University accredited research institute
Tackling diseases of importance in Africa
Impacting health policy and practice
UCT’s Mandy Mason is among five young scientists to scoop one of the Crick African Network’s (CAN) first African Career Accelerator Awards.
The recent IDM Postgraduate Student Publication Competition, an initiative of the Institute Transformation Committee, was adjudicated by Emeritus Professor Siamon Gordon, Chair of the IDM’s International Scientific Advisory Committee and Emeritus Professor Wieland Gevers, Founding Director of the IDM. A total of 13 original research and 4 review articles were received from which the winning entries were selected and announced at a prize-giving event held in the IDM on 26 November. All 17 publications illustrate the high quality of research underway in the IDM and highlight the great depth of talent in our next-generation researchers.
Researchers at the University of Cape Town’s Biopharming Research Unit (BRU) have created a promising new vaccine candidate to help prevent the devastating effects of African Horse Sickness (AHS). And they’re producing it in tobacco plants. “We’ve got a vaccine candidate that’s extremely immunogenic,” says Prof Ed Rybicki, Director of the BRU. “It also produces neutralising antibodies when administered to healthy horses.” That means that the vaccine works really well in initial tests, but needs to be tested against an actual outbreak of AHS before it can be sold. BRU recently published these results in the respected Veterinary Research journal.
It was previously believed that a group of proteins known as CCCs, which transport chloride ions and positive ions together across the membranes surrounding cells, sets the chloride driving force. However, it has recently been suggested that negatively charged ions that are unable to cross the membrane (or ‘impermeant anions’ for short) may set the driving force instead by contributing to the net charge across the membrane. Düsterwald et al. used a computational model of the neuron to explore these two possibilities.