Brand South Africa applauds the team of scientists from the University of the Witwatersrand and other volunteers, on their discovery of a new species of human relative – Homo naledi – at the Cradle of Humankind.
How do you study tiny 200-million-year-old fossilised dinosaur embryo bones, at a resolution of .006 millimetres? Scan them in a synchrotron under high-energy X-rays generated by a kilometre-wide ring of electrons travelling at .99% of the speed of light.
An international team of six scientists – all women, and all recruited on social media – are set to explore a recently discovered cave deep under South Africa’s Cradle of Humankind to recover the fossil remains of an ancient human species that may shed new light on our origins.
In the 19th century, Charles Darwin predicted that the origins of humankind would be traced back to Africa. With its rich fossil finds, the latest a new species called Australopithecus sebida, it seems the cradle is rightfully known as the birthplace of humanity.
• SA unearths new human ancestor
Ethiopia’s grand old lady Lucy – the 3.2-million-year-old fossil discovered in 1974 – has come home after touring the US for the last five years. One of the tour's aims was to boost Ethiopia’s profile as a tourism and science destination.
• A new boost for an old science
After 27 years of civil war