Natural gas extraction is being promoted as the solution to South Africa's energy crisis. Shell and other energy companies want to harness the untapped reserves of natural gas below the Karoo using fracking. This is meeting stiff opposition, particularly from residents of the Karoo who are concerned about the risks.
4 September 2013
Patenting of genes incentivises research and the discovery of new treatments, tests and drugs. But does the exclusive ownership of biological material stop the sharing of information and prevent treatment getting to the people that need it?
12 August 2013
Kevin Charleston explains why he stands by the comments a popular vitamin company is suing him for.
23 July 2013
Antibiotics have been miracle drugs, successfully wiping out infections and saving millions of lives. Today, they're increasingly ineffective and we're facing a future where they might not work at all.
2 July 2013
Few other fields of science come under such heavy public scrutiny as climate science. Climate change deniers pick data to fit their agendas, ignoring what the science is telling us.
18 June 2013
A recent analysis of over 12 000 research papers shows that the overwhelming majority of climate scientists agree that climate change is influenced by human activity.
5 June 2013
Flu infections follow seasons, typically rising in winter and dropping in summer. As it moves, a virus mutates, with the risk that with every new flu season, a highly infectious virus could come back more deadly than before. We struggle between the hype of a new disease and the potential threat it imposes.
30 May 2013
In poverty-ridden countries with a lack of funds and resources, it is critical that the most cost-effective government treatment programs are used. The decision about which programs are the most beneficial needs to be driven by solid, swift science.
8 May 2013
In 1951, Henrietta Lacks was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She had an aggressive tumour that quickly took over her body. Less than a year after being diagnosed, she died; leaving behind a devastated husband and 6 children. She was 31 years old. But even in her death, some of her cells lived on; dividing and growing, making trillions more cells than ever existed in her body. The combined weight of these cells is now over 400 times what Henrietta Lacks weighed when she was alive.
24 April 2013
Stories about science in the media are often misleading and over-hyped. In today's science column, Kerry Gordon discusses why.
10 April 2013