April 2019

NWU – research with impact!

Welcome to 2019's second edition of the North-West University's research and innovation newsletter, Research@NWU. The aim of the newsletter is to showcase research projects, researchers and related events. This newsletter is one of seven, distributed to academic staff and researchers during the year.


Research identifies novel treatment options for rare disease

The research of a brilliant postgraduate student at the NWU is a breakthrough in the understanding of mitochondrial disease and identifying novel treatment options for patients.

Karin Terburgh investigated mitochondrial disease as part of her MSc studies, using mice already suffering from this disease, known as Ndufs4 knockout mice.

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Research explores the spread and prevention of HIV/Aids in Africa

The NWU's Prof Erhabor Idemudia recently broke ground on research that looks at African cultural practices that aid the spread of HIV/Aids and what can be done to curtail this. According to Prof Idemudia's research, African culture is generally male-dominated, with women accorded a lower status than men. This means men are socialised to believe that women are inferior and should be under their control, while women are socialised to over-respect men and act submissively towards them.

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Making the choice: open access versus traditional journals

Researchers are architects of innovation. However, their research findings will only impact the world if they are effectively shared with the rest of the academic community and the world. With this in mind the Library and Information Service team at the NWU recently hosted an Open Access Week across its three campuses. Until now, the sharing of such research information has traditionally been facilitated by peer-reviewed closed journals which can only be accessed by means of a paid subscription.

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Water-friendly cowpea plant is packed with potential

In a country that is struggling with water supply, the NWU has found a cowpea plant that does not require a lot of water compared to other field crops. This particular cowpea is indigenous to the Southern African region and the NWU will be the first institution in
the world to introduce it to the scientific community. It can be found in small pockets around Mafikeng, Lehurutshe, Kuruman and Botswana. The crop is known by different names in different regions, such as Mae a Tsilwana and Ggopo tsa Nare.

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Get to know the NWU's research chairs

The NWU has a number of dedicated and knowledgeable research chairs that help steer the university into realising its ideal of producing research and innovation with a notable international impact. In this edition we meet Prof Sanette Marx, the Department of Science and Technology/National Research Foundation's Research Chair in Biofuels and Other Clean Alternative Fuels.

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Please share your comments and input by sending an email to the newsletter editor, willie.duplessis@nwu.ac.za