SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Apartheid

Apartheid was a system of institutionalised racial segregation that existed in South Africa and South West Africa from 1948 until the early 1990s. Apartheid was characterised by an authoritarian political culture based on baasskap, which ensured that South Africa was dominated politically and economically by the nation's minority white population. According to this system of social stratification, white citizens had the highest status, followed in descending order by Asians and black Africans; the economic legacy and social effects of apartheid continue to the present day. Broadly speaking, apartheid was delineated into petty apartheid, which entailed the segregation of public facilities and social events, grand apartheid, which dictated housing and employment opportunities by race. Prior to the 1940s, some aspects of apartheid had emerged in the form of minority rule by white South Africans and the enforced separation of black Africans from other races, which extended to pass laws and land apportionment.

Apartheid was adopted as a formal policy by the South African government after the ascension of the National Party during the 1948 general elections. A codified system of racial stratification began to take form in South Africa under the Dutch Empire in the eighteenth century, although informal segregation was present much earlier due to social cleavages between Dutch colonists and a creolised, ethnically diverse slave population. With the rapid growth and industrialisation of the British Cape Colony in the nineteenth century, racial policies and laws became rigid. Cape legislation that discriminated against black Africans began appearing shortly before 1900; the policies of the Boer republics were racially exclusive. The first apartheid law was the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act, 1949, followed by the Immorality Amendment Act of 1950, which made it illegal for most South African citizens to marry or pursue sexual relationships across racial lines; the Population Registration Act, 1950 classified all South Africans into one of four racial groups based on appearance, known ancestry, socioeconomic status, cultural lifestyle: "Black", "White", "Coloured", "Indian", the last two of which included several sub-classifications.

Places of residence were determined by racial classification. Between 1960 and 1983, 3.5 million black Africans were removed from their homes and forced into segregated neighbourhoods as a result of apartheid legislation, in some of the largest mass evictions in modern history. Most of these targeted removals were intended to restrict the black population to ten designated "tribal homelands" known as bantustans, four of which became nominally independent states; the government announced that relocated persons would lose their South African citizenship as they were absorbed into the bantustans. Apartheid sparked significant international and domestic opposition, resulting in some of the most influential global social movements of the twentieth century, it was the target of frequent condemnation in the United Nations and brought about an extensive arms and trade embargo on South Africa. During the 1970s and 1980s, internal resistance to apartheid became militant, prompting brutal crackdowns by the National Party government and protracted sectarian violence that left thousands dead or in detention.

Some reforms of the apartheid system were undertaken, including allowing for Indian and Coloured political representation in parliament, but these measures failed to appease most activist groups. Between 1987 and 1993, the National Party entered into bilateral negotiations with the African National Congress, the leading anti-apartheid political movement, for ending segregation and introducing majority rule. In 1990, prominent ANC figures such as Nelson Mandela were released from prison. Apartheid legislation was repealed on 17 June 1991, pending multiracial elections held under a universal suffrage set for April 1994. Apartheid is an Afrikaans word meaning "separateness", or "the state of being apart" "apart-hood", its first recorded use was in 1929. Under the 1806 Cape Articles of Capitulation the new British colonial rulers were required to respect previous legislation enacted under Roman Dutch law and this led to a separation of the law in South Africa from English Common Law and a high degree of legislative autonomy.

The governors and assemblies that governed the legal process in the various colonies of South Africa were launched on a different and independent legislative path from the rest of the British Empire. In the days of slavery, slaves required passes to travel away from their masters. In 1797 the Landdrost and Heemraden of Swellendam and Graaff-Reinet extended pass laws beyond slaves and ordained that all Khoikhoi moving about the country for any purpose should carry passes; this was confirmed by the British Colonial government in 1809 by the Hottentot Proclamation, which decreed that if a Khoikhoi were to move they would need a pass from their master or a local official. Ordinance No. 49 of 1828 decreed that prospective black immigrants were to be granted passes for the sole purpose of seeking work. These passes were to be issued for Coloureds and Khoikhoi, but not for other Africans, who were still forced to carry passes; the United Kingdom's Slavery Abolition Act 1833 abolished slavery throughout the British Empire and overrode the Cape Articles of Capitulation.

To comply with the act the South African legislation was expanded to

Brain Renaissance

Brain Renaissance is a book written by Marco Catani and Stefano Sandrone. It was published on the 500th anniversary of the birth and the 450th anniversary of the death of the anatomist Andreas Vesalius. In 2016 Brain Renaissance won the biennial Award for Outstanding Book in the History of the Neurosciences presented by the International Society for the History of the Neurosciences; the 304-page book is divided into three parts. The first part deals with the biography of Andreas Vesalius, one of the greatest anatomists of all time; the second parts provides a modern translation from Latin of Vesalius' original book on the brain, namely the seventh book of De Humani Corporis Fabrica. The third part tells a 500-year story behind some of the most important discoveries in neuroscience, while relating the findings of Vesalius with the subsequent development of neuroscience. In these pages the reader becomes familiar with the ebb and flow of many ideas that had a significant impact in the history of neuroscience.

At the end of the book the authors have added an appendix with the figures and captions from the seventh book of the Fabrica. Alison Abbott dedicated a one-page review to Brain Renaissance in Nature, she underlined that through the translation from the Latin'we can appreciate Vesalius's extraordinary attention to detail, his willingness to believe his eyes when what he saw contradicted established knowledge' and that the'accompanying texts by Catani and Sandrone place the work in its historical and scientific context'. Paolo Mazzarello, who reviewed Brain Renaissance in the journal Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, wrote that the book is'a tool to explore the neuroscience from a historical point of view' as well as'a convincing attempt to use the fundamental discoveries of Andreas Vesalius as a key to start and develop multiple explorations of the brain'. Angela P. Pacheco, while reviewing Brain Renaissance for The British Society for Literature and Science, emphasised that'Catani and Sandrone have produced a remarkable compilation of the history of neuroscience from Vesalius to the present day' and that this book'is relevant both to students of medicine, to those interested in Renaissance studies and history.'

In PsycCRITIQUES, Gordon M. Burghardt noted that'Brain Renaissance is more valuable for those teaching neuroscience in all its guises and at whatever levels, in universities and medical schools. There are lots of lecture tidbits at the least, helping put our modern conceits as part of a long journey to understand mind and behavior.' Marco Catani, Stefano Sandrone. Brain Renaissance. From Vesalius to modern neuroscience. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199383832

Biorientation

Biorientation is the phenomenon whereby microtubules emanating from different microtubule organizing centres attach to kinetochores of sister chromatids. This results in the sister chromatids moving to opposite poles of the cell during cell division, thus results in both daughter cells having the same genetic information. Kinetochores link the chromosomes to the mitotic spindle - doing so relies on intricate interactions between microtubules and kinetochores, it has been shown that, in fission yeast, microtubule attachment can make frequent erroneous attachments early in mitosis, which are often corrected prior to anaphase onset by a system which uses protein kinase to affect kinetochore microtubules in the absence of astriction between sister chromatids. Proper biorientation allows correct chromosomal segregation in cell division. Although this process is not well understood, high-resolution imaging of live mouse oocytes has revealed that chromosomes form an intermediate chromosomal configuration, called the prometaphase belt, which occurs prior to biorientation.

Kitajima, et al. estimate that about 90% of chromosomes require correction of the kinetochore-microtubule attachments prior to obtaining correct biorientation. This suggests a possible cause for the elevated frequency of abnormal chromosome counts in mammals. Several methods are postulated by which chromosomes biorient when they are located far from the pole with which they need to connect. One mechanism involves the kinetchore meeting microtubules from the distal pole. Another method described is based on observations that the kinetochore of one pole-oriented chromosome attaches to kinetochore fibers of an bioriented chromosome; these two mechanisms work in concert - certain chromosomes may biorient via encounters with microtubules from distal poles, followed by kinetochore fibers that speed up biorientation with already-oriented chromosomes. Researchers have detached grasshopper spermatocytes from spindle fibers and moved them away from the metaphase plate via micromanipulation. Several chromosomes bioriented, as deduced from the observation that, upon reattachment, the chromosomes moved to the metaphase plate without moving to the poles