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eLife ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 10 ◽  
Author(s):  
Nikhil Faulkner ◽  
Kevin W Ng ◽  
Mary Y Wu ◽  
Ruth Harvey ◽  
Marios Margaritis ◽  
...  

Background: The degree of heterotypic immunity induced by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) strains is a major determinant of the spread of emerging variants and the success of vaccination campaigns, but remains incompletely understood.Methods: We examined the immunogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.7 (Alpha) that arose in the United Kingdom and spread globally. We determined titres of spike glycoprotein-binding antibodies and authentic virus neutralising antibodies induced by B.1.1.7 infection to infer homotypic and heterotypic immunity.Results: Antibodies elicited by B.1.1.7 infection exhibited significantly reduced recognition and neutralisation of parental strains or of the South Africa variant B.1.351 (Beta) than of the infecting variant. The drop in cross-reactivity was significantly more pronounced following B.1.1.7 than parental strain infection.Conclusions: The results indicate that heterotypic immunity induced by SARS-CoV-2 variants is asymmetric.


Author(s):  
Chris Harris ◽  
Lucrecia Maboane

ABSTRACT The Garies wollastonite deposit is located in the Bushmanland terrane of the Namaqualand Metamorphic Province and is part of a discontinuous calc-silicate unit bounded by granulite facies gneiss that experienced peak metamorphic temperatures above 800 °C. In bulk, the deposit is dominated by wollastonite, but varied proportions of garnet, diopside, quartz, calcite, and vesuvianite are also present. Mineral chemistry variations across the deposit are minor, and the absence of inclusions indicates textural and chemical equilibrium. The wollastonite-bearing rocks have unusually low mineral δ18O values: –0.6 to +2.2‰ for garnet, –0.2 to +2. 6‰ for clinopyroxene, and –0.2 to +0.4‰ for wollastonite. Calcite δ18O values range from 6.8 to 11. 8‰ and δ13C values from –6.4 to –3.2‰. Calcite δ18O values are unusually low for calc-silicate rocks, but Δcalcite-garnet values from 3 to 12‰ indicate O-isotope disequilibrium between calcite and the silicate minerals. Garnet-biotite metapelitic and diopside gneisses have unexpectedly low δ18O values (<7‰). The approach to O-isotope equilibrium displayed by coexisting silicate minerals, and low mineral δ18O values in calc-silicate and metapelite and metapsammite gneisses, is consistent with low δ18O values being acquired before peak metamorphism. Low δ18O values in the minerals of the calc-silicate rocks require interaction with external fluid at high water/rock ratio. We suggest that the deposit represents a metamorphosed skarn that developed at the contact between the original carbonate rocks and intruding felsic magmas.


Author(s):  
Wellington Garikai Bonga

The debate of the link between xenophobia and importance of foreign direct investment is of interest. A phrase says it all, “One cannot want foreign money and hate foreign businesses at the same time.” Does South Africa, as a country, love foreign investment, and by extension, foreign investors? A ‘yes’ and a ‘no’ answer will do for this question. Foreign direct investments are the most desirable form of capital inflows to emerging and developing countries. Many benefits are linked to accrue to a nation because of FDI inflows. FDI is climatic sensitive, and usually goes where it is wanted most and where conducive environment prevails. The South African nation is dominated by unending violence that also targets foreigners including their businesses. Effective policies to curb xenophobia seems to be lacking. There exist xenophobia denialism among the political leaders, making it more difficult to halt the problem. Letting the nation continue turning into a hostile destination for foreigners may pose a great investment challenge in the longer term. The path that South Africa is walking today, of protecting and failing to address issues of xenophobia, have a long term impact to investment in the country. Conflicts and violence attacks, hence xenophobia, continue to affect FDI flows several years into the future. The trend of net FDI has already shown a downward trend that may be attributed to issues of unrest persistent in the economy. The study strongly indicate that repetitive xenophobic attacks significantly impact future FDI inflows negatively. Immediate action is required to minimize the damage caused by xenophobia in the country. Investment climate restoration is required to ensure favorable economic growth path for the country. KEYWORDS: Economic Growth, Foreigners, Foreign Direct Investment, Instability, Investment, Investment Climate, Socio-economic Development, Violence, Xenophobia, South Africa


2021 ◽  
Vol ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print) ◽  
Author(s):  
Katrin Gasior ◽  
Chrysa Leventi ◽  
Michael Noble ◽  
Gemma Wright ◽  
Helen Barnes

PurposeThe paper aims to assess the effects of taxes and benefits on inequality and poverty in five African countries: Ghana, Mozambique, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia.Design/methodology/approachThe authors use newly developed micro-simulation models to analyse the distribution and composition of incomes.FindingsThe study's results suggest that income-based measures result in higher levels of poverty and inequality than consumption-based measures. The country with the most effective system in terms of reducing income inequality and poverty is South Africa; in Ghana, the tax-benefit system was found to have the smallest impact on inequality. The systems of Uganda, Mozambique and Zambia were estimated to have no poverty-reducing properties; many individuals remain largely unaffected by them as they are too poor to pay direct taxes, and benefits are very modest and narrowly targeted.Originality/valueWhile consumption data are crucial for measuring poverty, income data are becoming vital for assessing the extent to which tax-benefit policies achieve redistribution in economies where own-consumption is becoming less significant and the share of people in employment is increasing. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first study where poverty and inequality are measured in both terms, for several African countries in a common framework.


2021 ◽  
Vol 117 (7/8) ◽  
Author(s):  
Mary Cole

There are three major mollusc collections in South Africa and seven smaller, thematic collections. The KwaZulu-Natal Museum holds one of the largest collections in the southern hemisphere. Its strengths are marine molluscs of southern Africa and the southwestern Indian Ocean, and terrestrial molluscs of South Africa. Research on marine molluscs has led to revisionary papers across a wide range of gastropod families. The Iziko South African Museum contains the most comprehensive collections of Cephalopoda (octopus, squid and relatives) and Polyplacophora (chitons) for southern Africa. The East London Museum is a provincial museum of the Eastern Cape. Recent research focuses on terrestrial molluscs and the collection is growing to address the gap in knowledge of this element of biodiversity. Mollusc collections in South Africa date to about 1900 and are an invaluable resource of morphological and genetic diversity, with associated spatial and temporal data. The South African National Biodiversity Institute is encouraging discovery and documentation to address gaps in knowledge, particularly of invertebrates. Museums are supported with grants for surveys, systematic studies and data mobilisation. The Department of Science and Innovation is investing in collections as irreplaceable research infrastructure through the Natural Science Collections Facility, whereby 16 institutions, including those holding mollusc collections, are assisted to achieve common targets and coordinated outputs.


2021 ◽  
Vol 117 (7/8) ◽  
Author(s):  
R. Arthur Chapman ◽  
Guy F. Midgley ◽  
Kathleen Smart

Planning for future water resource management in a warming climate is confounded when an expectation of increasing evaporation from open water surfaces with global warming is contradicted by observations of secular declines of pan evaporation. Decreasing pan evaporation has been observed globally – a trend which has been attributed variously to declines in wind run (‘global stilling’), declines in radiation (‘global dimming’) and increases in ambient humidity. This contrast between expectation and observation is known as the ‘evaporation paradox’. We evaluated trends in Symons pan evaporation from 154 pans across South Africa. Whilst 59 pans (38% of the 154) showed a statistically significant decrease in observed evaporation rates (p≤0.05), 30 (20%) showed an increase, and 65 (42%) showed no change. These results do not support simple attributions of trends to a common global cause. There is no spatially coherent pattern to trends across South Africa, suggesting that shifts in local drivers of evaporation confound expectations of secular trends due to global drivers. Changes in fetch conditions of the Symons pan installations may be implicated, whereby increasing tree density (through afforestation, alien plant invasion and woody thickening) increases surface friction, reducing wind run, and/or irrigation nearby, increasing local humidity. Correct attribution of the evaporation paradox to reduced wind run in South Africa must consider changing local conditions. Increased tree cover has been observed near a third of the South African Symons pans. Observed evaporation increases for one fifth of pans may implicate expected global drivers for pans where local fetch conditions have remained relatively constant.


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