Umthombo 2 - Page 5



IMAGES: OCEAN CURRENT: PETER PROKOSCH, WWW.GRIDA.NO/RESOURCES/1328; ANTARCTICA: PETER RYAN; BARBER CLIPPERS: EDGAR CHAPARRO, UNSPLASH
More light for
the universe
Barber clippers contaminated
with blood viruses
After analysing hair clippers from 50 barber shops in three townships
in Cape Town, South Africa, researchers found that 42% of them
tested positive for blood and 8% carried markers for Hepatitis B, a
virus that infects the liver. None of the clippers in the sample tested
positive for HIV. Although the levels of Hepatitis B were enough to
pose a risk of infection, the researchers didn’t know of any cases of
Hepatitis B or HIV infection from clippers in this setting.
The study was led by Nonhlanhla Khumalo, professor of
dermatology at UCT.
UCT is part of a consortium that’s taking
astronomy to greater heights with the launch
of the new optical telescope, MeerLICHT
– meaning ‘more light’. The customised
0.65-metre telescope has an enormous field
of view – 10 500 by 10 500 pixels – matching
that of MeerKAT, which was launched in July
and is South Africa’s pathfinder towards the
Square Kilometre Array (SKA).
MeerLICHT is the precursor for an array
of telescopes due to be placed in Chile
and mandated to search for counterparts
to gravitational waves. The project was
championed by seven institutions from
South Africa, the Netherlands and the
United Kingdom.
Modelling an
ancient Bagan
temple
Kubyauk-gyi Temple in Bagan,
Myanmar, is one of almost 300
buildings that were damaged by the
earthquake that struck the region
in 2016. UCT’s Zamani Project has
been travelling to the site – one
of the world’s most remarkable
archaeologically – and surveying
the damaged buildings to produce
3D models, orthoimages and
geographic information systems
that enable the restoration efforts.
This accurate, 3D model of the
Kubyauk-gyi Temple is the result of
data gathered by laser scanners,
drones and cameras transported to
the site by the team in April.
u mth om bo
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