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The world has slowly become aware of the dangers of plastics to the environment, with recycling initiatives becoming more prevalent over the last decade. While we have all seen the pictures of clogged landfills and birds choking on plastic, human beings have been unaware of the detrimental effect these polymers have been having on us.

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China is set to launch an artificial moon into space in 2020 with the aim to replace street lights. Wu Chunfeng, chairman of space contractor Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute Co (CASC) has told media that the country is two years away from sending a lighting satellite to space, and that the satellite will complement the light of the moon at night.

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South Africa has been in the international news a great deal lately, with even President Donald Trump publicly weighing in on the land redistribution question. One woman has put the country back in the limelight across the globe for a completely different – and much brighter – reason.

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The South African government has launched the world’s first citizen engagement platform that makes use of popular messaging application WhatsApp. The theory is that, for the first time in South Africa’s history, citizens will be able to access over 10 000 public representatives supporting over 30 000 public facilities and services in communities nationwide.

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South Africa’s natural heritage is one of the most vibrant in the world, and dates back to prehistory. While our fossil finds have become known as being some of the most extensive samples of early humanoids, helping us understand humanity’s origins, our geology is equally ancient – and interesting.

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South Africa’s education system is once again in the news, with the gazetting of a change to university exemption. As of March this year, students will no longer have to gain pass marks in four specific subjects in order to gain university exemption. Rather, they can now choose any four subjects from a 20-credit ‘designated subject list’.

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South Africa is known around the world for its sunny skies, natural beauty – and its crime rate. A few years ago, we became notorious for having a higher murder rate than the (then) active war zone in Afghanistan, and the number of robberies, cash-in-transit heists and other violent crimes has continued to remain high.

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That we are living in a data-driven world will not come as news to anyone. These days, data is at the heart of our business and personal lives, with companies in every sector looking for a way to use that data to sell us more as consumers, or to gain a competitive edge in their business.

When it bid to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), South Africa embarked on a journey that would place the country as one of the world’s most important radio astronomy hubs. While the project is in its infancy, this vision is already becoming a reality, with a number of discoveries providing astronomers with new insights into the universe.

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Crown Publications, one of South Africa’s largest business-to-business publishing houses, came into existence in 1986. Since then, the company has grown from producing a single magazine, Electricity SA (renamed Electricity+Control), to publishing six monthly magazines, three quarterlies, and a number of engineering handbooks.

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