UNIVERSITY OF THE WITWATERSRAND, JOHANNESBURG
FACULTY OF SCIENCE
PROFESSOR/ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR (MICROBIOLOGY/MOLECULAR BIOLOGY)
SCHOOL OF MOLECULAR & CELL BIOLOGY
The School of Molecular and Cell Biology seeks an established academic to make a dynamic contribution to the discipline of Microbiology & Biotechnology and will be expected to take on both academic and administrative tasks within the School. S/he will also undertake independent focused research within areas such as microbiology, molecular biology, biotechnology or bioinformatics.
TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. The Cape Town event is called TEDxCapeTown. Here are some recent talks by SASM members at TEDxCapeTown.
We would like to extend an open invitation to all SASM members to make contributions to our blog. Let's embark on a crowd-sourcing exercise for new content, if you like! All that is required for blog articles is a one pager (1 X A4) with sound scientific writing and some eye-catching photographs or graphics. The content could be “almost anything” microbiology-related, for example:
Interested applicants should send a letter of motivation, CV, certified copy of highest degree, and the contact details of three references to:
Prof Marla Trindade (Tuffin), Acting Director of IMBM, UWC.
Application closing date: 25 September 2014.
Position available as of 1 November 2014.
Remember the Bela-Bela Forever Resorts Warmbaths and SASM2013 conference?
Here are the links to the presentations and images:
PowerPoint presentations (only viewable in Google Chrome browser)
The Craig Venter Institute built a synthetic bacterial genome, and George Church, Farren Isaacs and colleagues have engineered the E. coli genome using an innovative platform called MAGE and genome synthesis methods. Now the focus is on the first eukaryote, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This organism has 16 linear chromosomes and a relatively compact (~14Mb total; ~12 Mb nonredundant) and well-understood genome. The synthetic yeast genome can be used to answer a wide variety of profound questions about fundamental properties of chromosomes, genome organization, gene content, function of RNA splicing, the extent to which small RNAs play a role in yeast biology, the distinction between prokaryotes and eukaryotes, and questions relating to genome structure and evolution. The availability of a fully synthetic genome will allow direct testing of evolutionary questions not otherwise approachable. The eventual “synthetic yeast” being designed and refined could eventually play an important practical role. Yeasts, and S. cerevisiae in particular, are preeminent organisms for industrial fermentations, with a wide variety of practical uses including ethanol production from agricultural products and by-products.
Nine positions available at Kapa Biosystems. Click on the link below:
Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences Department of Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology, UFS
Professor and Academic Department Head - Ref.: Natland1407-027
Duties and responsibilities:
- Teaching and learning of Microbiology or Biochemistry
- Conduct research and provide research supervision.
- Study guidance and supervision of masters and PhD-students.
- Involved in community service.
FACULTY OF NATURAL AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES
SCHOOL OF PLANT AND CROP SCIENCES
PROFESSOR AND HEAD (ONE POST)
Reference number: 21608
In pursuit of the ideals of excellence and diversity, the University of Pretoria wishes to invite applications for the above vacancy.
The University of Pretoria's commitment to quality makes us one of the top research Universities in the country and gives us a competitive advantage in international science and technology development.
The Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences is one of the most diverse science faculties on the African continent. The Faculty hosts undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the broad knowledge fields of Agricultural, Biological, Mathematical and Physical Sciences and our curricula are characterised for its breadth and depth in its offerings. The Faculty is recognised by the ISI Web of Knowledge field rankings in the Plant and Animal Sciences (including Forestry), Environment and Ecology and Agriculture.
One of the main goals of the UP 2025 Strategic Plan is the creation and enhancement of solid multidisciplinary research programmes based on the current disciplinary strengths and research capacity. Progress in addressing a number of the global challenges such as food security, climate change, environmental sustainability, ecology and biodiversity is closely linked to the University of Pretoria’s knowledge and understanding of the basic and applied plant sciences. To enhance the current strengths and opportunities, a more coherent effort towards addressing the global challenges related to the plant domain was needed. The Faculty has recently established the formation of a new School of Plant and Crop Sciences through which we will consolidate all our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the plant and applied plant sciences.
This consolidation process will enable the University to align strategic research activities in basic plant science including molecular aspects with agriculture, biotechnology, ecology and biodiversity. A single academic home will enable the University to strengthen strategic international and local partnerships with industry and government which can attract major external funding streams for several of the critical knowledge fields. It will further contribute and strengthen existing centres of excellence, Institutional Research Themes and institutes and will enable the development of future research chairs of national relevance. Through these efforts it is believed that the strengths in the field of basic and applied plant sciences could be used to assist the University in harnessing its potential to make a difference in South Africa, Africa and the rest of the world.
The Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences invites applications for the position of Professor and Head of the School of Plant and Crop Science (HoS).
For application enquiries please contact: Prof. L. Korsten, Tel: +27 12 420 3295.
Application form can be found on the University website
Application of enzymes in Organic Chemistry
Biocatalysis researchers at WITS (Prof Dean Brady, Prof Charles de Koning, Dr Amanda Rousseau, Dr Karl Rumbold and Dr Moira Bode) are seeking students interested in pursuing MSc or PhD degrees or a Post-Doctoral study. Successful applicants will work in multi-disciplinary projects towards the synthesis of biologically active or commercially useful compounds.
Post-Doc bursary of R180 – R200k p.a.
PhD bursaries of R60 - R100k p.a.
MSc bursaries of R40 – R70 p.a.
South African nationals or permanent residents will receive priority.
Over the past 30 years, he has made internationally recognised contributions to the field of molecular biology about microorganisms that can be used in biomining practices. He has been evaluated as an A-rated scientist by the National Research Foundation since 1992. It is the highest ranking that a South African scientist can receive, and recognises the person as an international leader in his or her specific field. In 2011 he was also rewarded the SASM Gold Medal for exceptional service to Microbiology over an extended period of time.
We asked Prof Rawlings some key questions about his career as a microbiologist.
The quality of the essential commodity water is being compromised by contaminants originating from anthropogenic sources, industrial activities, and agriculture amongst others. Water scarcity and severe drought in many regions of the world also represents a significant challenge to the availability of this resource. Domestic rainwater harvesting (DRWH), which involves the collection and storage of water from rooftops and diverse surfaces, is successfully implemented worldwide as a sustainable water supplement. In South Africa, a water-scarce country, the use of domestic rainwater harvesting is predominantly practised by communities situated in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. While the use of DRWH tank systems can definitely suffice and serve as an alternative water supply, there is a health risk associated with the use of this water source for drinking purposes, especially if the water is used untreated. Currently the information available on the microbial and chemical quality of harvested rainwater in South Africa is limited.
Antibiotic resistance in bacterial pathogens is a major cause of concern for modern medicine, as this renders these “miracle drugs” ineffective. The accidental discovery of penicillin in 1928 by Alexander Fleming and the countless lives saved by this antibiotic in the 1940’s pioneered modern medicine. However, injudicious use of penicillin and various other antibiotics has caused a major problem in the treatment of “once easily treatable” bacterial infections. A marked increase in antibiotic-resistant pathogens has been reported over the last few decades, including the well-known methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The emergence of multi-drug resistant bacteria has amplified this problem. Antibiotic resistance is causing a regression back to a “pre-antibiotic era” where a minor scrape or cut can lead to a battle between life and death. Skin is our first line of defence against the onslaught of various pathogens causing infection; it plays a role in thermoregulation and maintaining of homeostasis in addition to having immunological, neurosensory and metabolic functions. Severe skin damage, however, exposes underlying tissue to microbial invasion which can easily progress into severe life threatening infections if not treated successfully.
Very few people know that the smell from wet soil on a rainy day is due to the presence of a compound called geosmin. This compound is produced by a variety of soil dwelling actinobacterial strains. Actinobacteria are amazing microorganisms and have been exploited over the past century for their ability to produce antibiotics, enzymes, antioxidants and pigments.
The University of the Western Cape is partner of a large-scale, four-year project launched in October 2012 called PharmaSea funded by the EU. The UWC team is led by Prof Marla Tuffin, Acting Director of the Institute for Microbial Biotechnology and Metagenomics (IMBM), and in collaboration with Prof Michael Davies-Coleman.The collaborative project PharmaSea will bring European researchers to some of the deepest, coldest and hottest places on the planet. Scientists from the UK, Belgium, Norway, Spain, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Denmark will work together to collect and screen samples of mud and sediment from huge, previously untapped, oceanic trenches. The large-scale, four-year project is backed by more than €9.5 million of EU funding and brings together 24 partners from 14 countries from industry, academia and non-profit organisations.
Economic growth and stability, standard of living, social inclusion, development of human capital, critical infrastructure, urbanization, industrialization, human rights and jobs for the nation are among the ideals and realities faced by most nations and governments in our current world. However, the benefits of economic welfare are frequently accompanied by increased pressure on the natural environment and resources. High levels and volumes of pollution and waste are released into marine ecosystems, especially near urban areas. Taking into account that 21 of the 33 mega cities of the world are located on coastlines, high volume discharges present a major threat to the health and well-being of marine life, including cetacean species.