Scielo RSS <![CDATA[South African Journal of Science]]> vol. 111 num. 11-12 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Is the decline and fall of South African universities looming?</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>A perfect theory</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>A race to the top and the fear of falling</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Ecological economics: From humanity's current dilemma to policies for a steady state economy</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>University access and success: An issue of social justice</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Estimating the age and affinities of <i>Homo naledi</i></b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>The mournful ape: Conflating expression and meaning in the mortuary behaviour of <i>Homo naledi</i></b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Nurturing doctoral growth: Towards the NDP's 5000?</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Leadership: The invisibility of African women and the masculinity of power</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>A review of the control of schistosomiasis in South Africa</b>]]> Schistosomiasis is the second most important tropical disease in the world in terms of public health impact. In South Africa, more than 4 million people are estimated to be infected with schistosomiasis. School-age children usually have the highest prevalence and intensity of infection. Schistosoma haematobium may result in female genital schistosomiasis which presents as inflammation and ulceration of the genital mucosa and pathological blood vessels. These effects may increase the susceptibility of women with female genital schistosomiasis to HIV. Praziquantel is the drug used to treat schistosomiasis and it is best to treat people during the early stages of infection, before female genital schistosomiasis presents as lesions and sandy patches, as there currently is no treatment for these symptoms. Schistosomiasis is not regarded as a serious public health issue in South Africa despite evidence revealing the seriousness of the disease. In areas endemic for schistosomiasis, the World Health Organization recommends regular mass treatment of all school-age children. In 2001, South Africa became a signatory to the World Health Assembly resolution 54.19 which urged all member states to achieve the minimum goal of 75% treatment coverage in school-age children at risk by 2010. This goal was not achieved in South Africa, despite efforts made by the Department of Health, such as the first statutory school-based geohelminth control programme in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. However, this programme has not been continued. Therefore, there is still much work to be done in order to control and decrease the prevalence of schistosomiasis in endemic areas. <![CDATA[<b>Sweet potato <i>(Ipomoea batatas </i>L.) as a drought tolerant and food security crop</b>]]> Sweet potato is an important 'indigenised' root crop in South Africa. It features prominently in smallholder cropping systems because of its versatility, drought tolerance and positive role in food security. It outranks most staple crops in vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre and protein content. Much information is available on sweet potato as a drought tolerant and food security crop, but critical reviews that link its drought tolerance with food security are lacking. We review sweet potato as a food security crop, focusing on mechanisms associated with drought. We conclude that the crop has great potential in the light of imminent challenges associated with drought as a negative effect of climate change. <![CDATA[<b>A critical review of ionic liquids for the pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass</b>]]> Ionic liquids have been the subject of active research over the course of the last decade and have in the past been touted as one of the most promising technologies for revolutionising the chemical and petrochemical industries. The sheer abundance of potential ionic liquid structures coupled with their tuneable physico-chemical properties has endeared ionic liquids to the scientific community across a broad range of disciplines with potential applications that include pharmaceuticals, electrolytes, thermal energy storage media and liquid mirror telescopes. Within the context of a biorefinery for the production of biofuels and other bio-based products from renewable resources, the unique abilities of some ionic liquids to selectively dissolve biomass components or whole native biomass have been demonstrated. This ability has sparked extensive investigations of ionic liquids for the pretreatment of different biomass types, particularly for the production of cellulosic biofuels. However, the esoteric nature of ionic liquids persists and constructing a fundamental framework for correlating ionic liquid structures with useful applications remains a significant challenge. In addition to the above, the more practical challenges of toxicity, high costs, high viscosities, low solids loading and complex recycling are key factors hindering the wide-scale uptake of ionic liquids as pretreatment solvents in a commercial biorefinery. This critical review provides insights from academic studies and the implications thereof for elevating ionic liquids from the status of 'promising' to 'commercialisable' in the pretreatment of biomass. It is vital that key hurdles for the commercialisation of ionic liquids in the form of high costs, high viscosities, poor water tolerance, toxicity, low solids loading and recovery/recycling be addressed. <![CDATA[<b>Assessing the effects of climate change on distributions of Cape Floristic Region amphibians</b>]]> Climatic changes have had profound impacts on species distributions throughout time. In response, species have shifted ranges, adapted genetically and behaviourally or become extinct. Using species distribution models, we examined how changes in suitable climatic space could affect the distributions of 37 endemic frog species in the Cape Floristic Region (CFR) - an area proposed to have evolved its megadiversity under a stable climate, which is expected to change substantially in future. Species distributions were projected onto mean climate for a current period (1950 to 2000), hindcasted to palaeoclimate (Last Glacial Maximum; LGM = 21 kya and Holocene Glacial Minimum; HGM = 6 kya) and forecasted for two emissions scenarios (A2a and B2a) for the year 2080. We then determined the changes in area sizes, direction (longitude and latitude), fragmentation index and biotic velocity, and assessed if these were affected by life-history traits and altitude. We found that the biotic velocity at which the CFR amphibian community is expected to shift north (A2a = 540.5 km/kya) and east (B2a = 198 km/kya) far exceeds historical background rates (=1.05 km/kya, north and west = 2.36 km/kya since the LGM). Our models further suggest that the CFR amphibian community has already lost about 56% of suitable climate space since the LGM and this loss is expected to accelerate under future emission scenarios (A2a = 70%; B2a = 60%). Lastly, we found that highland species were more fragmented than lowland species between the LGM and current period, but that the fragmentation of lowland species between current and future climates is expected to increase. <![CDATA[<b>Oxidative stability of blesbok, springbok and fallow deer <i>droëwors </i>with added rooibos extract</b>]]> The addition of rooibos extract (RBE) (0%, 0.25%, 0.50%, 1.0% RBE) to improve the oxidative stability of blesbok, springbok and fallow deer droëwors (dried sausage) was studied. RBE treatments had no effects (p&gt;0.05) on the lipid and protein oxidation of the dried product. With the addition of RBE 0.25%, lipid stability after drying showed the malonaldehydes decreased considerably. Haem-iron concentration increased after drying and differed (p<0.05) between RBE treatments within the dried stage within species. There were no differences (p&gt;0.05) between the moisture, protein and fat contents between treatments within a specific processing stage. With the high polyunsaturated fatty acid content of the sausages, a high level of oxidation occurred. Even though RBE addition did not reduce oxidation significantly during the drying process, it could be a successful addition to the traditional South African meat product if it is shown to impart positive flavour attributes. <![CDATA[<b>Putting fossils on the map: Applying a geographical information system to heritage resources</b>]]> A geographical information system (GIS) database was compiled of Permo-Triassic tetrapod fossils from the Karoo Supergoup in South African museum collections. This database is the first of its kind and has great time applicability for understanding tetrapod biodiversity change though time more than 200 million years ago. Because the museum catalogues all differed in recorded information and were not compliant with field capture requirements, this information had to be standardised to a format that could be utilised for archival and research application. Our paper focuses on the processes involved in building the GIS project, capturing metadata on fossil collections and formulating future best practices. The result is a multi-layered GIS database of the tetrapod fossil record of the Beaufort Group of South Africa for use as an accurate research tool in palaeo- and geoscience research with applications for ecology, ecosystems, stratigraphy and basin development. <![CDATA[<b>Food habits of the aoudad <i>Ammotragus lervia </i>in the Bou Hedma mountains, Tunisia</b>]]> A micro-histological analysis of composite faecal samples was used to determine the food plants consumed by the aoudad Ammotragus lervia (Barbary sheep) in the mountains of Bou Hedma National Park, as well as to study food preferences and seasonal variation of the diet of this ungulate. A total of 19 plant species was identified in the faecal samples: 8 grasses, 6 browse types and 5 forbs. The annual diet of this ungulate is composed of approximately 67% grasses, 17% browse and 16% forbs. Two grass species, Stipa parviflora and Stipa tenacissima, comprised 97% of grasses consumed and 63% of the annual diet, and were eaten in the year with considerably greater frequency than any other plant species. The diet of the aoudad at Bou Hedma National Park showed a seasonal variation. For example, grasses were consumed the entire year with a preference in spring (72.57%) and summer (78.31%), but their occurrence in the diet dropped in winter (38.7%). Browse was eaten preferentially in autumn (21.86%) and forbs were utilised most during winter (43.22%) and least during summer (7.53%). Our results show the plasticity of the Tunisian aoudad's diet and identify it predominantly as a grazer. <![CDATA[<b>Evaluating procedural modelling for 3D models of informal settlements in urban design activities</b>]]> Three-dimensional (3D) modelling and visualisation is one of the fastest growing application fields in geographic information science. 3D city models are being researched extensively for a variety of purposes and in various domains, including urban design, disaster management, education and computer gaming. These models typically depict urban business districts (downtown) or suburban residential areas. Despite informal settlements being a prevailing feature of many cities in developing countries, 3D models of informal settlements are virtually non-existent. 3D models of informal settlements could be useful in various ways, e.g. to gather information about the current environment in the informal settlements, to design upgrades, to communicate these and to educate inhabitants about environmental challenges. In this article, we described the development of a 3D model of the Slovo Park informal settlement in the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, South Africa. Instead of using time-consuming traditional manual methods, we followed the procedural modelling technique. Visualisation characteristics of 3D models of informal settlements were described and the importance of each characteristic in urban design activities for informal settlement upgrades was assessed. Next, the visualisation characteristics of the Slovo Park model were evaluated. The results of the evaluation showed that the 3D model produced by the procedural modelling technique is suitable for urban design activities in informal settlements. The visualisation characteristics and their assessment are also useful as guidelines for developing 3D models of informal settlements. In future, we plan to empirically test the use of such 3D models in urban design projects in informal settlements. <![CDATA[<b>Measurement of innovation in South Africa: An analysis of survey metrics and recommendations</b>]]> The National System of Innovation (NSI) is an important construct in South Africa's policy discourse as illustrated in key national planning initiatives, such as the National Development Plan. The country's capacity to innovate is linked to the prospects for industrial development leading to social and economic growth. Proper measurement of innovation activity is therefore crucial for policymaking. In this study, a constructive analytical critique of the innovation surveys that are conducted in South Africa is presented, the case for broadening current perspectives of innovation in the national policy discourse is reinforced, the significance of a broad perspective of innovation is demonstrated and new metrics for use in the measurement of the performance of the NSI are proposed. Current NSI survey instruments lack definition of non-technological innovation. They emphasise inputs rather than outputs, lack regional and sectoral analyses, give limited attention to innovation diffusion and are susceptible to respondent interpretation. Furthermore, there are gaps regarding the wider conditions of innovation and system linkages and learning. In order to obtain a comprehensive assessment of innovation in South Africa, there is a need to sharpen the metrics for measuring non-technological innovation and to define, account for and accurately measure the 'hidden' innovations that drive the realisation of value in management, the arts, public service and society in general. The new proposed indicators, which are mostly focused on innovation outputs, can be used as a basis for plugging the gaps identified in the existing surveys. <![CDATA[<b>Keurbooms Estuary floods and sedimentation</b>]]> The Keurbooms Estuary at Plettenberg Bay lies on a wave-dominated, microtidal coast. It has a dune-topped sandy barrier, or barrier dune, almost 4 km long, with a narrow back-barrier lagoon connected to its source rivers, the Keurbooms and Bitou. The estuary exits to the sea through this barrier dune, and it is the geomorphology and mouth position in relation to floods, which is the subject of this paper. Measurements of rainfall, water level, waves and high- and low-tide water lines were used to analyse the mouth variability over the years 2006-2012. Two major floods occurred during this time, with the first in November 2007 eroding away more than 500 000 m³ of sediment. The new mouth was established at the Lookout Rocks limit - the first time since 1915. The second flood occurred in July 2012 and opened up a new mouth about 1 km to the north-east; high waves also affected the position of the breach. The mouth has a tendency to migrate southwards against the longshore drift, but at any stage this movement can be augmented or reversed. The effectiveness of floods in breaching a new mouth through the barrier dune depends on the flood size and the nature of the exit channel in the back-barrier lagoon. Other factors such as ocean waves, sea level, vegetative state of the dune and duration of the flood are also important and can determine where the breach occurs, and if the new mouth will dominate the old mouth. <![CDATA[<b>Spatial and temporal disaggregation of anthropogenic CO<sub>2</sub> emissions from the City of Cape Town</b>]]> This paper describes the methodology used to spatially and temporally disaggregate carbon dioxide emission estimates for the City of Cape Town, to be used for a city-scale atmospheric inversion estimating carbon dioxide fluxes. Fossil fuel emissions were broken down into emissions from road transport, domestic emissions, industrial emissions, and airport and harbour emissions. Using spatially explicit information on vehicle counts, and an hourly scaling factor, vehicle emissions estimates were obtained for the city. Domestic emissions from fossil fuel burning were estimated from household fuel usage information and spatially disaggregated population data from the 2011 national census. Fuel usage data were used to derive industrial emissions from listed activities, which included emissions from power generation, and these were distributed spatially according to the source point locations. The emissions from the Cape Town harbour and the international airport were determined from vessel and aircraft count data, respectively. For each emission type, error estimates were determined through error propagation techniques. The total fossil fuel emission field for the city was obtained by summing the spatial layers for each emission type, accumulated for the period of interest. These results will be used in a city-scale inversion study, and this method implemented in the future for a national atmospheric inversion study. <![CDATA[<b>Incidence of non-typhoidal <i>Salmonella </i>in poultry products in the North West Province, South Africa</b>]]> This study was conducted to evaluate the incidence of non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS) serotypes in raw and ready-to-eat (RTE) broiler products in the North West Province of South Africa. A total of 120 raw broiler samples, 40 samples of polonies and 20 samples of smoked viennas were obtained from retail points in major cities and towns in the province. Samples were subjected to aerobic plate count and later screened for the presence of NTS using phenotypic and genotypic techniques. The average bacterial count in raw products was 3.1 x 10(5) cfu/g whereas bacterial contamination of RTE products was 1.8 x 10³ cfu/g. The average recovery rate of NTS species from raw broiler products was 12.5% and the serotypes identified were S. typhimurium (46.4%), S. enteritidis (30.9%) and S. newport (22.9%). No NTS was recovered from the RTE products. However, S. typhimurium was the predominant serotype in whole carcasses whereas S. enteritidis and S. newport were prevalent in chicken parts. Out of the 160 presumptive NTS isolates screened by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), 140 (87.5%) were confirmed for the presence of the Salmonella-specific invA gene. In addition, 115 (82.4%) of the confirmed isolates harboured the plasmid spvC gene. Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) fingerprinting of isolates using RAPD 1 and RAPD 3 primers, revealed some inter- and intra-serotype genetic diversity among isolates, suggesting varying sources of contamination. The results of this study represent the first report on the incidence and prevalent serotypes of NTS in chicken products in the North West Province of South Africa. <![CDATA[<b>Wildflower harvesting on the Agulhas Plain, South Africa: Challenges in a fragmented industry</b>]]> South Africa's Agulhas Plain is home to the Cape Floristic Region (CFR), one of the richest floras in the world and the smallest of earth's six plant kingdoms. The indigenous fynbos flora is harvested from the wild and is both exported and sold locally. The conservation value of the CFR, and the need to address deeply entrenched socio-economic disparities and high poverty levels have set a challenging context for the wildflower harvesting industry. The strong competition which exists between producers has resulted in fragmentation of the industry and a breakdown in communication. Using data gathered from interviews and meetings with a range of stakeholders, we argue that the wildflower harvesting industry needs to cooperate and improve communication levels to address the challenges collectively. Without such a collective voice, the sustainability of the industry, the CFR and the livelihoods of disadvantaged communities will be affected. The establishment of a 'Wildflower Harvesting Forum' was explored as a possible solution and is recommended as a sustainable way forward. <![CDATA[<b>Co-supervision in postgraduate training: Ensuring the right hand knows what the left hand is doing</b>]]> South Africa is experiencing a steep rise in postgraduate candidature and a backlog in research training and supervision. Co-supervision is a means to address such challenges. This study investigated how co-supervision could effectively and efficiently be implemented within a Faculty of Health Sciences. Supervisors and postgraduates brainstormed co-supervisory practice to identify: (1) the reasons for co-supervision, (2) what co-supervisors should discuss to facilitate their interactions and (3) how best to initiate the novice supervisor into supervisory practice. Co-supervisors are formally appointed for different reasons and all co-supervisory activities should be directed towards meeting the purpose of that appointment. Points to consider in facilitating a co-supervisor memorandum of understanding and novice supervisor training were discussed. Our findings provide suggestions to develop accountable co-supervisory practices, enhance novice supervisor training and to design discipline-specific best practice policy at institutional level to enable a common understanding of co-supervisory roles and responsibilities. Threats to effective co-supervision identified were the implications of co-supervision in staff promotion, inequitable workload recognition and no official acknowledgement of informal supervisory activities. Unless these issues are addressed, the full potential of co-supervision will remain unrealised. Supervision pedagogy and research teaching is a sophisticated skill worthy of professionalisation. <![CDATA[<b>In-vitro effects of protease inhibitors on <i>BAX, BCL- 2 </i>and apoptosis in two human breast cell lines</b>]]> Currently, the treatment of choice of HIV/AIDS in South Africa is the multidrug combination regimen known as HAART (highly active antiretroviral treatment). HAART, which commonly consists of nucleoside or non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors and protease inhibitors, has radically decreased mortality and morbidity rates among people living with HIV/AIDS. The emphasis of the original development of the antiretroviral drugs was on clinical effectiveness (reducing mortality). Presently, emphasis has shifted from the initial short- term considerations to the long-term undesirable or harmful effects induced by this treatment regimen. Whether antiretroviral compounds are oncogenic is widely speculated, which led to this investigation into the effects of protease inhibitors on the expression of key apoptotic regulatory genes, BAX and BCL-2, in two human breast cell lines, MCF-7 and MCF-10A by real-time qPCR gene expression and immunofluorescence. The anti-apoptotic effects of the protease inhibitors - LPV/r were also investigated by cell death detection ELISA and acridine orange staining. This study also evaluated the cytotoxicity of the antiretroviral drugs in normal and cancer cell lines of the breast (at clinically relevant concentrations of the drugs and at different time points, 24-96 h), employing the neutral red uptake assay. The drugs and combinations tested did not alter BAX and BCL-2 gene expression and protein expression and localisation in both cell lines. In addition, the protease inhibitors-LPV/r did not inhibit camptothecin-induced apoptosis in both cell lines. We have shown that the protease inhibitors demonstrated varying degrees of cytotoxicity in the breast cells. The resulting DNA damage associated with cytotoxicity is strongly implicated in the processes of tumour initiation. <![CDATA[<b>Shark-Cetacean trophic interaction, Duinefontein, Koeberg, (5 Ma), South Africa</b>]]> This study forms part of a larger project to reconstruct the Mio-Pliocene marine palaeoenvironment along South Africa's west coast. It documents the shark-cetacean trophic interaction during the Zanclean (5 Ma) at Duinefontein (Koeberg). The damage described on the fragmentary cetacean bones was compared with similar damage observed on fossils from Langebaanweg, a Mio-Pliocene site on the west coast of South Africa, and data present in the literature. This comparison showed that the damage was the result of shark bites. The state of preservation makes it difficult to determine if the shark bite marks were the cause of death or as a result of scavenging. The presence of the bite marks on the bone would, however, indicate some degree of skeletonisation. Bite marks on some cranial fragments would suggest that the cetacean's body was in an inverted position typical of a floating carcass. The preservation of the material suggests that the bones were exposed to wave action resulting in their fragmentation as well as abrasion, polishing and rolling. It also suggests that the cetacean skeletons were exposed for a long time prior to burial. The morphology of the bites suggests that the damage was inflicted by sharks with serrated and unserrated teeth. Shark teeth collected from the deposit include megalodon (Carcharodon megalodon), white (Carcharodon carcharias) as well as mako (Isurus sp. and Cosmopolitodus hastalis) sharks, making these sharks the most likely predators/scavengers. <![CDATA[<b>Exploring the connections between green economy and informal economy in South Africa</b>]]> The notion of an inclusive green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication requires an approach that engages with the informal economy. However, the informal economy is generally ignored or undervalued in discussions on the green economy. This paper set out to bolster this argument by identifying the ways in which the green economy and the informal economy may be connected by establishing the extent to which policies and plans relating to green economy connect with the informal economy, and recognising several informal green activities. The barriers and opportunities for connecting the two spheres were also explored as well as possible ways in which such activities may be supported at different levels of organisation. In the case of South Africa, many informal green activities that contribute to sustainable livelihoods are recognised. However, issues pertaining to procedure, process and participation hinder the transition to a truly inclusive green economy. <![CDATA[<b>Housing and population sprawl near tailings storage facilities in the Witwatersrand: 1952 to current</b>]]> Mining, tailings storage facilities (TSFs), dust pollution and growth in residential housing development are synonymous with the Witwatersrand, South Africa. Encroachment of housing onto land close to TSFs, i.e. areas rendered marginal because of the dust hazard and risk of structural failure, has continued unabated for decades, intensifying human exposure to windblown mineral dust. Recent research indicates that the finer milling used for modern gold extraction results in aeolian dust emanating from the TSFs which contributes to a higher proportion of inhalable particles in the source material. Air quality dispersion modelling, validated by ambient aerosol monitoring campaigns, indicates that episodic dust events generate particulate matter (PM10) and, specifically, quartz dust concentrations that are unhealthy at distances of up to 2 km downwind from TSFs. This contribution documented residential development from 1952 to 2011 (using historical aerial photographs, census data from 2001 and 2011 and ancillary information) to determine the population exposed to dust emanations from the TSFs. Using the images, land use was classified into residential areas, TSF footprints and open areas, onto which a series of 500 m buffer zone contours were superimposed. The resulting statistics were used to assess the populations exposed to dust hazard within the defined buffer zones. Overall, housing development has experienced a growth of approximately 700% since 1952 at a rate of 14% per year. Analysis of recent monitoring campaign data has confirmed multiple occurrences of quartz-rich inhalable dust in residential settings at levels that exceed occupational health standards, extrapolated to values for population exposure. <![CDATA[<b>In vitro sensitivity testing of <i>Cladobotryum mycophilum </i>to carbendazim and prochloraz manganese</b>]]> Limited information of fungicide efficacy on cultivated mushrooms and resistance development potential is available. Minor crop industries in general have a smaller arsenal of protectants to rely on and the likelihood of resistance build-up is of greater concern. This study focused on Cladobotryum mycophilum's sensitivity to carbendazim and prochloraz manganese following recent reports on decreased efficacy of both fungicides. The median effective dose (ED50) values for carbendazim ranged between 0.02 mg/L and 4.31 mg/L with 60% of the South African isolates being moderately resistant. The highest resistance factor for carbendazim was 215. Prochloraz manganese ED50 values varied from 0.00001 mg/L to 0.55 mg/L. A significant difference in mean ED50 values for both fungicides tested was observed. Using cluster analysis, no discrimination of isolates previously exposed and unexposed to prochloraz manganese was observed. A wide range of differences in ED50 values indicated moderate resistance to carbendazim and high sensitivity to prochloraz manganese among isolates under investigation. Discriminant analysis indicated significant differences between clusters contributed by one or a few variables. This study provided evidence that prochloraz manganese remains highly fungitoxic to C. mycophilum. However, prochloraz manganese is to be used in a disease management strategy in combination with strict farm hygiene management strategies to retain product efficacy and ensure crop protection. <![CDATA[<b>Potential human impact on the environmental central niche of the chacma baboon</b>]]> We assessed the human impact on regions identified as the environmental central niche for the chacma baboon (Papio ursinus) across southern Africa. This central niche is the area within an animal's natural range that is most insulated from changes to the environmental variables that influence that animal's distribution. We used an environmental envelope model constructed with geographic information system software to predict the geographic extent of the central niche. The predicted chacma baboon central niche was 389 000 km², with substantial overlap with human settlements in several countries. Of note is that although Botswana contains nearly 60 000 km² of predicted central niche, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature chacma baboon distribution map implies that much of this area is uninhabited by baboons. A regional assessment of the province of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa) suggests more than 95% of its central niche is uninhabited. Additionally, the very limited and likely disturbed central niche area in Lesotho coupled with the unknown status of chacma baboons within Lesotho warrants further attention. Overall, it appears likely that significant proportions of the predicted central niche in southern Africa are currently uninhabited by the chacma baboon. These uninhabited areas correspond with areas of high human population density and anthropogenic land alteration. The remaining central niche areas that are still inhabited are potentially key areas for conservation and are important for ensuring the sustainability of future populations. However, these areas may be undergoing degradation whilst also becoming more inaccessible to baboons, thus increasing the difficulty of conservation efforts. This preliminary assessment highlights the urgent need for detailed assessments at a finer scale. <![CDATA[<b>Paper-based smart microfluidics for education and low-cost diagnostics</b>]]> Current centralised healthcare models pose many challenges, particularly for developing countries such as South Africa, where travel and time costs make it difficult for patients to seek healthcare, even when urgently needed. To address this issue, point-of-care (PoC) tests, which are performed at or near the site of clinical care, have gained popularity and are actively being developed. Microfluidic systems, in which small volumes of fluids can be processed, provide an ideal platform on which to develop PoC diagnostic solutions. Specifically, the emerging field of paper-based microfluidics, with advantages such as low-cost, disposability and minimal external equipment requirements, provides unique opportunities for addressing healthcare issues in developing countries. This work explores the field of paper-based microfluidics, with step-by-step instructions on the design, manufacture and testing processes to realise paper-based devices towards diagnostic applications. Paper-based microfluidic and electronic components are presented, as well as the integration of these components to provide smart paper-based devices. This serves as an educational tool, enabling both beginners and experts in the field to fast-track development of unique paper-based solutions towards PoC diagnostics, with emphasis on the South African context, where both the need for and impact of these solutions are great. <![CDATA[<b>Insecticide resistance in the malaria vector <i>Anopheles arabiensis </i>in Mamfene, KwaZulu-Natal</b>]]> The control of malaria vector mosquitoes in South Africa's affected provinces is primarily based on indoor spraying of long-lasting residual insecticides. The primary vectors in South Africa are Anopheles arabiensis and An. funestus. South Africa's National Malaria Control Programme has adopted a malaria elimination agenda and has scaled up vector control activities accordingly. However, despite these plans, local transmission continues and is most likely because of outdoor feeding by populations of An. arabiensis. An outdoor Anopheles surveillance system has been set up in three sections of the Mamfene district in northern KwaZulu-Natal in order to assess the extent of outdoor resting An. arabiensis in Mamfene and to assess the current insecticide susceptibility status of this population. According to WHO criteria, the An. arabiensis samples tested showed evidence of resistance to deltamethrin (pyrethroid), DDT (organochlorine) and bendiocarb (carbamate), and full susceptibility to the organophosphates pirimiphos-methyl and fenitrothion. Pre-exposure to piperonyl butoxide completely nullified the deltamethrin resistance otherwise evident in these samples, supporting previous studies implicating monooxygenase-based detoxification as the primary mechanism of pyrethroid resistance. The data presented here affirm the presence of pyrethroid and DDT resistance previously detected in this population and also indicate the comparatively recent emergence of resistance to the carbamate insecticide bendiocarb. These data show that special attention and commitment needs to be given to the principles of insecticide resistance management as well as to investigations into alternative control techniques designed to target outdoor-resting An. arabiensis in northern KwaZulu-Natal. <![CDATA[<b>Corrigendum</b>]]> The control of malaria vector mosquitoes in South Africa's affected provinces is primarily based on indoor spraying of long-lasting residual insecticides. The primary vectors in South Africa are Anopheles arabiensis and An. funestus. South Africa's National Malaria Control Programme has adopted a malaria elimination agenda and has scaled up vector control activities accordingly. However, despite these plans, local transmission continues and is most likely because of outdoor feeding by populations of An. arabiensis. An outdoor Anopheles surveillance system has been set up in three sections of the Mamfene district in northern KwaZulu-Natal in order to assess the extent of outdoor resting An. arabiensis in Mamfene and to assess the current insecticide susceptibility status of this population. According to WHO criteria, the An. arabiensis samples tested showed evidence of resistance to deltamethrin (pyrethroid), DDT (organochlorine) and bendiocarb (carbamate), and full susceptibility to the organophosphates pirimiphos-methyl and fenitrothion. Pre-exposure to piperonyl butoxide completely nullified the deltamethrin resistance otherwise evident in these samples, supporting previous studies implicating monooxygenase-based detoxification as the primary mechanism of pyrethroid resistance. The data presented here affirm the presence of pyrethroid and DDT resistance previously detected in this population and also indicate the comparatively recent emergence of resistance to the carbamate insecticide bendiocarb. These data show that special attention and commitment needs to be given to the principles of insecticide resistance management as well as to investigations into alternative control techniques designed to target outdoor-resting An. arabiensis in northern KwaZulu-Natal.