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Computer Systems Applications

MATHEMATICS spawned the computer in the 1940s and gave it its name. Its first application was the computation of theoretical ballistic tables for traditional bombs, but calculations for the atomic bomb and then for guided missiles soon became the driving force for computer development.

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Botany History

Long before formal study of plants began in Canadian academic institutions, they were studied by explorers and talented amateurs.

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Satellite Communications

Characteristics A typical satellite consists of a number of repeaters (transponders), each of which provides a large-capacity communication channel. Each transponder has a receiver tuned to a frequency range that has been allocated for uplink communication signals from Earth to the satellite.

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The Internet and Music

The Internet began in the early 1970s as a "network of networks" involving several different US university and government computer systems. It quickly expanded to incorporate computer networks in other countries, including Canada.

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Canada and the Development of the Polio Vaccine

During the first half of the 20th century, poliomyelitis, a.k.a. polio or “The Crippler,” hit Canada harder than anywhere else. Successive polio epidemics peaked in a national crisis in 1953. By that time, however, scientists at Connaught Medical Research Laboratories of the University of Toronto had made key discoveries that enabled American medical researcher and virologist Jonas Salk to prepare the first polio vaccine. Connaught Labs also solved the problem of producing the vaccine on a large scale. Canada went on to play an important role in the development of the oral polio vaccine and international efforts to eradicate the disease.

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

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Hospital Architecture

The financial sources and social mandates of hospitals have varied widely over the past 400 years. The earliest hospitals included military and marine hospitals, as well as Roman Catholic and then Protestant benevolent institutions.

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The Nature of Things

The Nature of Things is television’s longest-running science series. It debuted on CBC on 6 November 1960. Originally a half-hour program that demonstrated scientific concepts, it evolved into an hour-long documentary during renowned scientist David Suzuki’s tenure as host (1979–2023). The groundbreaking program was among the first to present scientific findings on subjects such as HIV/AIDS and climate change. Over the course of more than 60 seasons and over 900 episodes, The Nature of Things has been seen in more than 80 countries. It has received 17 Gemini Awards and seven Canadian Screen Awards.

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Climate Severity

 Environment Canada devised the climate severity index to rate a locality's climate according to human comfort and well being. The index has a range from 1 to 100, with a score of 1 representing the least severe climate and 100 the most.

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SNC-Lavalin

SNC-Lavalin is a global engineering and construction firm based in Montreal, Quebec. It works in several industries including oil and gas, mining, cybersecurity and nuclear power. It also builds public and private infrastructure around the world.

The company began in 1911 as an engineering consultant for power projects. In 1991, the original company, called SNC, merged with competitor Lavalin to become SNC-Lavalin. Today it employs some 50,000 people in more than 50 countries. In 2018, it registered $10.1 billion in revenue.

In Canada, the company has received contracts to build major transit projects in cities including Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Worldwide, SNC-Lavalin oversees resource-extraction and infrastructure projects in North America, the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and the Middle East.

Since 2011, allegations of fraud and corruption on the part of SNC-Lavalin and several of its executives have plagued the company with scandal.

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Prospecting

The first organized mineral exploration by Europeans in what is now Canada was led by Martin FROBISHER in his 3 expeditions to Baffin Island (1576, 1577 and 1578).

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Psychedelic Research in 1950s Saskatchewan

In the 1950s, Saskatchewan was home to some of the most important psychedelic research in the world. Saskatchewan-based psychiatrist Humphry Osmond coined the word psychedelic in 1957. In the mental health field, therapies based on guided LSD and mescaline trips offered an alternative to long-stay care in asylums. They gave clinicians a deeper understanding of psychotic disorders and an effective tool for mental health and addictions research. Treating patients with a single dose of psychedelic was seen as an attractive, cost-effective approach. It fit with the goals of a new, publicly funded health-care system aimed at restoring health and autonomy to patients who had long been confined to asylums.

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

Macleans

Global Warming Crisis

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on February 21, 2000. Partner content is not updated.

Across the Arctic, the ominous signs are everywhere. With average temperatures in some parts of the Canadian North rising at the rate of about 1° C each decade, glaciers are in retreat. Scientists report a dramatic thinning of the Polar ice cap.

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Genetics

Genetics may be conveniently divided into 3 areas of study: transmission genetics, molecular genetics and population genetics.

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Roads and Highways

Canada's first highways were the rivers and lakes used by Indigenous peoples, travelling by canoe in summer and following the frozen waterways in winter. (See also Birchbark Canoe; Dugout Canoe.) The water network was so practical that explorers, settlers and soldiers followed the example of the Indigenous peoples. (See also Coureurs des bois; Voyageurs.) To a greater extent than most other countries, Canada depends for its social, economic and political life on efficient communication and transportation. (See also Economy; Politics.)

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Crop Research

Crop research may be defined as activity directed to making the production, marketing and use of commercial crops more efficient and profitable.