FMT, what’s the big stink about? Faecal Microbial Transplantations, a term which will have many scratching their heads thinking that this cannot possibly mean what it sounds like, let alone be a legitimate transplantation procedure – or even more surprising, is that it is a very successful one. Faecal Microbial Transplantations (FMT) or bacteriotherapy as it is sometimes known; is the process of transferring “stool from a healthy donor into the gastrointestinal tract for the purpose of treating recurrent C. difficile colitis” (Johns Hopkins Medicine). C. difficile colitis is responsible for disturbing the normal production of bacterial flora in the [...]
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It’s called adulteration, honey Adulterated honey, also known as fake honey is ‘honey’ which has been diluted with, or sometimes even created by using the following components: glucose, dextrose, molasses, sugar syrup, invert sugar, flour, corn syrup and starch, essentially anything other than the natural floral nectar that it is supposed to be comprised of. Adulterated honey is a substance that has more of an artificial influence then a natural one, however, it is packaged, marketed and represented as the ‘real deal’ – a product naturally produced by bees and harvested by farmers. Recently, it has come to light that [...]
Manic cow: how biltong affects the brain Biltong is a firm South African family favourite consisting of dried, cured meat. It is preserved using sodium nitrite or potassium nitrate – also known as saltpetre as well as other flavourants such as pepper, coriander and spices such as cloves. Biltong’s origins can be traced back to the Khoisan people, as well as the European settlers of the 17th century. Each had their own way of preserving meat pre-refrigeration technology. The preservation methods included slicing the meat, salting it and hanging it up to dry, as well as using vinegar as part [...]
The problematic poaching of Pangolins The practice of poaching is abhorrently prevalent across the world and across animal species and has been successful in endangering, if not obliterating entire species. South Africa’s national reserves have become home to poachers on the hunt for popular and pricey illegal exports: namely rhino horns, elephant tusks, big cat body parts and bones as well as pangolin scales. Although South Africa’s poaching is largely associated with the rapidly diminishing rhino population as well as elephants, it is actually the pangolin that is the most poached animal not just locally but in the world. Pangolins [...]
‘Snow White’ syndrome: far from a fairy-tale Resignation syndrome is an interesting and unique, relatively little-known dissociative syndrome that eventually “induces a catatonic state” in the sufferer. The syndrome is prevalent amongst young people; particularly those who have suffered a psychological trauma- the patients affected by the disorder predominantly live in Sweden and come from refugee or immigrant–based families, often those who have been faced with deportation or family separation. Resignation syndrome is considered by most to be a culture-based illness as thus far it is believed to exist only in Sweden and only amongst asylum-seeking refugees. Also known as [...]
What’s up with wasabi? Wasabi, also known officially as wasabia japonica, Japanese horseradish, or more traditionally ワサビ, is a plant that shares common traits with horseradish, cabbage and mustard, as they come from the same plant family, namely the Brassicaceae family. Wasabi has its origin in Japan and usually grows alongside rocky, water-rich areas such as mountain river valleys as well as streams. Wasabi has long been a part of traditional Japanese cuisine and is particularly associated with sushi and sashimi. In its most common form, wasabi is consumed as a paste that can be utilised in the food process such [...]
Maddening Misophonia Crunching, slurping, chewing, coughing, chomping, gulping and even breathing loudly are just some of a plethora of onomatopoeia that can trigger a feeling of anger and intense annoyance at the source of the maddening sound. These sounds can be enough to make your blood boil, but you can take comfort in the fact that you are far from alone in these sentiments. However, what it does mean though is that you are one of many people who suffer from a disorder and “genuine brain abnormality” termed misophonia; but, what does this mean? Misophonia is a disorder that results [...]
The many moons of Jupiter Jupiter is one of the most renowned planets in our solar system, often attributed to the fact that it is also the largest one in the solar system. It is the fifth planet from the sun, and although it is only one-thousandth the size of the sun, it is almost two and a half times bigger than all the other planets in the solar system combined and is therefore classified as a giant planet. To put things into perspective size-wise, it would take eleven Earths to fit across Jupiter’s equator (NASA). In 1979, it was [...]
The future of fertility: Three parents, IVG & the CRISPR/Cas9 It is a generally acknowledged fact that in order for humans to successfully procreate, two different genetic contributors are required to ensure the inheritability of certain genomic traits. These necessary genetic contributions from two ‘parents’ or contributors can occur in multiple; ways both natural or through ‘assisted reproductive technology’ (ART) which includes In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF). IVF is the process whereby the female’s egg is extracted, along with a sperm sample from the male contributor. The harvesting of the eggs – a minor surgical procedure, occurs post hormone treatments in [...]
Groundbreaking disruptive technology collaboration to save the Rhino People the world over as well as conservationists are fast becoming desperate and emotions are running high as the Rhino population is nearing extinction resulting from inhumane poaching. Whilst the innocence of animals in the wildlife are battling the survival of the fittest, other factors on the rise are that humans are becoming avengers, inflicting harm on the unsuspected creatures of the wild for their own gains. Continents have come together to find solutions to this crisis, whilst in the southernmost tip of Gauteng, South Africa, a group of industrious, diligent and [...]