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Indigenous Peoples' Medicine in Canada

Since time immemorial Indigenous peoples in Canada have been using plants and other natural materials as medicine. Plant medicines are used more frequently than those derived from animals. In all, Indigenous peoples have identified over 400 different species of plants (as well as lichens, fungi and algae) with medicinal applications. Medicine traditions — the plants used, the ailments treated, protocols for harvesting and application, and modes of preparation — are similar for Indigenous peoples across the country. In many Indigenous communities, there are recognized specialists trained in traditional medicine, and their practice often reflects spiritual aspects of healing as well as physical outcomes. In many cases, the therapeutic properties of Indigenous medicines are attributable to particular compounds and their effects on the body, but in other instances, their application is little understood by western medical practitioners. Within Indigenous communities, specific methods of harvesting and preparation of medicines are considered intellectual property of particular individuals or families.

Article

Computers and Canadian Society

Canadians use computers in many aspects of their daily lives. Eighty-four per cent of Canadian families have a computer in the home, and many people rely on these devices for work and education. Nearly everyone under the age of 45 uses a computer every day, including mobile phones that are as capable as a laptop or tablet computer. With the widespread use of networked computers facilitated by the Internet, Canadians can purchase products, do their banking, make reservations, share and consume media, communicate and perform many other tasks online. Advancements in computer technologies such as cloud computing, social media, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things are having a significant impact on Canadian society. While these and other uses of computers offer many benefits, they also present societal challenges related to Internet connectivity, the digital divide, privacy and crime.

Article

Aluminum in Canada

Aluminum is a lightweight, strong and flexible metal that resists corrosion and is 100 per cent recyclable. It is a common material in vehicles, buildings, consumer goods, packaging, power transmission and electronics. Canada’s aluminum industry began at the turn of the 20th century and grew quickly during both World Wars. Today, Canada is the world’s fourth largest producer and second largest exporter of aluminum. The country nevertheless accounts for less than 5 per cent of global production. Aside from one smelter in Kitimat, British Columbia, all Canadian plants are in the province of Quebec.

Click here for definitions of key terms used in this article.

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CANDU Reactor Deal Controversy

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on December 9, 1996. Partner content is not updated.

Call it the Great Mall of China. Two years ago, Prime Minister Jean CHRÉTIEN led nine premiers and more than 400 business people on a mission to vastly expand trade with the world's most populous market.

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Olivieri Medical Dispute Settled

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on February 8, 1999. Partner content is not updated.

On all sides, the relief was obvious. Last week, the poisonous, 2 ½-year feud that pitted internationally acclaimed blood researcher Dr. Nancy Olivieri against the prestige and power of Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children ended in a face-saving compromise.

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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Recognized

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on May 4, 1998. Partner content is not updated.

Sharon Baillie once loved to read. Not any more. By the time she gets to page 3 of a book, she has generally forgotten what she read on page 1. She used to enjoy 25-km hikes on weekends. Now, she can barely manage a 20-minute walk with her golden retrievers, Buddy and Dusty.

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Cigarette Packaging

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on January 31, 2000. Partner content is not updated.

Perhaps, but if Rock gets his way cigarette packaging is about to go from colourful and cool to downright disturbing.

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Bottled Water Debate

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on June 12, 2000. Partner content is not updated.

On a remote hillside about 50 km northeast of Walkerton, Ont., springwater flows to the surface to form a clear pool. The area, surrounded by trees and about 1.5 km from the nearest farm, is fenced. Every month, Echo Springs Water Co. Ltd. employees pump about 4.

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Canadarm2's Broken Wrist

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on May 27, 2002. Partner content is not updated.

It was a bad day at the aerospace office. Around 9 a.m. on March 5, NASA called Richard Rembala, a lead engineer for CANADARM2. There was a problem.

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New Treatment for Diabetes

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on June 10, 2002. Partner content is not updated.

At the age of 14, Robert Teskey was diagnosed with type 1 DIABETES (better known as juvenile diabetes), a condition which normally comes with an automatic life sentence of insulin therapy.

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Medicare Threatened by Funding Cuts

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on December 2, 1996. Partner content is not updated.

Like hundreds of other hospitals across the country, The Pas Health Complex - a 60-bed facility attached to a 62-bed nursing home - has had its budget slashed and its staff reduced. It is operating on 20 per cent less money, or $1.4 million, than it did three years ago.

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High-Tech Artificial Limbs

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on March 13, 1995. Partner content is not updated.

Adele Fifield was just 13 years old when a doctor told her that she had cancer in her knee - and that surgeons would have to amputate her left leg. "My initial reaction was disbelief," recalls Fifield. "For days, my ears seemed to ring from the shock.

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Artificial Heart Developed

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on January 25, 1999. Partner content is not updated.

Before the end of this year, Ottawa heart surgeon Dr. Wilbert Keon hopes to open the chest of a patient whose heart has reached a state of "terminal failure" and install a shiny plastic-encased object a little larger than a man’s fist.