Editorial Note

It is hard to believe we are in the month of February already. We wish all our readers a prosperous 2016 and success in your endeavours.

I am glad to announce that we have managed to secure Roswika Media to produce the bimonthly Nano newsletter in collaboration with the NPEP team for a 12 month period starting with this February issue.

Over the last year, we were privileged to share some of the highlights of research taking place in the fields of nanoscience and nanotechnology in South Africa, looking for solutions to pertinent problems in areas such as health, energy and water. We got to know some of the key researchers in the field through profiling their work in the newsletter. This issue of the newsletter shares some of the benefits nanotechnology may bring to improve the health of the people of South Africa, Africa and the whole world through the work of local researchers, and some significant events initiated by the Department of Science and Technology.

We are proud of the work of our young writers who are developing their science communication portfolios through the newsletters. We would like to involve more young researchers in this initiative to develop a generation of communicating researchers.

This year celebrates the International Year of Pulses which is a global initiative adopted by the United Nations in 2013. The hope of the 2016 International Year of Pulses (IYP 2016) is to position pulses as a primary source of protein and other essential nutrients. IYP 2016 will promote broad discussion and cooperation at the national, regional and global levels to increase awareness and understanding of the challenges faced by pulse farmers, be they large scale farms or small land holders. Please explore the website and learn about the role of pulses, at http://www.fao.org/pulses-2016/en/. If you would like to participate in the 2016 International Year of Pulses, contact the GPC IYP 2016 team.

The IYP 2016 aims to heighten public awareness of the nutritional benefits of pulses as part of sustainable food production aimed towards food security and nutrition. Pulse crops such as lentils, beans, peas and chickpeas are a critical part of the general food basket.  Pulses are a vital source of plant-based proteins and amino acids for people around the globe and should be eaten as part of a healthy diet to address obesity, as well as to prevent and help manage chronic diseases such as diabetes, coronary conditions and cancer; they are also an important source of plant-based protein for animals.

Nanotechnology presents great benefits to agriculture and food industries and thus has a lot to offer to the International Year of Pulses. Although not long ago the impact of nanotechnology on agriculture was considered to be small, nanotechnology may prove to have a significant impact in the way we farm and produce food. Nanotechnology holds much promise for the improvement of food and agriculture through various applications and products from farm to fork.

The editorial team would like to thank you for your support over the past years and for your contributions to the newsletter, in the form of content and feedback. We encourage you to continue your contributions and share your views to maximise the value of this newsletter.

As always, we value your input, articles or recommendations on all things nano that you would like to see profiled at the NPEP NanoNews, from news items and postgraduate opportunities to event notifications. For all comments and suggestions, simply email us at  nanonews@npep.co.za.