Professor Zephne van der Spuy (gynaecology and obstetrics) has been named runner-up in the quality of life category in the Women in Science Awards, held in Johannesburg earlier this month. Van der Spuy has been testing male contraceptives on volunteers and is also researching the polycistic ovaries syndrome, which renders many women both infertile and fat.
In the category of Distinguished Woman Scientist, special mention was made of the world-class research conducted by Professor Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan, a world expert on the microscopic structure of dinosaur bones. These provide clues to life hundreds of millions of years ago and prove that, in their bones, dinosaurs weren't very different to humans today.
UCT nuclear chemistry doctoral student Freda Morris won a R10 000 fellowship honouring women working in those fields of science that have traditionally been off-limits to women. Morris works with radioactivity at the National Metrology Laboratory, belonging to the CSIR. One of her tasks is to ensure that South African medical and industrial technologists, who use over 100 radionuclide solutions, continue to adhere to strict international standards by stringently measuring their radioactivity, using a huge machine known as a liquid scintillation counting system.
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