Natural and Agricultural Sciences News

NWU researcher helps uncover new data about Earth and the Milky Way

A new study has lifted the veil on some of the mysteries of the Milky Way. It has found that the Earth is moving faster than it used to and is nearly 2 000 light-years closer to the black hole in the centre of the Milky Way Galaxy. This is according to new data, documented over a period of 15 years, by the Japanese radio astronomy project, VLBI…

NWU partners with department to promote Indigenous Knowledge Act

The North-West University’s (NWU’s) Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) Centre has partnered with the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) on a public awareness campaign on the Indigenous Knowledge Act and the Bio-cultural Protocol*. This Indigenous Knowledge Act focuses on the protection, promotion, management and development of…

NWU’s eye on the cosmos just became bigger

The North-West University’s (NWU’s) Mahikeng Astronomy Observatory now boasts a new, bigger and better telescope – the New Mahikeng Astronomy Telescope. The new telescope, manufactured by Planewave Instruments in the USA, has a 50 cm diameter which is significantly bigger than the older 41 cm Meade LX200 GPS telescope that was unveiled in 2018…

Getting the most out of medicinal plant extracts with nanotechnology

A North-West University (NWU) graduate is bringing together age-old plant knowledge and the latest nanotechnology to make the most of medicinal plant extracts.

According to a United States National Nanotechnology Initiative, nanotechnology is currently revolutionising the technology and industrial sectors. These include information…

NWU’s Prof Kellner appointed on ministerial advisory board

Prof Klaus Kellner from the North-West University (NWU) was recently appointed by the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Ms Barbara Creecy, to serve on the Conservation Advisory Board.

With close to 40 years of experience in academia and in the field of natural and agricultural sciences, he has been described as the…

Women are putting roots down in agriculture

Women form the backbone of many rural economies and play an important role in poverty reduction and food security according to the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Dr Morategi Mojanaga, North-West University (NWU) alumna and chief animal health technician at the Gauteng Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, says women…

Putting edible insects on the menu

While many people cringe at the thought of consuming bugs, entomophagy – the term for eating insects – has been practised for hundreds of years in South Africa.

In the North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga, flying ants, grasshoppers, mopane worms, African metallic wood-boring beetles and edible stinkbugs are delicacies.

However…

The plastic problem: NWU researchers highlight major data gaps

Our oceans are choking on plastic debris. In fact, marine plastic debris is one of the most pressing environmental concerns facing the world today, with devastating effects for both humans and the environment.

But just how big a culprit is South Africa?

Prof Henk Bouwman, from the North-West University’s (NWU’s) Faculty of…

NWU takes on pandemic on many fronts

The disruptive Covid-19 pandemic has not sidetracked the North-West University’s (NWU’s) researchers and academics from using their expertise to the benefit of society.

NWU staff and students have been involved in various pandemic-related projects. These range from involvement in communities to finding workable solutions in the fight…

Prof runs 1 100 laps to help alleviate hunger

On the morning of 24 April, Prof Dewald van Niekerk, laced up his running shoes and started running around his house in Potchefstroom. The time was 10:30. When he finally stopped to unlace his shoes, twenty-four hours and ten minutes later, he’d circled his house 1 100 times to clock a distance of 110km.

Dewald, together with…