Four fossil skulls
South African Hominin Fossils Predate Lucy, Analysis Suggests
A newer dating technique using cosmogenic isotopes finds Australopithecus remains from the Sterkfontein caves to be about 1 million years older than previous estimates, potentially changing scientists’ understanding of humanity’s origins.
South African Hominin Fossils Predate Lucy, Analysis Suggests
South African Hominin Fossils Predate Lucy, Analysis Suggests

A newer dating technique using cosmogenic isotopes finds Australopithecus remains from the Sterkfontein caves to be about 1 million years older than previous estimates, potentially changing scientists’ understanding of humanity’s origins.

A newer dating technique using cosmogenic isotopes finds Australopithecus remains from the Sterkfontein caves to be about 1 million years older than previous estimates, potentially changing scientists’ understanding of humanity’s origins.

South Africa
Woman in face shield and blue gown taking cotton swab of patient's mouth while patient sits inside of car
What You Should Know About New Omicron Subvariants
Natalia Mesa | May 17, 2022
The presence and spread of new, more-infectious and immune-evading variants show that the coronavirus is not done mutating.
SLIDESHOW
Photo of a long-tongued fly
Researchers Identify Novel Long-Tongued Fly Species
Nick Dall | Feb 1, 2022
The discovery that what was long believed to be one fly species is actually two deepens researchers’ understanding of plant-pollinator relationships in a unique habitat in southern Africa.
view from below of hundreds of silver sardines swimming in the same direction
Famous South African Sardine Run Doesn’t Benefit Sardines: Study
Alex Billow | Oct 19, 2021
An analysis suggests that a commercially important mass migration of fish may have no real adaptive value.
black and white image of an open combination lock with a globe in the middle
As Plan S Takes Effect, Some Anticipate Inequitable Outcomes
Alejandra Manjarrez | Aug 3, 2021
The plan’s signatories seek to make the results of their funded research available to all, but some scientists say the transition to open access has led to climbing publication fees and could exacerbate global disparities.
Special report
a hand in a blue glove holds a clear plastic multiwell plate in a laboratory with foil-wrapped plates on a metal shelf in the background
Labs Worldwide Still Struggling Amid Broken Supply Chains
Katarina Zimmer | May 21, 2021
Countries outside the US and Europe that are already used to long wait times for laboratory supplies are facing greater research disruptions than ever during the pandemic.
Wildfire Overtakes University of Cape Town Campus
Lisa Winter | Apr 19, 2021
Priceless collections of books, manuscripts, and personal papers have been lost.
COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, coronavirus, pandemic, virus, B.1.1.7, B.1.525, variant, UK
Another Potentially Immunity-Evading SARS-CoV-2 Variant Detected
Asher Jones | Feb 16, 2021
B.1.525 shares a mutation with the B.1.351 variant first detected in South Africa that seems to allow the virus to dodge the immune system.
COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, pandemic, B.1.1.7, 501Y.V2, B.1.351, vaccine, immunity, virus, coronavirus, Moderna, South Africa, variant
Moderna Developing Booster Shot for New Virus Variant B.1.351
Asher Jones | Jan 25, 2021
New data suggest that the company’s approved COVID-19 vaccine protects against different virus variants, but could be less effective against the one that originated in South Africa.
In COVID-19–Hit Africa, Agricultural Research Feels the Pinch
Munyaradzi Makoni | Aug 6, 2020
The pandemic and accompanying lockdowns have meant missing growing seasons and losing out on key data. As restrictions are partially lifted, researchers are adjusting to the new normal.
Ancient Beads Point to Far-Flung Relationships in Southern Africa
Shawna Williams | Jul 13, 2020
An isotopic analysis of eggshell beads dating back more than 30,000 years indicates that they helped build networks that stretched for hundreds of kilometers.
canary health technologies breath test sensor covid-19 coronavirus diagnostic free radical sars-cov-2 exhale signature vocs
In South Africa, COVID-19 Breath Test Trial Set for June
Munyaradzi Makoni | Jun 15, 2020
If proven successful, the five-minute test could be a good temporary indicator before a confirmatory PCR test.
Surgisphere Fallout Hits African Nonprofit’s COVID-19 Efforts
Catherine Offord | Jun 7, 2020
The company had helped develop a tool to aid decision-making in distributing limited medical equipment among coronavirus patients, but two high-profile retractions call into question the validity of Surgisphere’s work in toto.
HIV Researcher Gita Ramjee Dies of Complications Tied to COVID-19
Catherine Offord | Apr 1, 2020
The South African scientist fought for women’s access to healthcare in disadvantaged communities.
Another HIV Vaccine Clinical Trial Fails
Amy Schleunes | Feb 3, 2020
The study showed that a vaccine combining a variety of immune-stimulating components was no more effective than a placebo.
Opinion: Why Warthogs Are Useful in Figuring Out How Bovine TB Spreads
Eduard Roos | Mar 12, 2019
The information we’ve gathered showed us that warthogs can be used as disease sentinels, avoiding the need to resort to testing valuable or endangered animals.
Lab in South African “Township” to Sample TB from Breathed Air
Linda Nordling | Mar 8, 2019
A new facility located in a congested community with high tuberculosis rates brings basic science and cutting edge techniques into the heart of disease circulation.
US Government Shutdown’s Effects on Science Ripple Overseas
Catherine Offord | Jan 30, 2019
From canceled conferences to delayed publications, fallout of the shutdown spread beyond US borders, prompting concerns about long-term damage to international collaboration.
Celebrated Cardiologist Bongani Mayosi Dies
Catherine Offord | Sep 12, 2018
The 51-year-old University of Cape Town researcher had been suffering from depression, and his death has prompted reflection on being a black academic in South Africa.
Africa’s Oldest Baobab Trees Are Dying Suddenly
Catherine Offord | Jun 12, 2018
Although more evidence is needed to pin down a cause, researchers suspect that climate change is to blame.