Browse "Biology"

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Food Additives

Consumers normally consider that the term "food additive" refers to almost all substances, primarily chemical in nature, added to foods during production, manufacture, packaging or storage.

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Agricultural Soil Practices

Harvesting of marketable timber, if present, constitutes the first stage and may involve individual trees or a stand. Logs may be cut, stripped and piled with tree harvesters; trees may be knocked down, lifted and moved with tree-dozers.

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Agricultural Research Stations

For more than a century, the federal government has funded agricultural research through a network of research centres strategically placed in almost every province. This research program has played a major role in developing the more than $120-billion Canadian agrifood industry.

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Agriculture and Food

Canada's agriculture and food industries have changed greatly in the years since the Second World War. Growth in Canada’s economy, and associated social changes, have altered the way food is produced, processed, handled, sold and consumed.

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Organic Agriculture

Organic agriculture is defined as the sustainable cultivation of land for food production that nourishes soil life, nurtures animals in their natural environment and feeds them according to their physiology.

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Agroforestry

Agroforestry is an intensive land management system that integrates the benefits from biological interactions created when trees or shrubs are intentionally grown with crops or livestock.

Macleans

Alzheimer's Gene Found

Frances Hodge was only 47 when Alzheimer's disease began to destroy her brain. The first symptoms appeared in 1975, when her memory began to fail. By the early 1980s, she could no longer talk, and in 1986 she entered a nursing home, where she remained until her death four months ago.

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Floras and Botanical Journals

Before 1900 a published "flora" was, loosely defined, a comprehensive, itemized description of the plants of a specific geographical region. Usually more than a mere list, it should have been an analytical description, discussing habitats and distribution and citing previous authorities.

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Tommy Douglas and Eugenics

Tommy Douglas — the father of socialized medicine in Canada and one of the country’s most beloved figures — once supported eugenic policies. In 1933, he received a Master of Arts in sociology from McMaster University for his thesis, “The Problems of the Subnormal Family.” In the thesis, Douglas recommended several eugenic policies, including the sterilization of “mental defectives and those incurably diseased.” His ideas were not unique, as two Canadian provinces (and 32 American states) passed sexual-sterilization legislation in the 1920s and 1930s. However, by the time Douglas became premier of Saskatchewan in 1944, he had abandoned his support for eugenic policies. When Douglas received two reports that recommended legalizing sexual sterilization in the province, he rejected the idea.

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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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Antibiotic Resistance in Canada

Antibiotic (or antimicrobial) resistance developed with the wide distribution of antibiotic medications in the 20th century. Resistance occurs when the medication is no longer capable of killing or preventing the reproduction of bacteria. A major global health challenge, antibiotic resistance makes treating diseases more difficult and expensive, and it results in fewer antibiotics that are effective in managing infectious diseases. Canada is experiencing rising rates of antibiotic-resistant infections such as gonorrhea. In hospital settings, infections that resist multiple drugs are also becoming more common. Canadian health agencies, medical professionals and industries are active in multiple efforts to combat this problem.

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Aquaculture

Aquaculture is the human-controlled cultivation and harvest of freshwater and marine plants and animals. Synonyms include fish farming, fish culture, mariculture, fish breeding and ocean ranching.

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Bacteria

Bacteria are microscopic single-celled organisms capable of rapid growth and division.

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Biochemistry

Biochemistry, encompasses the study of the chemical nature of living material and of the chemical transformations that occur within it.

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Biodiversity

 Biodiversity is the variety of life (genetic, species and ecosystem levels) on Earth or some part of it. It includes all living forms, plants, animals and micro-organisms. It is the natural wealth of a region that provides resources and ecological services.

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Bioethics

The word bioethics is formed from the Greek word for life (bios) and the traditional word for the systematic study of right conduct (ethics).