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Science generally only makes the headlines when a new discovery is made, or something goes wrong. While scientists rightfully deserve the kudos they get for progressing mankind’s knowledge, those that are enhancing existing cures and technologies rarely get mentioned outside of academic circles. Their work, too, is done behind the scenes, and many of their advances are never noticed by the general public.

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Electric cars have been touted as one of the primary solutions to the world’s carbon emission challenges. China has set aggressive targets for electric vehicle sales to curb pollution and some European countries aim to be all-electric by 2040 or sooner. Even the US is pushing electric car sales, albeit for more commercial reasons.

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Most people have never heard of Etherium or Monero, but they have heard of Bitcoin. All three are cryptocurrencies – a form of digital money – and they are a few of the dozens of digital currencies available.

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The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has set the cat among the pigeons in its claims that the load shedding of 2008 and 2014 was ‘self-inflicted’ by Eskom. Not only does Outa believe load shedding was avoidable, but that “corrupt practices” exacerbated the situation.

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We keep hearing stories about how the economy is putting a stranglehold on all areas of our lives, but a recent Career Junction poll shows that those in the engineering and related sectors have not been as negatively affected as those in other industries – at least as far as their salaries are concerned.

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Charcoal has long been a favourite medium for artists, but a South African artist has taken this to a new level. Hannelie Coetzee has used targeted burning to create the image of a locust and grasshopper on grazing grassland near Johannesburg.

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This week saw another important step towards the building of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope in the southern hemisphere, with Ghana and South Africa completing what they termed “first light” science observations. This was achieved through the successful conversion of a communications antenna from a redundant telecoms instrument in Ghana into a functioning Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) radio telescope.

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Man’s desire to explore space has created plot lines for science fiction writers for centuries. 50 years ago, the stuff of science fiction started becoming reality with the advances in technology that allowed us to land on the moon. Today, the colonisation of Mars is not only looking like it will become a reality, it’s actively being pursued by some of the brightest minds on Earth.

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The famous line from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” is frequently cited when the importance of the names of things is raised. Juliet would have us believe that names don’t really affect what things really are, but post-colonial Africa would beg to differ.

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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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