• Social media users in Kenya and South Africa trust science, but still share COVID-19 hoaxes
    Herman Wasserman, University of Cape Town and Dani Madrid-Morales, University of Houston The COVID-19 pandemic has led to widespread disinformation circulating on social media globally. This includes false information about the virus, its origins and possible cures for the disease it causes. Much of the inaccurate information was related to China, the country where the […]
  • Nairobi is rapidly losing its green spaces: this could open the door to more diseases
    Hundreds of trees have been felled along Nairobi’s Uhuru and Waiyaki highways to make space for a new expressway. CELINE CLERY/AFP via Getty Images Eric Fèvre, University of Liverpool and James Hassell, Yale University There’s been widespread concern in Kenya over the shrinking of green spaces in Nairobi, the capital city. Most recently, there was […]
  • Healthcare professionals can help reduce antimicrobial resistance
    Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) occurs when microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites resist the actions of the antimicrobials (drugs) that are designed to kill them, making infections harder to treat hence increasing the risk of the infection. AMR is caused primarily by the inappropriate use and overuse of antibiotics in humans and animals hence reducing unnecessary use […]
  • A career in science policy
    For the longest time, I thought I wanted to work the rest of my life behind a microscope or be that lady in a white coat which seemed cool. However, as I go through my lab-based degree, I realize that all the lab stuff doesn’t match my personality and it isn’t as exciting as much. […]
  • Is Climate Change contributing to Antimicrobial Resistance?
    Global temperatures have increased by about 1ºC in the past century and is continuing to rise. Currently, countries around the world are working towards the targets set out in the Paris Agreement to keep the global temperature rise below 2ºC. The aim is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as fast as possible. Rising levels of […]
  • Science Media Africa Partnership announcement
    I (Sarah Nyakeri) am not the best communicator around but passionate about it, especially science communication. I am learning everday. I created this space to share news, articles, explainers, summaries of publications and communicate anything to do with science to the general audience and scientists too. Science Media Africa specialises in science relating to Africa. […]
  • New guidelines for malaria launched
    The WHO Guidelines for malaria, launched today, bring together the Organization’s most up-to-date recommendations for malaria in one user-friendly and easy-to-navigate online platform. They are designed to support malaria-affected countries in their efforts to reduce and, ultimately, eliminate a disease that continues to claim more than 400 000 lives each year. Users can access the evidence that […]
  • Diagnosis of malaria: WHO 2021 Guidelines
    The signs and symptoms of malaria are non-specific. Malaria is suspected clinically primarily on the basis of fever or a history of fever. There is no combination of signs or symptoms that reliably distinguishes malaria from other causes of fever; diagnosis based only on clinical features has very low specificity and results in overtreatment. Other […]
  • Mary Oyiela Abukutsa Onyango- African Scientist
    Mary Abukutsa is a dynamic result-oriented, strategic thinker and transformational leader with a personal mission statement that guides her in touching lives through the provision of excellent service with humility and integrity. She is an internationally recognized scholar, scientist, educator, mentor, leader, and a prolific researcher. She is globally recognized for her pioneering research work […]
  • A Namibian Teenager invents a Sim-Less and Airtime-less Phone
    The invention of a secondary school student named Simon Petrus got Namibia’s social media abuzz for the right reasons. Simon Petrus created a mobile phone that works with radio frequencies, no sim card nor airtime credit required. Calls can be made to anyone, anywhere, without interruptions, as long as they are done in an area with radiofrequency. The invention, […]
  • Technologically Excluded
    Almost everything is electronic these days, from banking to treatment that we receive. Yet as the world moves in a fast pace forward technologically, a lot of people are left behind. See, if you are not financially privileged, educated or lack access, then you are left behind, and that means in terms of opportunities such […]
  • Microbiology and Quality Assurance
    When I joined campus to study  industrial microbiology and biotechnology, I had no idea of where that would lead me. I knew I would end up in a lab somewhere but doing what exactly? I asked. Most of my free time as a freshman I kept browsing with the query: “jobs for industrial microbiologists and […]
  • Explainer: Clinical Trials in Vaccine Development
    Development of treatments and interventions is not a walk in the park as it requires intense research, tests, trials, financing and time. It is very possible for an approved treatment to be withdrawn from the market – if the users experience adverse effects or if the manufacturer detects irregularities in the vaccine vials. Research and […]
  • Monoclonal antibodies as a COVID-19 most promising medicine
    For more than 30 years, monoclonal antibodies have transformed the way we treat many diseases. Researchers think they are also one of the most promising treatments for Covid-19. Here’s why. 1. What are monoclonal antibodies? Monoclonal antibodies are a class of medicines that have transformed the way we prevent and treat diseases, from cancer and […]
  • What is Cloning and Types of Cloning
    Is your information about cloning accurate? If you enjoy science fiction movies there is a high possibility that you have encountered the ‘cloning’ severally. Cloning is a fascinating technology and I remember the first time that I saw it I always imagined myself making a copy of myself. And I thought that since am the original I […]
  • Interesting Facts About Microbiology
    1. The human body has more microbes than there are human cells. In fact, microbes are ten times more than the number of human cells in a living human being. 2. The human mouth has approximately 500 bacteria species. 3. The largest bacteria can be viewed with the naked eye, (Thiomargarit namibiensis and Epulopiscium fischelsoni) This bacterium is also known […]
  • Eight Common Problems with Science literature literature reviews and how to fix them
    Researchers regularly review the literature that’s generated by others in their field. This is an integral part of day-to-day research: finding relevant research, reading and digesting the main findings, summarising across papers, and making conclusions about the evidence base as a whole. However, there is a fundamental difference between brief, narrative approaches to summarising a […]
  • HIV prevention injection will soon be available for women
    Women will soon have access to a more effective HIV preventive drug that would be given in six injections a year instead of 365 daily pills. This is after a new HIV drug study showed that long-acting injection is more effective than current daily HIV pills to prevent the disease in women. Researchers announced this […]
  • Why a Biochemistry Course is a Bad Idea in Africa
    In sci-fi movies, Biochemistry seems to be Lucrative and fun but a nightmare in an African setting. Bright individuals end up telling anyone who wants to do the course to run away from it. Why? Other biology and medicine related course graduates would complain about the unit but biochemistry students would survive through the whole […]
  • The ‘science of where’, or GIS, fortified Kenya’s response to COVID-19. Here’s how
    Original Author: Peter Macharia, KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme The value and potential of geographic information system – or GIS, “the science of where” – has become even more obvious this year as the world responds to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the beginning of the pandemic, it has been used to map the spread of […]
  • COVID-19 in South Africa: who should get tested, and what’s available
    South Africa has passed the peak of the infection curve, but the danger of a resurgence remains real. At the same time new tests are becoming available. Ina Skosana asked Glenda Mary Davison to provide a guide about who should go for testing, and what’s available. When should I consider being tested? South Africa’s National Institute for […]
  • Climate change, migration and urbanisation: patterns in sub-Saharan Africa
    The link between climate change and migration has gained both academic and public interest in recent years. Many studies have found that environmental hazards affect migration. But the links are nuanced and depend on the economic and sociopolitical conditions in the respective regions of origin. So what causes people to move and where do they go? And […]
  • Kenya’s Preparedness before the First Corona Virus Case
    While coronavirus cases were increasing predominantly in China, What was Kenya doing? In this article, I am going to take you through press release summaries from the ministry of health from 20th January when screening started until when the first case was confirmed. Earlier on, Primary tests were being taken in Kenya while confirmatory tests […]
  • Study sheds light on what it takes for women to succeed – or not – in science in Africa
    Women are 49.6% of the world’s population. An estimated 70% of the health and social care workforce are women; they deliver care to around 5 billion people. Women are also at the front-line of the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic – as health care givers, researchers, scientists and policymakers. There is a well recognised gender disparity in science, technology, engineering […]
  • Stopping Africa’s scientific brain drain: Congo Basin Institute-CBI
    Congo basin Institute, situated in Cameroon, is a permanent base where Africans can work in partnership with international researchers, but working out their own solutions to their own problems. CBI is using an interdisciplinary approach to show how universities, NGOs, and private businesses can partner in international development. Instead of parachuting in experts from the […]
  • Q and A About Genetically Modified Crops
    Global agriculture finds itself engrossed in a heated debate over genetically modified (GM) crops. This debate, which features science, economics, politics, and even religion, is taking place almost everywhere. It is going on in research labs, corporate boardrooms, legislative chambers, newspaper editorial offices, religious institutions, schools, supermarkets, coffee shops, and even in private homes. What […]
  • A room, a bar and a classroom: how the coronavirus is spread through the air
    The risk of contagion is highest in indoor spaces but can be reduced by applying all available measures to combat infection via aerosols. Here is an overview of the likelihood of infection in three everyday scenarios, based on the safety measures used and the length of exposure Social gathering in a living room Wearing masks […]
  • Arimis for Skincare Survey
    We are doing a study on use Arimis for skincare. Here is a form to fill out. Loading…
  • Salmon becomes world’s first genetically-modified animal to enter food supply
    A fast-growing salmon has become the first genetically engineered animal to be approved for human consumption in the United States. 9 things you need to know about GM Salmon GMO answers The decision, issued by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on 19 November, releases the salmon from two decades of regulatory limbo. The […]
  • Why uptake of traditional drugs is slow in Kenya
    This material was originally published by Graham Kajilwa on Standard Media “What do you call a doctor in your mother tongue?” Maina Mwea asks in a tone that seeks to prove his assertion. “Daktari…?” I respond, and it irks him. “You see!” he says. “This is how much we have been brain washed.” Maina is […]
  • After 15 Years in the Making, You Can Finally Buy Del Monte’s Pink Pineapple
    Breeding or genetically modifying fruit to fit the consumer’s ideal is hardly a new concept — humans have been looking to perfect their crops pretty much since the invention of agriculture. But while crops have previously been designed for the highest yield, best taste, or, most recently, the widest supermarket appeal, the latest trend, particularly […]
  • Scientists build on HIV research in bid to stop snakebite deaths
    NAIROBI — Earlier this year, in Gombe state, Nigeria, health workers injected 35 vials of anti-venom into a patient who was bitten by a snake. It didn’t work. This is because the government imported and distributed an ineffective product, providing it to patients at no cost, according to Dr. Abdulrazaq Habib, head of the Nigeria Snakebite Research […]
  • $100M genomic sequencing initiative launches in Africa
    GABORONE, Botswana — A $100 million initiative launched this week that aims to expand next-generation genomic sequencing tools and expertise across the African continent, which experts say could be used to tackle disease outbreaks more effectively. It comes amid concern that insufficient sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 in Africa could mean tools developed to fight the virus that causes COVID-19 are less […]
  • We have Phd’s whose Education was a waste of resources – Dr. Njoki Maina
    A PhD at 27, Dr. Njoki Maina rejected a position in Harvard to Move to teach in University of Nairobi. In an interview with Standard, she tells her story. What are the consequences of a developing country not investing in research? You become consumers rather than producers of solutions to your problems, so you are […]
  • Coronavirus: Why Africans should take part in vaccine trials
    There have been numerous scare stories about trials for a coronavirus vaccine being carried out on people in Africa. However, scientists say that it is vital that Africans take part in these trials, arguing it could jeopardise efforts to find a vaccine that works worldwide – and not just for richer nations. In March, Tedros […]
  • The FDA has approved the first treatment for Ebola
    There is now an approved treatment for Ebola, one of the world’s deadliest diseases.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced October 14 that Inmazeb, a cocktail of lab-made antibodies developed by the pharmaceutical company Regeneron, can be used to treat adult and pediatric patients with Ebola. The announcement comes less than a year after the […]
  • Kenya Scientists Release Genome sequencing for the Covid-19 Cases in Kenya
    Scientists in Kenya have successfully sequenced genomes of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the global COVID-19 pandemic, obtaining important information about the genetic composition of viral strains in 122 of the confirmed cases in Kenya. The scientists from Centre for Geographic Medicine Research-Coast (CGMR-C) and the KEMRI’s Centre for Virus Research (CVR) and in collaboration […]
  • ‘We cannot just be testing grounds’: COVID prompts African scientists to call for homegrown vaccines
    African scientists say that the COVID-19 pandemic should be a wake-up call that prompts the continent to produce more of its own human vaccines. As a first step, they are urging more African countries to participate in trials of the COVID-19 vaccines currently under development. “Though we have not made these products in Africa, we […]
  • How Infection Works
    There is a close connection between microbes and humans. Experts believe about half of all human DNA originated from viruses that infected and embedded their nucleic acid in our ancestors’ egg and sperm cells. Microbes occupy all of our body surfaces, including the skin, gut, and mucous membranes. In fact, our bodies contain at least 10 times more bacterial cells than human […]
  • Coronavirus in Africa: Five reasons why Covid-19 has been less deadly than elsewhere
    Many African countries have been praised for waging an effective campaign to combat the spread of coronavirus despite their reputation for having fragile state heath systems. The continent, which has a population of more than one billion, has had about 1.5 million cases, according to data compiled by the John Hopkins University. These figures are […]
  • When Africa was a German laboratory
    At the turn of the 20th century, epidemics of trypanosomiasis, or “sleeping sickness” as it is more commonly known, started to appear across Africa. A vector-borne parasitic disease causing apathy, slow movement, speech disorders, physical weakness and death, sleeping sickness raised alarm among European colonizers on the continent who feared that its spread could slow […]
  • How to bring Sci-Hub to Its Knees
    When you google this scientists’ darling AKA paywall publisher’s enemy, phrases like “removing barriers in the way of science” will greet you. Although created in 2011 by Alexander Elbakyan, Google trends show that sci-hub related keywords shot up in search between Nov-Dec 2017 (The second lawsuit) and between Dec 2019 to especially April 2020 (Must be COVID-19). Ranking top on the sci-hub-related-keywords charts were the United States, (especially Massachusetts followed by California), India, China and Ethiopia.
  • There is nothing like ‘Safe Social Distance’ in a room: CDC agrees COVID-19 is Airborne
    CDC has finally acknowledged yesterday that we can become infected with COVID-19 through airborne transmission especially in rooms or spaces with inadequate ventilation. People farther than 6 feet apart can still be infected by tiny droplets and particles that float in the air for minutes and even hours. The CDC says that despite this information, […]
  • Study Shows How the Brain Works While Speaking To Someone of a Different Social Class
    The human brain apparently responds differently whenever we talk to someone of a different socioeconomic background from our own, compared to when we speak to someone we perceive as from a similar background, according to a new study. Researchers from the University College London (UCL) and Yale University have conducted a new imaging study. They […]
  • Circadian rhythm: liver gene helps body keep working smoothly after late nights and midnight snacks
    We all have an  internal “clock” which drives our circadian rhythm (the natural internal process that regulates our sleep-wake cycle during a 24-hour period). External light levels, eating times and physical activity all act to keep the body clock synchronised to the external environment. But our circadian rhythm can be disrupted by any number of […]
  • COVID-19 disrupting mental health services in most countries, WHO survey
    The Covid-19 pandemic not only comes with additional mental health issues but has disrupted or stopped mental health services in 93% of the countries surveyed by WHO between June and August 2020. Before the pandemic, countries were not able to meet the populations increasing demand for mental health services as countries allocated less than 2% […]
  • Coronavirus in Senegal: Keeping Covid-19 at bay
    Despite only having seven doctors for every 100,000 people, Senegal has been widely praised for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic. This article looks at how the country has managed to keep Covid-19 in check. “When the first case came, we were very anxious and I was angry because it was an imported case,” says […]
  • Build Science in Africa
    In 10 Years time, the world population has been projected by the UN to be 8.3 billion from the current 7.8 Billion (October 2020) and 3.5 temperature increase. By 2050 Europe’s population will decrease by 10% while the fastest-growing continent’s population, Africa, will double. By 2100, global temperatures will have risen by 1.5°C due to […]
  • Africa CDC, FIND partner to build capacity for COVID-19 rapid diagnostic tests in Africa
    The Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) have announced a new partnership to build capacity in readiness for the introduction of new, high-quality antigen rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for COVID-19 that are anticipated to become available soon. FIND is co-convener of the Access to […]
    The first-ever government-funded research project on Synthetic Biology in Kenya has been launched. The project, funded under the country’s National Research Fund, will employ synthetic biology innovations in addressing intractable challenges in food security and healthcare. Led by a multidisciplinary team of local researchers, the project titled Developing low-cost diagnostic tools and biosensors for rapid detection […]
    Photo: Genetic Literacy Project Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary Ms. Betty Maina said farmers should expect to plant Bt cotton by November 2020. Speaking during a science media café organized by OFAB Kenya, the CS said, there will be nothing to stop farmers from planting Bt cotton in the coming October – November […]
  • African countries need cheaper COVID-19 tests: here’s how to get them
    COVID-19 continues to infect millions of people as the death toll mounts. There is currently no cure which means that controlling this disease requires a multi-pronged approach. This includes personal protection such as masks, social distancing and the isolation of infected individuals and their contacts. Testing detects infected individuals, especially the 45% of people who do not […]
  • Installation of Tree-mounted radio system in Cameroon’s Dja Reserve
    Working with the Congo Basin Institute and Peter Houlihan, the FieldKit team is deploying a series of stations in the Dja Faunal Reserve, one of the largest and best-protected rainforests in Africa. The stations, along with a tree-mounted LoRa radio system, will allow researchers to better study the reserve’s unique ecosystem, and will provide much needed infrastructures for […]
  • Africa HIV Viral Load Movement Launched in Addis Ababa
    The Africa HIV Viral Load Movement was launched in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 24 September 2019, in the presence of over 200 participants in the first consultative meeting of the Africa Collaborative to Advance Diagnostics (AFCAD). Launching the movement, the Director for Social Affairs, African Union Commission, Madam Cisse Mariama Mohamed said: “Access to antiretroviral […]
  • How digital technologies can help Africa’s smallholder farmers
    Digitisation refers to everything from delivering farming advice via text messaging to interactive voice response. It also includes smart phone applications that link farmers to multimedia advisory content, farm inputs, and buyers. And it covers the use of drones and satellite systems to inform farmer activities, such as crops and times to plant; and types and […]
  • Algeria and Argentina certified malaria-free by WHO
    Geneva, 22 May 2019 – Algeria and Argentina have been officially recognized by WHO as malaria-free. The certification is granted when a country proves that it has interrupted indigenous transmission of the disease for at least 3 consecutive years. Contracted through the bite of an infected mosquito, malaria remains one of the world’s leading killers, […]
  • Vaccine Production in Africa: A Feasible Business Model for Capacity Building and Sustainable New Vaccine Introduction
    Africa has the highest incidence of mortality caused by infectious diseases, and remarkably does not have the capacity to manufacture vaccines that are essential to reduce mortality, improving life expectancy, and promoting economic growth. GAVI has significantly helped the introduction of new vaccines in Africa but its sustainability is questionable, and new vaccines introduction post-graduation […]
  • AI Kenya and Zindi Data Science hackathon recap
    A brief look at what went down during AI Kenya’s first Data science hackathon event in collaboration with Zindi Africa, held on 13th October 2018 at Moringa School. Entry to expert level data scientists from Kenya converged at the event to solve the bus ticket sales prediction problem for Nairobi traffic.
  • How we can stop Africa’s scientific brain drain
    How can Africans find solutions to Africa’s problems? Conservation biologist Kevin Njabo tells his personal story of how he nearly became part of the group of African scientists who seek an education abroad and never return — and why he’s now building a permanent base on the continent to nurture and support local talent. “I’m […]