Unesco fellowship for SA scientist

first_imgDr Hanneline Smit of StellenboschUniversity accepting her fellowship at theL’Oréal-Unesco “For Women in Science”Awards.Janine ErasmusDr Hanneline Smit of Stellenbosch University and 14 other young women researchers, three of them from Africa, received a research fellowship at the tenth edition of the L’Oréal-Unesco “For Women in Science” Awards, which give international recognition to women in the life sciences.Smit was honoured along with fellow Africans Yonelle Dea Moukoumbi from Gabon, who conducts research into a hardy new strain of African rice known as Nerica, and Maria Joao Rodrigues from Mozambique, whose research examines the impact of diseases on coral communities growing in the western Indian Ocean.Smit’s research will concentrate on the exploration of historical factors which may have shaped the current genetic diversity of small birds and mammals in the neighbouring Succulent Karoo and Nama Karoo biomes of South Africa. A biome is a large geographical area characterised by certain types of plants and animals.The L’Oréal-Unesco fellowship programme offers doctoral and post-doctoral women scientists the opportunity to pursue their research in internationally renowned institutions outside their home countries. As of 2006 the fellowship is worth a maximum of US$40 000 over a period of two years.In addition, five eminent women scientists from regions around the world received a L’Oréal-Unesco Award on the night. The Awards, which are a separate element of the programme, recognise high-achieving women scientists who are role models for future generations.The five laureates are Prof Lihadh Al-Gazali from the United Arab Emirates, Assistant Prof V. Narry Kim of the Republic of Korea, Prof Ada Yonath from Israel, Prof Ana Belén Elgoyhen from Argentina, and Prof Elizabeth Blackburn from the US.Exploring genetic differencesSmit’s research will focus on the Karoo area in the Western Cape province. In many cases small animals in the two Karoo regions in question, although they are of the same species, show genetic differences. This is thought to be due to biogeographic events in the distant past which separated the two regions on a geologic or climatic basis.Smit plans to collect DNA samples from these creatures, study the genetic differences, correlate them with geographical data, and look for the emergence of any geographical patterns.This information will prove useful in predicting future evolutionary pressures and identifying distinct geographical regions that may need special species protection.“The ultimate aim of the project is to provide information that could be used to conserve the biodiversity resources in South Africa at landscape, ecosystem, habitat, community, population, species and gene levels,” said Smit.She will work at the University of California-Berkeley in the US, under the guidance of Prof Rauri Bowie of that university’s Department of Integrative Biology. Bowie obtained his PhD from the University of Cape Town.Smit, of Stellenbosch University’s Department of Botany and Zoology, received her doctorate in March 2008. Her dissertation focused on the phylogeography of three indigenous southern African elephant shrews. Phylogeography is the study of the distribution of genetic diversity over geographic regions.Working under Prof Terry Robinson and Dr Bettine van Vuuren, Smit studied evolutionary relationships among 15 species of African elephant shrews and in the process she helped to discover a new species of the small mammal.The 16th African elephant shrew species weighs a mere 47g. In accordance with scientific tradition the little creature will only be officially named when a report has been published in a recognised journal.Encouraging scientific vocations for womenThe L’Oréal-Unesco Awards for women in science was established in 1998. The fellowship programme followed two years later and since its inception has recognised a total of 120 fellows from 67 countries. In total, taking both award and fellowships into consideration, more than 500 women have been singled out for recognition.Research projects are submitted for consideration to the fellowship selection committee by the various Unesco national commissions. These are national bodies set up by Unesco member states for the purpose of aligning their governmental and non-governmental bodies with Unesco’s work.Submitted projects very often focus on specific needs of local populations, or may relate to original fields of research, such as a current study of the interactions of different areas of the brain in healthy and depressed patients.Besides the three African fellows, the other fellowship recipients for 2008 hail from Nepal, Slovenia, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, Mongolia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Italy and the Netherlands.Related articlesNerica rice to combat hunger in AfricaUseful linksFor Women in ScienceL’OrealAssociation for Women in ScienceNama KarooSucculent KarooRauri Bowie’s research groupStellenbosch Universitylast_img read more

My Goals for eBook Culture

first_imgOne of my stated niches is ‘web strategy’ and I’ve written a couple of posts onthis subject. However strategy is one of those things that is better practiced ratherthan preached. I could write a whole bunch of articles on strategy, but the only way forsomeone to be credible on this topic is to execute a strategy – and preferably besuccessful at it! It’s the same for web design. If you’re going to spout theories onwebsite design, then you better make sure your personal website is spiffy andprofessional-looking. You can get away with not practicing what you preach in programming(just claim you’re an architect), in usability (ever seen Jakob Nielsen’s website?) andin Knowledge Management (in the real world KM is an oxymoron). But in design and strategyyou need to back up your theory with real-world evidence. And this is one of the reasonswhy I started a topic-focused blog.Lights, Strategy, Action!In order to explore the art of strategy, I’ve decided to openly discuss and publish mystrategy for my new topic-focused blog called eBookCulture. I’ll be doing this in a series of posts here on Read/Write Web, starting with this one. Today I’lloutline my high-level goals for eBook Culture,and in my next post I’ll review some successful examples of topic-focused blogs by otherbloggers. After that I’ll get stuck into the nitty gritty of my ongoing strategy for eBook Culture. All the while of course I’ll beimplementing my plans.btw eBook Culture is only a couple of weeksold and very much a work-in-progress. At this point I’m building up the ‘eBooks as social media’ theory, via a bunch of quickly-written posts. By itself, that’s unlikely to appeal to the masses. Pretty soon I’ll start publishing practicalthings (how-to’s and introductory articles) and introduce some basic web services.Part 1: My Personal Goals for eBook CultureSo what are my goals for eBook Culture? Wellactually they’re closely related to my goals for Read/Write Web and blogging in general. Inapproximate order of importance, here is what I want to achieve with eBook Culture:1. Explore the niche world of eBooks. I see eBooks as an extension of myread/write web philosophy, plus they combine two of my core interests: books andcomputing. Learn by Doing is a maxim that I live by, so a topic-focused blog givesme the opportunity to dive into eBooks as a specialist interest. At this point in timeI’m not an eBooks expert by any means. But as I build up the new website, I’ll learn moreand more about its sole topic – eBooks. Hopefully I’ll end up loving eBooks as much as Ilove working on the Web!2. Build up a weblog community of eBook users. I’m not looking so much at folkswho are already sold on the idea of eBooks, although it’s important I attract existingeBook experts to my site so that I earn their respect and patronage. My aim is to converta whole bunch of new people to the world of eBooks – myself among them!3. Prove to myself and future employers or customers that I’m able to successfullyimplement a web strategy and build a social media website. If I can provide eBook Culture with compelling content and useful,easy-to-use services – and along with that build up a community of people who regularlyvisit the website – then that alone would be an achievement to be proud of. But franklyit also has to benefit me – and to that end if eBook Culture achieves the above, then it’ll be avery powerful addition to my CV or portfolio.4. Earn some money and potentially grow a business. You may wonder why this isonly number 4 on my list of goals? Well actually I’d love it if I could eventually earn agood living out of eBook Culture. To achievethat though, I’d need to make some sacrifices and devote myself full-time to thisventure. I’d need to actively sell my ideas and plans to business people, a la Nick Denton. While I may well attempt this in thefuture, the time isn’t right for me to do it now. Even though I won’t be giving up myday job just yet, it is my goal to earn some money out of the site – certainlymore than the pennies I earn off Google ads at Read/Write Web. I’ll provide more detailson this when I get to the nuts and bolts of my strategy for eBook Culture.Summary of my GoalsSo my goals for eBook Culture are mainly toexplore eBooks (learn by doing), build up a community of eBook users, prove to myself andfuture employers/customers that I can successfully build a social media website, and makea few bob on the side. An ideal payoff for me would be to land a job doing the same kind of strategy / socialmedia work for an organization, or become skilled enough to offer my services as aconsultant, or use my experience as a springboard to launch other business ventures as anindependent. First I have to do it. Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#web center_img richard macmanus 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

Another Facebook Success Story: TravBuddy Hits 1 Million Users

first_imgjosh catone 1 Anecdotal evidence suggests that the largest apps on Facebook are starting to make money from advertising, and TravBuddy is already operating on a mostly advertising supported business model. There is no reason they can’t try to monetize their Facebook users on Facebook in a similar way. Further, the barrier for entry is so low for Facebook applications that even if they aren’t capturing a ton of users from their app, it is likely still worth it.Further, the site is very active. Every time I visited TravBuddy today, there was new content that had been submitted from users within the past 10 minutes, and it seems like a very loyal user base has grown up around the site over the past two years.TravBuddy’s Facebook app is in direct competition with the Where I’ve Been application that last week made the jump to MySpace. Where I’ve Been is much more popular on Facebook than TravBuddy (with about 5 times as many users), but on MySpace it is TravBuddy that has the head start. Their MySpace widget has been around since last December. Tags:#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts Today TravBuddy, a social network built around travel, announced that it has hit the one million user mark. The network was launched in 2005, but over the past six months has seen its membership grow 100 fold. Why the big increase? One reason is clear: Facebook.In May, TravBuddy launched an a Facebook app called the TravBuddy.com Countries Visited Map, which lets users put a flash map on their profiles displaying which countries they’ve visited. The app has just under 500,000 users, all of which have signed up for an account on TravBuddy as well.TravBuddy’s Facebook app ranks 4th for most active users among applications in the travel section with nearly 10,000 users logging in daily. But does that activity on Facebook translate to activity on the TravBuddy web site? Or does it even matter?It’s hard to tell if TravBuddy’s Facebook users are making the jump to the site itself, but my money is that most of them aren’t. Of the site’s 1 million users, just 13,000 travel blogs have been posted, and just 1 photo has been uploaded to the site for every 3 users. To me, that suggests that most of those Facebook users are staying strictly users of the Facebook widget. But that may not matter.last_img read more

Kansas ~ Sales and Use Tax: Additional Local Rate Changes Announced

first_imgCCH Tax Day ReportThe Kansas Department of Revenue has issued a corrected Information Guide No. KS-1700, which includes two additional changes to the local sales and use tax rates taking effect October 1, 2016. The rate for Arkansas City increases from 8.25% to 8.75% and the Arkansas City Summit Plaza Community Improvement District (CID) rate increases from 9.25% to 9.75%.Details of the original changes were previously reported. (TAXDAY, 2016/07/25, S.9)Information Guide No. KS-1700, Kansas Department of Revenue, August 16, 2016, ¶201-870last_img

Parliament tries to defy Johnson’s Brexit plans

first_img(AP) Britain’s Parliament will attempt to defy Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit plans on Wednesday as lawmakers seek a way out of the impasse that has gripped the nation since the 2016 vote to leave the European Union.The House of Commons is confronting Johnson over his insistence that the U.K. leave the EU on Oct. 31 even without a withdrawal agreement to cushion the economic blow. On Wednesday, it will consider a measure that will try to block a departure without a deal.Johnson has said he will seek a general election if the lawmakers succeed, taking his message directly to the people in his bid to deliver Brexit, come what may.But it is unclear whether he will have the votes for such a move. On Tuesday, Johnson lost his first vote in Parliament since becoming prime minister in July and has seen his tenuous grip on power weakened by defections from his party that cost him his working majority.last_img read more

Don’t shout down Vinod Kambli

first_imgFormer India cricketer Vinod Kambli is being unfairly targeted for claiming that the India-Sri Lanka semifinal match of the 1996 World Cup may have been fixed.It is understandable for questions to be raised about why Mr Kambli has made the revelation 15 years after the event. That Ajit Wadekar – a respected cricketer of yesteryear who was the manager of that team- as also a couple of team members have rubbished the claim, is significant here.Yet, it is strange for the media to accord great importance to what Mohammed Azharuddin, the captain at that time, has to say about the allegation. As is known, Mr Azharuddin was banned for life on the charges of match-fixing later in his career, making his credibility on the issue suspect.Mr Kambli must be praised for being among the few cricketers to speak out against match-fixing though the phenomenon was rampant in the 1990s, as acknowledged the founder head of ICC’s Anti-Corruption unit Paul Condon recently.The controversy should make India consider enacting a law against betting in sport.last_img read more

APJ Abdul Kalam’s words inspired golf wonder boy Shubham Jaglan

first_imgEven as the felicitation ceremony of newly-crowned U-10 world champion Shubham Jaglan was about to finish at the Delhi Golf Club on Tuesday, he turned to speaker and his mentor Amit Luthra and requested him to recall a ‘defining’ moment, which, in his words, inspired him to clinch the world title in Las Vegas last month.The 10-year-old golfer from Panipat’s Israna village was four strokes behind the leader after the first round of the International Junior Golf Academy’s world star of junior golf tournament in Las Vegas. Down and out, Jaglan received the news of demise of former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam just before the start of the second round through a message by Luthra. It wasn’t a news Jaglan was expecting before the start of play, but the content of message changed his frame of thoughts immediately. The message contained a photograph of Kalam with his famous quote written on it. The quote was, “A dream isn’t which you see in sleep, but it is something which doesn’t let you sleep.”The words worked wonders for Jaglan and by the time he finished the second round, he was leading by stroke stokes, which also turned out to be his victory margin.”Mr Kalam’s photo with his quote was truly inspirational. I was miles behind after round 1, but his words inspired me to turn the tables on others as I won the tournament by a whopping five-stroke margin,” Jaglan, who returned in the Capital in the wee hours on Tuesday, said.   advertisementJaglan, a product of Delhi-based Golf Foundation NGO, had also won the Junior World Golf Championships just a week before the Las Vegas event . A Standard VII student at the Capital’s Laxman Public School, finished sixth at the US Kids World Championships in Pinehurst, North Carolina, last week. “It was a great learning experience. I was sure of finishing on a high in all three events. I played really well in San Diego and Las Vegas and came pretty close to win in Pinehurst.”Jaglan comes from a family of wrestlers and his uncle Jagpal Singh has been a multiple-time national champion in 55kg Greeco Roman category. Though Jaglan has been shining in junior ranks for three years, his success is yet to inspire kids from his village to take up golf. However, he says after watching him gain success, the villagers too dream of achieving same success in wrestling. “They don’t play golf as wrestling is the main sport in Israna, but now they too want to become a world champion in wrestling.”The two major titles have made him a cynosure of golf fans across globe, but Luthra has a strong word of advice for him to not go astray. “I have a lot of friends in Bollywood who asked me to make a biopic on Jaglan. I flately refused them. I told them not to have a larger-than-life portrayal of Jaglan now. I think the main challenge for him will be to keep his feet grounded and focus only on golf if he wants to become a world-class golfer like Jordan Spieth or Rory McIlroy.”last_img read more