• Cassava: a solution to food security in Southern Africa?

    Cassava: a solution to food security in Southern Africa?

    Cassava is the third most important source of human calories after rice and maize, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, so when 60% of crops in Africa are lost due to disease, warning bells sound.

  • Newsletter

    Celebrating the highlights of South Africa’s growing biotechnology industry

    South African biotechnology has come a long way since the 2001 Biotechnology Strategy was released. We review some of the world-class achievements of SA’s biotechnology industry.

  • A research institute for South Africa's patients

    The ICMM’s work on cystic fibrosis diagnosis epitomises its bedside-to-bench approach to research, which works well in countries like South Africa where the disease burden is high and resources are limited.

  • Taking the sting out of diabetes

    Taking the sting out of diabetes

    Jabbing yourself with a hypodermic needle stings, but countless diabetic patients today live with the reality of this thorn in their side. Luckily, University of KwaZulu-Natal researchers are working on replacing the needle with a painless dermal patch that releases insulin directly into the skin.

  • The CSIR puts tabacco plants to good use

    The CSIR puts tobacco plants to good use

    Elephant populations have become a major problem in several of South Africa’s national parks. To help solve the problem, the CSIR is working on a harmless biological method of elephant contraception.

Welcome to the Public Understanding of Biotechnology

The Department of Science and Technology has launched a Public Understanding of Biotechnology (PUB) programme to ensure a clear, balanced understanding of the scientific principles, related issues and potential of biotechnology and to stimulate public debate around its applications in society.

Did you know that…

  • Researchers are using laser tweezers to build 3-D cell structures?

  • Researchers have discovered a way to trick leukemia cells into self destructing using the Bcr-Abl molecule? Bcr-Abl is a cancer causing protein that causes leukemia.

  • Researchers have harvested stem cells from the brains of cadavers?

  • Scientists have developed biodegradable bandages that may reduce the appearance of scars?

  • Researchers have produced nerve cells from bone marrow stem cells?

  • Scientists are using nuclear waste to develop a new form of cancer therapy?

  • Scientists have created a complex RNA computer that is able to solve puzzles?

  • Researchers are creating a flying robotic insect in order to better understand how insects fly?

  • Scientists have created the first transgenic cloned mouse?