General

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Adhesives, well…, adhesives hold the world together. From the Pritt glue children use at school, to the sellotape that comes out of the cupboard for Christmas and birthday presents, to industrial adhesives that are used in the manufacture of everything from machinery to disposable goods, there seems to be an adhesive for everything.

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More than 50 years ago, scientists saw that there was something very bright at the centre of our galaxy. That bright object was long thought to be the Milky Way’s central supermassive black hole, named Sagittarius A, which has a gravitational pull strong enough to make stars orbit around it very quickly. Stars close to Sagittarius A orbit as fast as 20 years. In contrast, our solar system takes about 230 million years to circle the centre of the galaxy.

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Being a member of South Africa’s government can never be described as boring. Fighting a plummeting GDP figure, junk status, public infighting about the mandate of the Reserve Bank (which led to the sharpest decline in the Rand in a decade), and continued suspicions about corruption, the government is now facing a class-action lawsuit brought by environmental rights groups.

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The Earth has a lot of water – around 71% of our planet’s surface is covered with water. For years, scientists have tried to discover why, and where all that water came from. Did Earth form with its water already here? Or was it delivered later by a cosmic hailstorm of comets or asteroids? The evidence has tipped back and forth over the years, and scientists haven’t been able to provide a definitive answer.

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has validated the fact that burn-out is real. The WHO has included burn-out in its most recent International Classification of Diseases (ICD), which is widely used as a benchmark for diagnosis and health insurers.

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Earth is remarkable in our solar system because it is the only rocky planet with such a large moon, and is also the only planet besides Pluto to have a moon so fundamentally similar to itself in composition. Most bodies in the solar system have unique chemical compositions, but lunar rocks brought home during the Apollo missions show that their isotopic fingerprint is almost identical to that of minerals from Earth.

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A few years ago, microscopic life forms called tardigrades, also known as “water bears”, created an uproar in the scientific community, when one of the creatures laid eggs that successfully hatched after the tardigrade was frozen for almost 30 years. These animals can weather extreme heat, cold, radiation and even the vacuum of space, researchers have found, and could provide clues to how we can make crops more resistant to drought, better preserve blood and medicines, and even make more effective sunscreen.

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In the wake of the fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral, civil engineering and architectural experts – not to mention historical authorities – will be gearing up to restore the damaged building. French President Emmanuel Macron has provided a timeline of just 5 years for the rebuilding efforts, stating “we will rebuild Notre-Dame Cathedral, more beautiful than ever.”

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South Africa has exported many innovations overs over the years, ranging from the Kreepy Krawly to the heart transplant. Now Dimension Data and Cisco have partnered to take home-grown anti-poaching technology to the rest of the world.