Welcome to the new PSSA website!

Welcome to the new PSSA website!

The PSSA Council is proud to announce the unveiling of the organization’s brand new website. The launch is the culmination of many months of planning and hard work. Prof. Faadiel Essop commented that the idea of a new website stems from a strategic planning session by Council that was held early 2013, shortly after his and Dr. Loos’ elections as President and Secretary/Treasurer, respectively. ‘’It is part of several strategic initiatives to enhance the image and profile of the PSSA, and at the same time to also provide additional value to our membership’’, Essop stated. The website features a new on-line membership application procedure and also a ‘’members only’’ area (login required). The website is a work in progress and several areas will be strengthened over the next few months, e.g.establishment of a database of laboratory expertise available within the region, profiles of Physiologists and their research niche areas, etc. This should allow for enhanced networking among PSSA members and potential sharing of expertise and equipment. Prof. Essop thanked all those who contributed to the establishment of the new PSSA website, and also commended the technical work completed by the NetMechanic team (especially Garth, Stephen and...
PSSA Council condemns xenophobic attacks

PSSA Council condemns xenophobic attacks

The PSSA Council hereby wish to strongly dissociate ourselves from the recent xenophobic attacks that occurred in parts of South Africa. We are convinced that such actions do not represent the feelings of the majority of citizens of our beautiful country. The PSSA remains committed to extending hands of friendship to the rest of our African colleagues, to build bridges and also strengthen links with all Physiologists on our continent. The PSSA would like to encourage our fellow Africans to participate in this informative platform for the benefit of the Society and for the rest of our continent as a whole.   Prof. Faadiel Essop (President) Prof. David Gray (Vice-President) Dr. Ben Loos (Secretary/Treasurer) Dr. Saramarie Eagleton (Council member) Mrs. Mary Matshekiso (Council member) Prof. Edward Ojuka (Council member) Prof. Saartjie Roux (Council...
Are you sometimes unable to reproduce results that relied on antibodies?

Are you sometimes unable to reproduce results that relied on antibodies?

Have you been struggling with research involving antibodies? In a recent article in Nature,Monya Baker highlights the current trend of failure to reproduce research involving antibodies. Baker alertsto some of the most common pitfalls that researchers should be aware of, and provides hints how this could be avoided. These include the necessity to validate antibodies purchased from reagent companies, the potentially devastating effects of untrustworthy antibodies on research findings, and the incorrect application of antibodies. The article stresses the importance of purchasing antibodies from reputable companies, not those able to provide the cheapest product or with fastest delivery time. It also provides information about available resources to ensure that antibodies to be employed comply with what actually required. Extract of article completed by Dr. Marlise van Staden (University of Limpopo): Baker, M. 2015. Reproducibility crisis: Blame it on the antibodies. Nature521, 274 – 276 (21 May 2015). Download full article here: Blame it on the antibodies Nature May...
New PSSA logo unveiled

New PSSA logo unveiled

The idea for a new Logo originated as part of the new PSSA Council’s strategic vision and led by Prof. Faadiel Essop and Dr. Ben Loos who are currently the President and Treasurer, respectively, of the PSSA. The objective was to develop a fresh logo to match the new PSSA website.  Prof. Kathy Myburgh was elected as the Leader of the Logo Team at the PSSA AGM of 2014, and played a key role to drive this process. After a long period of design and re-design, followed by multiple rounds of voting, the new logo for the PSSA is proudly presented to our members. Prof. Essop thanked the Logo Team and its leader, Prof. Kathy Myburgh, for their excellent efforts in this regard. He also expressed his gratitude to all those who voted and also to Natalie from NetMechanics for her patience and tremendous efforts to help design the final logo.  The June 2015 PSSA newsletter will include a full article by Prof. Myburgh that will detail the entire process – from design to acceptance of the final PSSA...
Teaching, Learning and Assessment workshop to be held at PSSA Congress 2015

Teaching, Learning and Assessment workshop to be held at PSSA Congress 2015

Dr. Dee Silverthorn author of “Human Physiology: An Integrated Approach” will be coming all the way from Austin Texas to be the plenary speaker at the PSSA Teaching, Learning and Assessment workshop to start our annual conference on a ‘high note’. She will assist us to workshop matters that will help to plan a ‘roadmap’ for TLA in Southern Africa by addressing topic such as: What are the challenges facing us in respect to education? What resources do we have/need? How can we create a communication network for sharing information and promoting mentorship? For further information regarding the workshop, registration etc. please contact Dr. Saramarie Eagleton: seagleton@uj.ac.za or 011 559...
South Africans poor dietary choices dictated by the purse

South Africans poor dietary choices dictated by the purse

Various issues regarding South African dietary health are raised in this thought-provoking article by Professor ThandiPuoane (School of Public Health, University of the Western Cape).  A shocking statistic mentioned is that approximately 40% of South Africans are suffering from malnutrition.  This appears to be driven by the fact that what South Africans choose to eat is often dictated byfood prices and/or accessibility.  Sadly, a less expensive diet often consists of energy-dense foods that contain high quantities of fat, sugar and starch – high in calories and low in nutritional value.  This high intake of unhealthy energy-dense food invariably leads to obesity, which in turn increases an individual’s risk of developing hypertension, diabetes and certain cancers.  Exacerbating the situation is the apparent lack of awareness of the Department of Health’s dietary guidelines.  This article therefore highlights the central responsibility of the South African government to a) educate the public about healthier food choices and b) to make healthy food both affordable and easily accessible. Extract of article completed by Dr. Bianca Thomas (University of Johannesburg): Full article can be accessed at:...