This conference continues till 14 July 2017 at the ICC in Durban, South Africa.
Here are some of the highlights from Day 3:
The morning began with a round table discussion on Precision Medicine. The Session Chair was Professor Glenda Gray, President and CEO of the South African Medical Research Council.
She noted that it was important to see why some people have different results to vaccinations. She emphasised that we were at a crossroads in precision medicine.
Professor Dave Bates from the University of Nottingham reminded us that the whole process of genome sequencing has to be done. ‘You need to know which drug to give to which cancer patient,’ said Professor Bates. He told us that genome sequencing is going to become important. He went on to state that Doctors and Scientists need to be trained to a higher level.
Professor Raj Ramesar of UCT noted that we have to have an African vision. ‘Family trees can now show you the various cancers a family could get,’ said Professor Ramesar.
During a question and answer session Professor Bates reminded delegates that the best research is from people who never get a disease.
In the late morning a lively panel discussion took on the following topic: Environmental Sustainability with a focus on renewable energy.
The round table was chaired by Dr Syed Shams Yazdani of ICGEB, India.
‘Global warming is happening,’ said Dr Yazdani. He also revealed that India has taken the initiative to double their R & D budget in the next 5 years.
Dr Lijun Zhang from the University of Pretoria stated that we need to use energy more efficiently.
‘If I use a more efficient lightbulb I can save energy,’ noted Dr Zhang. ‘Energy security, food security and water security depend on each other,’ said Dr Zhang.
He also told us about Smart Buildings and how they can make buildings more energy efficient.
Next up was Dr Thembakazi Mali of Clean Energy Solutions, SANEDI. She told us that South Africa is blessed with many renewable energies such as the sun, the waves and the wind.
‘We want research to be applied and we want to work with universities,’ said Dr Mali.
Professor Innocent Davidson of DUT gave us some deep insights.
‘Energy security is critical,’ said Professor Davidson.
He shared that wind energy tends to be highest at night.
‘Do we recycle?’ asked Professor Davidson.
Dr Shashi Kumar of ICGEB India delved into the world of the Algae.
‘Algae has great potential to pick up the nutrients from wastewater,’ said Dr Kumar.
In a question and answer session Professor Davidson said ‘Every South African should be educated’ and Dr Zhang added, ‘It’s not just about technology, it’s also about education.’
The next session went even deeper into the topic of Environmental Sustainability.
Professor Les Mampuru of University of Limpopo was the session chair.
‘Sustainability is anchored on 3 pillars, social sustainability, environmental sustainability and economic sustainability,’ said Professor Mampuru.
Mr Joseph Bwapwa of MUT gave us this fascinating insight, ‘50% of oxygen on the planet come from algae according to NASA.’
‘The environment has the ability to cleanse itself,’ stated Prof. Mampuru.
There was much to say on social media about this conference. We even had people listening to the conference on Twitter all the way from Italy.
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