March 2021

NWU produces research that makes an impact!

Welcome to the second edition of the North-West University's 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.


Study highlights the link between obesity and academic performance

While most people are aware of the health risks associated with children being overweight or obese, they do not know about the academic consequences that come with these conditions.

Deidré van Staden conducted a study on how child obesity, overweight, stunting and wasting affect academic performance in mathematics, language, reading and writing.

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"Jaws" and tourism: Our facination with finned fiends

It was 1975 and the concept of the "blockbuster film" was in its infancy. A young director named Steven Spielberg adapted Peter Benchley's harrowing novel Jaws into the first bona fide summer spectacular that changed the face of modern cinema forever. What was once revered was now hated and feared. Sharks: big fish with large teeth that are remorseless in their pursuit of our feeble flesh. Spielberg and Benchley both would come to regret that imprint of sharks in our psyche. It has been many years since, but our fascination with those finned fiends has not subsided. The tourism sector attested to that.

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Researcher takes part in international fungi study

The fungus that spoils bread does not work alone. It has guests hidden deep within its cells – bacteria – with whom it has a mutually beneficial relationship that can be positive or negative for humans. Understanding and modifying this relationship can have a profound impact on the food, medical and agricultural industries. This is the focus of a four-year international collaboration between the NWU and two universities in the United States. It is part of a new grant that enables Prof Rasheed Adeleke and his American counterparts to determine how the fungi-bacterial relationship can be managed.

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NWU-WTO: exploring Africa's trade potential

Ever since the World Trade Organisation Chairs Programme (WCP) was launched some years ago in the NWU's TRADE research focus area, Africa has remained a key focus area for the WCP's research and outreach activities. Although Africa is known to have the potential to become an economic powerhouse and trading hub, many trade opportunities remain untapped because countries often lack the means to identify them. Trade initiatives, though, cannot succeed in the absence of reliable information about export and supplier markets and related product opportunities.

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Whisper's PhD research could help SA industry embrace digital transformation

Just as offices, shops, classrooms and lecture halls are embracing digital transformation and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, so must the manufacturing industry. Known as Industry 4.0 or I4.0, the transformation is essential for the sustainability of local manufacturing. This prompted NWU PhD Engineering student Whisper Maisiria to help the South African industry develop the skills and competencies needed for a digital future.

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