Up-to-date announcements, stories and opinion pieces from The AAS and researchers that we fund
Top This Week
Wednesday, July 29, 2020
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Seventeen early career scientists selected to attend the 2020 Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings
Seventeen early career African scientists nomin
The development of future generations of scientists cannot be left to chance
AAS Fellow Prof Zeblon Vilakazi, appointed as Wits vice-chancellor
What are Africa’s priorities for climate change?
Improving blood screening for safer transfusion practices
Improving the livelihoods of dairy farmers, a climate change adaptation strategy
Despite dairy farming being one of the most important enterprises that dominates the economic activities of women in many West Africa countries, there has been limited research carried out to help them adapt to climate change. In West Africa, about 63.7% of rural women play a key role in the local dairy sector by collecting and processing milk in small processing units. But with the dry season becoming longer and warmer, the quantity of sour milk increases year on year despite various efforts to reduce it.
This is the best time to plan for urban Africa’s next health emergency
(Courtesy: Quartz Africa)
Health, it turns out, is everybody’s business. The Covid-19 pandemic has made this clear, laying bare the gaping cracks in our societal systems that have driven the emergence and unprecedented transmission of a novel coronavirus; and highlighting the need for a more health-aligned societal reset.
An important step on the journey to reset is re-thinking and reframing our definition of an emergency response; and key to this is internalizing the preventable nature of (this and future) health emergencies.
African scientists identify coronavirus priorities
(Courtesy: Research Professional News)
Life-saving interventions for resource-strained health settings trump basic biology research
Hundreds of African scientists have contributed to a prioritised list of coronavirus research for the continent published by the African Academy of Sciences on 28 April.
The list shows that African scientists prioritise research that saves lives in resource-strained health settings over projects to answer basic biology questions about the new coronavirus.
Keeping COVID-19 at bay in Africa
(Courtesy: The Lancet)
On Feb 15, 2020, Egypt recorded Africa's first case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) 12 days later, Nigeria recorded the first sub-Saharan Africa incident. 2 months later, the Comoro Islands and eSwatini are the only two countries of 54 in Africa that are unaffected by the global pandemic, stretching health systems and nearly paralysing economies.
The African Centre for Disease Control (Africa CDC), an African Union body partnering with the WHO Regional Office for Africa, is leading broad measures to control COVID-19. The disease has since accelerated in Africa, reaching 27 427 cases, 1298 deaths, and 7474 recoveries as of April 24. Compared with the rest of the world, Africa's infection rates are relatively low, but there is a growing sense of urgency given the acute absence of health-care infrastructure on the continent.
Coronavirus will play out very differently in world's poorest nations
(Courtesy: New Scientist)
The new coronavirus may prove disastrous for the world’s poorest people, including those living in slums and refugee camps.
What coronavirus genomes can tell us about the pandemic—and science—in Africa
(Courtesy: Science in Africa Magazine)
As the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 spreads across the world, it mutates, and scientists can track these mutations by sequencing viruses isolated from patients. These viral genomes can not only show how the virus moves through a population; it can also inform efforts to find a cure, for example by showing whether some mutations are more susceptible to certain treatments than others.