Life in the transients

This project will explore a new theory of adaptation that I have termed Life in the Transients (LIT). In a nutshell, LIT argues that the theory of open thermodynamic systems has significant implications for how we think about life, adaptation and evolution. These are largely unexplored, largely because we do not have a good idea … [Read more]

Reservoir computing of (African) bird song

South Africa is one of the top destinations in the world for bird watching. From the total of about 10000 of bird species,850 species are to be found here. Kwazulu-­Natal in particular is one of the richest regions supporting a wide array of different birds, while the Western Cape is another very popular destination. Bird … [Read more]

The scorpion chemosensory organs (project 1) & Biological contexts of pain perception and suffering in experimental animals (project 2)

1. The scorpion chemosensory organs have a number of unusual properties, making them an intriguing research object for neurobiologists. First, the scorpion pectines are not located on the head like the noses or antennae of most animals but rather on the ventral side of the abdomen in close proximity to the substrate. Second, the pectines … [Read more]

Self, Autonomy, Authority and Law: The Challenge of ‘Leaky Bodies’

The unity, integrity, health and prospects of collectives such as states, nations and societies are often imagined in terms of the individual human body. Already for Plato, the just person with an orderly soul mirrors and promotes the justly ordered society and vice versa. Feminist authors have pointed out that the ‘citizen’, ‘hero’, ‘leader’ and … [Read more]

Systematic generation of an update of the ongoing studies on the new BTK inhibitors

BTK is a cytoplasmic protein-tyrosine kinase, whose corresponding gene was isolated in the early 1990s. BTK was initially identified by positional cloning of the gene causing X-linked agammaglobulinemia and independently in a search for new kinases. Given the phenotype of affected patients, namely lack of B-lymphocytes and plasma cells with the ensuing inability to mount … [Read more]

Distributed Renewable Economy for Africa’s Transformation

Human history over the millennia has been shaped by major social transformation processes. These transformational processes redefined the key features of socio-economic relationships both within communities and across nations. But they have also fundamentally redefined our relationship with the natural environment. Outcomes of major studies conducted by global research groups, including International Panels such as … [Read more]

The use of shear wave elastography in patients with homozygous beta thalassemia

Patients with homozygous beta thalassemia have complex clinical complications due to the need for blood transfusions and iron overload. Liver pathology due to the latter and a high prevalence of hepatitis C infections is a major problem and can result in cirrhosis and/or hepatocellular carcinoma. Early detection of fibrosis plays an essential role in the … [Read more]

Interdisciplinary Approaches to Meeting Long Term Challenges

Professor Ian Goldin is the Director of the Oxford Martin School and Professor of Globalisation and Development at the University of Oxford. The Oxford Martin School is the leading global interdisciplinary research centre on major global challenges, with over 350 academics from 50 disciplines. During his fellowship at STIAS Professor Goldin’s principal research aim is … [Read more]

On the charge accumulation and ion exchange in PEDOT electrodes

Supercapacitors are devices that reside on the border between capacitor technology   and   battery   systems   and   are   utilized   in   transportation   and infrastructure applications. These are utilized to balance availability versus needs for high quality electrical energy. The   cost   structure,   physical   properties   and   the eco-unfriendly characteristics of present supercapacitors hamper the development of future all-electric technology in … [Read more]

Axis and Revolution

The themes of the collection “Axis and Revolution”, my fourth book of poetry, range from poetry as autobiography to the contemporary legacy of slavery, a topic that has engaged my critical as well as creative writing. In the poem “Focal Length,” the sight of a blurred face in a photograph prompts a reflection on the … [Read more]