Information and Codes in Biochemistry

Biochemists traditionally accept the view that life is an extremely complex form of chemistry (the “Chemical paradigm”), a view which implies that genetic information and the genetic code are but metaphorical concepts because they cannot be described by physical quantities. Wächtershäuser, for example, claimed that: “On the level of nucleic acids it is quite convenient … [Read more]

Towards understanding the dilemma of Food Security in the rural areas of South Africa

Although South Africa is food secure on a country level, large numbers of households within the country remain food insecure. The Department of Agriculture in South Africa has recognized several key food security challenges in the Integrated Food Security Strategy for South Africa (IFSS) but South Africa still lacks specific and accepted methods to measure … [Read more]

Are Trout South African? Or: A Postcolonial Fish

There has been substantial attention paid in literary and postcolonial studies to issues of environment and ecology, and especially the environmental transformations which colonial and imperial histories have wrought upon the (post)colony. There have been horrifying and hubristic interventions made by colonial authorities, whether in terms of the introduction of species (rabbits in Australia, black … [Read more]

Gandhi’s Printing Press: Global Trajectories of Print Culture in the Indian Ocean

During his South African years (1893-1914), Mohandas Gandhi began fashioning his world-changing ideas on satyagraha/‘passive resistance’.  But he also practiced another kind of craft – running a printing press and publishing a newspaper. This project explores how Gandhi’s experiences as a press proprietor, printer and publicist influenced his philosophies. Gandhian theories of reading and writing … [Read more]

Macrophages in Human Tissues-Phenotypic Diversity in Health and Disease

Macrophages represent a heterogeneous family of white blood cells which are widely distributed throughout the body. They play an essential role in homeostasis during development and throughout adult life, but display considerable plasticity in their response to infection, inflammation, cancer and blood vessel occlusive diseases. This is due to their adaptability in recognition via surface … [Read more]

Technological knowledge: A new structure

The purpose of this project is to help energize the innovation chain — the sequence of events that leads from scientific discovery, to technological progress and on to practical application. The project focuses on the technology link. Technology is the major source of economic growth. It is heavily endowed. Every day there is a global … [Read more]

Developing a hypothesis on the “domestication syndrome” of animals

The domestication of many animal species was a key element in the development of human societies. An early step presumably involved the acquisition of docility, a prerequisite for animal handling, training and controlled breeding. Unexpectedly, however, domestication entails the acquisition of an additional suite of physical and behavioural traits whose connections to each other and … [Read more]

The evolutionary history of the human face, a multi-disciplinary detective story

Like all complex animals, humans have faces. Indeed, the human face is unconsciously used as the standard to which all other animal faces are compared, in terms of “oddness” or similarity to the human face. Yet, the human face is highly distinctive in several ways, both in its physical features and in its employment in … [Read more]

History wars and Indigenous Rights

Indigenous rights claims remain a central, unresolved human rights issue in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States. These countries, which are former British colonies, have intertwined but divergent legal, intellectual, and cultural traditions. In these countries judgments about ‘history’ are essential for the determination of compensation for past abuses and recognition … [Read more]

Psychology, neoliberalism and changing subjectivities in Southern and Eastern Africa

Recent scholarship on the ‘postcolonial subject’ in Africa and beyond posits a link between neoliberalism and the evolution of new subjectivities. This project aims to interrogate and complicate this analysis in relation to Southern and Eastern Africa. In recent years there has been a marked adoption of psychological counselling techniques and languages in the region. … [Read more]