics.
Father of Green Chemistry: A catalyst for climate change
Distinguished Professor in the School of Chemistry at Wits, Roger Sheldon is a globally recognised authority on Green Chemistry.
280 million-year-old fossil reveals origins of chimaeroid fishes
Discovery allows scientists to connect the last major vertebrate group to the tree of life.
Who made the art?
Researchers find a way to accurately identify the sex of the artists who created ancient rock art.
Our early ancestors developed advanced heating techniques
Humans living in South Africa in the Middle Stone Age used these techniques to vastly improve their living conditions during the era.
DRDGOLD and Wits School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering forge new partnership
Wits to benefit from R1.2 million over five years, while DRDGOLD will benefit from Wits' research and consultation expertise.
On that first blimp
New research highlights radar’s development in SA and that first echo.
Wits researchers rank in top 1% in their fields globally
The researchers have been named among the world's most Highly Cited Researchers in Thomson Reuters' annual list recognising leading scientists.
Three researchers win Friedel Sellschop awards
The Friedel Sellschop Award is handed out every year to recognise and encourage young researchers.
Celebrating teamwork on the Homo naledi discovery
Four new papers on different aspects of the anatomy of Homo naledi have been published, and more papers are coming soon, all led by early career researchers.
Professor Ebrahim Momoniat awarded Vice-Chancellor's Research Award for 2016
The Vice-Chancellor’s Research Award is the University’s most prestigious award for research.
Wits to lead flagship Unesco research
UNESCO-funded World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development report will aim to understand how global media have been changing.
Wits researchers find techniques to improve carbon superlattices for quantum electronic devices
In a paradigm shift from conventional electronic devices, exploiting the quantum properties of superlattices holds the promise of developing new technologies.
Palaeontologists uncover age-old secret of Hollywood celebrities
300 million-year-old pre-mammalian reptiles knew that it was their beautiful smiles that made them sexy, so they evolved mouths full of teeth to attract mates.
South Africans with HIV-related pain are surprisingly active
New research shows resilience does not explain the dissociation between chronic pain and physical activity in South Africans living with HIV.
Wits scientists predict the existence of a new boson
New Madala boson might assist in the understanding of Dark Matter.
Browsing antelope turned ancient African forests into grassy savanna ecosystems
The arrival of medium and large antelope on African soil coincides dramatically with the evolution of thorn trees in the African savanna.
Complicated vaccines simply save lives
Pneumonia is the number one infectious disease killer of children under five in the developing world.
Blood thirsty brains
New research by the Brain Function Research Group at Wits and the University of Adelaide challenges views of human intelligence
More gorilla than chimp
Surprising results from a new study reveal the heel bone from our fossil relative is closer related to gorillas.
Cancer on a Paleo diet?
Discovery of 1.7 million-year-old foot bone is the oldest evidence of cancer in human ancestors.
How tiny black spots shed light on part of the Homo naledi mystery
Many questions have been thrown up by the discovery in South Africa of a previously unidentified human relative, Homo naledi.
Translating science into stories that matter: The tale of Early Childhood Development
Research into public understanding of Early Childhood Development (ECD) compared to the actual science has informed SA’s ECD policy, which Wits helped draft.
Closely guarded mystery solved!
Eight-year-old South African boy discovers early turtle fossil that explains why the turtle got its shell.
Diagnosing disease in your DNA
Molecular diagnostics uses genetic material to look for infectious organisms like TB and HIV. If you don’t know what you’ve got, how do you treat it?
Technological and cultural innovations amongst early humans not sparked by climate change
While climate shifts may have influenced early human subsistence strategies, it may not have been the driving factor behind cultural innovation.
Results of the GCRO's 2015 Quality of Life Survey
New data from the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) shows that satisfaction with municipalities declined slightly.
How the mouse outlived the T-Rex
Groundbreaking research by Wits scientists sheds light on the ancestry of mammals and the origin of hair.
Light packing more data has potential to increase bandwidth by 100 times
African researchers demonstrate a 100x increase in the amount of information that can be 'packed into light'.
Back to the future: Space-age exploration for pre-historic bones
The high-tech 3D mapping of Homo naledi’s Dinaledi chamber.
Witsie made a NatGeo Emerging Explorer
Underground astronaut, Marina Elliott, says she is honoured to be part of this prestigious research programme.
Halley’s Comet close brush with Earth now at Wits
The Astronomical Plate Archive of the South African Sky is a unique collection of astronomy wonders.
Research training to improve public and population health receives a funding boost
Wellcome Trust grants aimed at stemming the ‘brain drain’ of the best African scientists.
Adam Habib elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Habib and Constitutional Court Justice Edwin Cameron are the only two South Africans of the 213 new members elected to the Academy.
Lee Berger on TIME 100 list
Wits palaeoanthropologist honoured as one of the most influential people in the world.
Sugar tax could prevent obesity - Wits researchers
Implementing a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages could prevent more South Africans, especially younger ones, from becoming obese, according to Wits researchers.
Wits researchers celebrated
Wits University honoured a number of academics for their excellence in research and postgraduate supervision at a ceremony on Wednesday, 13 April 2016.
Cutting cholesterol levels dramatically
World Health Day: Hope for effectively treating patients with Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH).
How to survive extinction: Live fast, die young
Media release: National Museum examines life history of ancient mammal relatives.
Understanding CLIC proteins
Health Awareness Month: Dr Sadhna Mathura is excavating the hidden potential of chloride intracellular channel (CLIC) proteins in the human body.
7th Postgraduate Cross-Faculty Symposium
Over 170 posters and oral presentations vied for prizes at the 7th Postgraduate Cross-Faculty Symposium
Uncovering what lies beneath the Earth
State-of-the-art techniques and high-end computer graphics help to process, interpret and model huge volumes of integrated data in 3D.
Marikana killings: Impact on JSE
The Marikana killings drew international attention with the prevailing discourse focused on human rights.
Exploring female sex abuse
Human Rights Day: Female Sex Abuse (FSA) victimhood is an underexplored territory in academia.
Most powerful source of cosmic radiation
Super-massive black hole at center of Galaxy is likely to accelerate cosmic ray particles to energies 100 times larger than the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.
Lightning shapes mountain landscapes
Jasper Knight and Stefan Grab are stirring the geomorphology community by overturning ideas that have stood for decades on how mountain landscapes are formed.
Laser beams with a "twist"
Using geometric phase inside lasers for the first time, researchers find a way to change the orbital angular momentum of laser beams.
Exploring South Africa’s mineral wealth
The newly established Cimera will take the study of minerals to the next level.
Let maths solve the problem
The DST/NRF Centre of Excellence in Mathematical and Statistical Sciences is leading the charge.
Revolutionising the way we take drugs
The Wits Advanced Drug Delivery Platform (WADDP) Research Unit is not just an institution of research.
Tackling rheumatoid arthritis in Africa
Research could not, and should not be done in isolation.
Cleaning mercury pollution from gold mines
Postdoc helps mining industry to remediate high levels of mercury in the Wits mining basin.
No chief ever bought a piece of land
Africa Month: Research by Sonwabile Mnwana and Gavin Capps is expected to cause a major upset in the way mines negotiate land rights with communities.
Does food play a role in birth rate of puff adders?
French postdoctoral research fellow, Dr Xavier Glaudas, is on a mission to find out.
Studying populations to develop Africa
Africa Month: Professor Clifford Odimegwu is passionate about developing a new generation of population scientists in Africa.
Cracking the code of the Universe
A hundred years ago, Albert Einstein published his theory of general relativity.
How curved shock waves behave
Brendan Gray’s construction of a versatile and novel experimental rig contributes to the understanding of how curved shock waves behave.
A cure in the making
An estimated 350 million people worldwide are infected with chronic Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) with the majority living in sub-Saharan Africa.
Children should learn in many languages
International Mother Tongue Day: Insisting that children use one language at a time is primary cause for inability to reason cognitively, research shows.
Gleeble to the rescue
Now Dr Lesley Chown can test new metals cost-effectively in her lab.
Fibre has its limits too
Wits researchers in optical communications explore ways to drastically increase the optical fibre bandwidth.
Restoring pride in African people
Professor Christopher Henshilwood is the co-winner of the Vice-Chancellor’s research award.
Understanding the slave trade on the Loango Coast
More than one million slaves were traded during 18th Century on the Loango coastline.
Sterkfontein Caves produce two new hominin fossils
Specimens from the Homo genus and can be associated with early stone tools dated to 2.18 million years ago.
Using gene therapy to combat HBV infection
Hepatitis B Virus causes between 600 000 and one million deaths per year, predominantly in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
Wits physicists involved in search for new bosons at CERN
Southern Africa’s talent in high energy particle physics displayed at annual workshop.
Optimisation production through process engineering
Researchers say there are still large gaps in our understanding of the associated utility systems in batch chemical processes.
No jaws of a nutcracker
Media release: Biting too hard would have dislocated the jaw of Australopithecus sediba.
How do South African companies report on sustainability?
Warren Maroun examines how companies are reporting on different sustainability metrics in their integrated reports.
Reducing wear and tear makes maintenance easier and cheaper
Professor Natasha Sacks aims to make Wits a world expert in tribology.
Education system sets learners up for failure
Companies see matric certificates as applicant’s ability to read, write and be trained, research shows.
Gates Foundation grant to help Wits support SA Health Department
PRICELESS SA will benefit from a generous Gates Foundation grant for the International Decision Support Initiative.
Cooling high-speed computers
The School of Mechanical, Industrial and Aeronautical Engineering is about to make headlines for the development of new technology to cool high-speed computers.
Solving unemployment in South Africa
Professor Boris Urban's goal is to create a new cadre of researchers in the field entrepreneurship.
Analysing Zimbabwe’s brain drain
Why did many Zimbabweans leave their home country in search for work in SA?
Diamonds used to “probe” ancient Earth
Diamonds dug up from ancient rock formations in the Johannesburg area, between 1890 and 1930 have revealed secrets of how ancient Earth worked.
Puff adders - the ultimate ambush predator
Puff adders - one of Africa's most abundant and venomous snake species - hide from prey and predator by hiding their smell.
Detector elephants: gentle giants sniff out explosives
An African elephant detects dangerous TNT using its extraordinary sense of smell.
Wits physicists contribute to new results from the Large Hadron Collider
New results from the Large Hadron Collider at CERN have scientists exploring the possibilities another new particle.
A world without bees would be disastrous
Declining bee colonies puts industry totaling R20-billion at risk, including Western Cape's fruit industry with its 77 800 hectares of fruit farms.
Girls, boys and obesity
Are females paying the price for being heavier children?
Soft drinks will increase obesity in SA
In 2017 there will be 1.2 million more obese adults in South Africa - study
More NRF-ratings for Wits
Professors Florian Luca and Lynn Morris receive their A-ratings.
Animals in Africa 1000 years ago
Ecologists across the world are starting to realise that many ecosystems cannot be understood without including animals and their impact
Dating Homo naledi
Estimating the age of fossils is important because it allows palaeoanthropologists the opportunity to try to draw up a family tree.
To Paris with love... from southern Africa
It's crunch time for 50,000 delegates from government, intergovernmental organisations, UN agencies, NGOs and civil society to agree on a shared action plan.
How hot will it get? and other burning questions
New book from leading climate change experts at Wits sheds light on how southern Africa is impacted.
Putting light to good use
New research in structured light will have exciting outcomes for telecoms and other industries.
One step closer
The development of a vaccine remains the best possibility for ending the HIV pandemic.
Prehistoric Tarzan-like ancestor
The two papers, titled: The foot of Homo naledi and The hand of Homo naledi, describe the structure and function of the H. naledi hand and foot.
The science speaks
The research has been published in the open access journal, eLife, where anyone access the scientific papers.
Homo naledi, our new human relative
It is the single largest fossil hominin find yet made on the continent of Africa.
Meet Homo naledi, a new species of human relative
Our ancestor practiced a form of ritualised behaviour (or repeated behaviour) previously thought to be unique to humans.
Why greater transparency on food packaging should get the green light
An average shopper takes between four and ten seconds to pick a food product off a shop shelf during their regular visit to buy groceries.
Examining attitudes towards food labels
This review identified nutrition labelling research from 20 countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America.