Science & Technology | The Canadian Encyclopedia

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  • Article


    Biotechnology was defined by the 1981 Federal Task Force on Biotechnology (Brossard Committee) as the "utilization of biological processes, be they microbial, plant, animal cells or their constituents, for the provision of goods and services.

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  • Article

    Birchbark Canoe

    The birchbark canoe was the principal means of water transportation for Indigenous peoples of the Eastern Woodlands, and later voyageurs, who used it extensively in the fur trade in Canada. Light and maneuverable, birchbark canoes were perfectly adapted to summer travel through the network of shallow streams, ponds, lakes and swift rivers of the Canadian Shield. As the fur trade declined in the 19th century, the canoe became more of a recreational vehicle. Though most canoes are no longer constructed of birchbark, its enduring historical legacy and its popularity as a pleasure craft have made it a Canadian cultural icon.

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  • Article

    Birth Control in Canada

    Birth control means the deliberate prevention of conception and pregnancy. The birth control methods used in Canada range from the simplest (like abstinence) to the most complex (like male or female surgical sterilization). (See also History of Birth Control in Canada.)

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  • Article

    Childbirth in Canada

    Childbirth is the beginning of a child’s life and a powerful rite of passage for the mother. Methods vary according to culture and time periods. Before the 19th century, Canadians relied mostly on the help of midwives, as well as prayers and even superstitions, to face the intense pains of contractions. Advances in the field of obstetrics in the 19th and 20th centuries introduced new ways of shortening the length of childbirth and managing its pains. Those developments also resulted in the transition of childbirth from homes to hospitals. Today, the different methods of childbirth can involve the help of physicians, midwives and doulas.

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  • Macleans

    Biting Back against Fluoride

    "IT'S THE CRIME of the century," 82-year-old Len Greenall says, his voice rising in passionate indignation. "It's an immoral invasion of bodily privacy." He's sitting at the dining room table of his Surrey, B.C.This article was originally published in Maclean's Magazine on November 25, 2002

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  • Article


    One of the easiest ways to understand bitumen is to compare it to its cousin, conventional crude oil. Whereas conventional crude oil flows freely, bitumen does not. At room temperature it looks like cold molasses, and must be either heated or diluted before it flows.

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  • Article

    Black Hole

    A black hole is an object in outer space whose the gravitational field is so strong that no matter or light can escape. Astronomers believe such regions can form from the collapse of massive stars. Researchers at Canadian institutions have contributed to theories supporting the existence of black holes.

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  • Macleans

    Blackout Exposes Ontario's Dependency on Imported Power

    THERE are few things as mournful as a darkened, silent midway. So when the Canadian National Exhibition opened last week, Toronto as a whole took heart. The historic Aug.This article was originally published in Maclean's Magazine on September 1, 2003

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  • Macleans

    Blackout Hits Ontario and Seven US States

    This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on August 25, 2003. Partner content is not updated. IT TOOK just nine seconds to turn the clock back a century. A voltage fluctuation in some Ohio transmission lines. Then, at 4:11 p.m. n a muggy August Thursday, a faster-than-you-can-blink reversal in the flow of current, suddenly sucking away a city's worth of power from the eastern half of the continent.

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  • Article


    All these workers practised a technology that came from the great French craft tradition; their highly skilled art derived from trade guild knowledge, instruction and scientific treatises.

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  • Article

    Blindness and Vision Loss

    There are approximately 836,000 visually impaired Canadians, although only a small number of them have been blind from birth.

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  • Article

    Blindness and Visual Impairment

    In Canada the largest agency serving blind and visually impaired persons is The Canadian National Institute for the Blind. CNIB has 9 geographic service divisions with over 60 regional offices, and the CNIB Library for the Blind serves all areas of Canada.

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  • Macleans

    Blood Substitute Tested

    According to medical lore, the ancient Incas were the first to attempt blood transfusions. And over the centuries doctors around the world have pumped everything from beer to urine into hemorrhaging patients.This article was originally published in Maclean's Magazine on August 24, 1998

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  • Macleans

    Body Dysmorphic Disorder Can Lead to Self-Mutilation

    This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on December 19, 2005. Partner content is not updated.

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  • Article

    Bomarc Missile Crisis

    The CIM-10B Bomarc was the world’s first long-range, nuclear capable, ground-to-air anti-aircraft missile. Two squadrons of the missile were purchased and deployed by the Canadian government in 1958. This was part of Canada’s role during the Cold War to defend North America against an attack from the Soviet Union. Prime Minister John Diefenbaker’s refusal to equip the missiles with nuclear warheads led to a souring of Canada’s relationship with the United States, especially once the Cuban Missile Crisis brought the issue to the fore. The issue split Diefenbaker’s Cabinet and contributed to his party losing the 1963 election.

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