News

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Research by UP-led team reveals eating habits of black holes

Research by an international team of scientists led by the University of Pretoria’s (UP) Dr Jack Radcliffe has clarified the eating habits of massive black holes.

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Christof Heyns: South African scholar who left his mark on the world’s human rights systems

The South African academic Professor Christof Heyns, who has died at the age of 62, was a world-renowned human rights advocate and academic. He was a thoughtful scholar of both the African and UN human rights systems, and an incredibly popular teacher and activist.

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RESEARCHER PROFILES: Dr Tim Laurens and Prof Pieter Carstens

Following the decision to legalise the use of cannabis (dagga) for private use in South Africa in 2018, research at the University of Pretoria (UP) by medico-legal experts Dr Tim Laurens and Professor Pieter Carstens has drawn attention to some of the new legal and ethical challenges associated with drug testing in the workplace.

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UP experts explore dagga law dilemma in the workplace

Adults are entitled by law to smoke or consume cannabis (dagga) in private – but what happens when a company tests the blood, urine or saliva of an employee and finds traces of dagga a day later, or even a week later?

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UP part of global team that reveals behaviour of magnetic fields around black holes

The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) collaboration – which produced the first-ever image of a black hole and of which the University of Pretoria (UP) is an associate institute – has revealed a new view of the massive object at the centre of the M87 galaxy: what it looks like in polarised light.

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UP expert details the true, terrifying nature of lightning

There is a common misconception that most lightning victims are struck directly by a “bolt” of lightning from the sky. But according to Professor Ryan Blumenthal, a senior specialist forensic pathologist at the University of Pretoria, less than 5% of victims are struck by the lightning flash itself – most lighting-related deaths and injuries occur as a result of other lightning attachment mechanisms.

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Researcher profile: UP ‘lightning pathologist’ Prof Ryan Blumenthal

University of Pretoria (UP) forensic pathologist Professor Ryan Blumenthal is a senior specialist and lecturer in the Department of Forensic Medicine and an expert on electrothermal injuries. Many might recognise him from the eight-part documentary series Lightning Pathologist, which recently aired on DStv, reaching more than two million viewers.

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UP vets’ partial knee replacement surgery on Theophylline the cat another first for South Africa

After Theophylline fractured her leg in a fall, determined UP vets used a complex surgery that has never been performed in SA before to ensure that the kitten’s leg is saved from amputation.

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NEW STUDY: Welfare and survival of Africa’s arid mammals under threat of climate change

Dr Ned Snelling, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Anatomy and Physiology and Prof Leith Meyer, Director of the Centre for Veterinary Wildlife Studies, both from the Faculty of Veterinary Science have just published a new study on the welfare and survival of Africa’s arid-dwelling mammals under the threat of climate change.

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Tasty, healthy and African: UP plays its part in international project to promote local crops and develop new food products

UP is representing South Africa in a 20-partner African and European consortium to boost food security and nutrition in Africa.

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University of Pretoria researchers receive prestigious grants for cutting-edge cancer research

UP’s Prof Robert Millar and Dr Iman van den Bout have received funding to support their research into solutions for the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer and breast cancer.

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Ground-breaking study reveals colonies of mole-rats communicate with each other in their own dialect

A study by a team of scientists at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) in Berlin, Germany and the University of Pretoria (UP) has found that naked mole-rats can communicate with one another within their own colony. They do this with a unique dialect that is specific to that individual colony.

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Researcher Profile: Prof Nigel Bennett and Dr Daniel Hart

Prof Nigel Bennett and Dr Daniel Hart were part of an international team whose research into African mole-rats was not only published in the distinguished journal Science but made the cover.

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Fencing-in of Botswana elephants could explain why 350 elephants died in one area, reveals UP-led study

An international study led by the University of Pretoria’s (UP) Professor Rudi van Aarde suggests that the mass die-off of 350 elephants in one area of northern Botswana last year could be attributed to the fencing-in of these animals.

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UP researcher’s team discovers new compounds with the potential to eliminate malaria

The discovery involves the identification of unique compounds that are able to kill several stages of the malaria-causing parasite and can block the transmission of the parasite between humans and mosquitoes.

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UP research project: Retrofitting unused spaces can help South African cities adapt to climate change

Identifying opportunities for building owners and community groups in cities to take the initiative on a small scale can be part of SA’s response to climate change, write UP lecturer Jan Hugo and Professor Chrisna du Plessis.

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Curious Kids: do cats and dogs understand us when we miaow or bark?

There’s been a lot of research about communication between people and domestic animals like dogs and cats. But we don’t yet have the answer to your very interesting question. We don’t know what cats and dogs think or if they understand us when we use their noises.

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Concentration camps in the South African War? Here are the real facts

More than a century after 48 000 people died in concentration camps in what’s known as the South African War between 1899 and 1902 – or the Anglo-Boer War – the events of that period are back in the headlines.

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Nearly half of South Africa’s live music workers may quit the industry for good

For people working in South Africa’s live music sector, 2020 has been “devastating”. That was the term that researchers read most frequently in responses to the country’s largest-ever live music and COVID-19 survey, published in November.

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Watch documentary: Developing international standards to manage demonstrations

In 2020, we watched Black Lives Matter protests unfold across the world as a reaction to police brutality in the USA. Researchers at the Faculty of Law were instrumental in drafting the UN standards on the use of force by police.

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