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The Canadarm... A Canadian-made mechanical manipulator built under the direction of federal researchers and the expertise of Spar Aerospace, the Canadarm makes a flawless debut in its first in-flight test aboard the U.S. space shuttle Columbia. Seven years in the making, the device, designed to launch or retrieve satellites in space as well as assemble space stations, participates in more than 50 space missions by the late 1990s.
Diabetic Insulin... Dr. Saran Narang of NRC builds on the historic discovery of insulin 60 years earlier when he discovers how to engineer bacteria genetically to produce human insulin.
An Explosive Idea... Canada becomes the world's top exporter of bomb suits after the RCMP ask the Canadian Explosive Research Laboratory to design and make a safer material that police can wear when dismantling bombs.
Saved from Space... A distress signal from an airplane that crashed in northern B.C. is relayed by a Russian satellite to the Search and Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking System (SARSAT), only nine days after the system's first test. By 1999, SARSAT plays a key role in more than 3,500 rescues.
Small Fry... The Shepody potato is ushered from research labs in Fredericton, New Brunswick to the world market and quickly becomes one of the most popular varieties for French fries.
Sun Spotting... The first commercial sale of Brewer Ozone Spectrophotometers, automated instruments that accurately measure ozone levels. They provide the first detection of ozone depletion outside Polar Regions and later make Canada the first country to be protected by an UV-index forecasting system.
Canadian in Space... Marc Garneau is the first Canadian to fly in space.
Rid of Ring Rot... Potato ring rot is virtually eliminated in some areas of Canada after researchers develop the world's first monoclonal antibody for the bacterial blight.
Bugs Beware... A super-concentrated biological pesticide, Futura® is introduced to control outbreaks of spruce budworm, gypsy moth and forest tent caterpillar, building on work since the 1960s to replace chemical pesticides with biological alternatives.
A Moth to A Flame... A portable moth trap is invented to lure male moths into captivity by using with female pheromones as bait. By 1992, another commercial product entices females as well with the addition of light.
Clean Bill of Health... After three decades of work and millions of tests, Canada declares itself free of bovine brucellosis, a serious disease of cattle that also threatens humans. As a result, Canadian cattle are recognized as among the healthiest in the world. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency later extends the testing to bison, caribou and reindeer.
Space Seals... An American engine manufacturer turns to Canadian scientists at Chalk River Laboratories for help in the engineering and design of seals to correct faults that caused the 1986 explosion of the U.S. Challenger Space Shuttle.
Toxic Mussels... Accomplishing in 104 hours what would normally take months, federal researchers work around the clock to track down domoic acid, a toxin that contaminated mussels, killing three people in P.E.I. Their efforts saves lives, as well as the Atlantic shellfish industry.
PCB Be Gone... A method to make polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) safe for disposal results in the elimination of 25,000 tonnes stockpiled in Canada after the toxic chemical--used as additives in paints, inks, lubricants and asphalt--was banned in North America in the mid-1970s.
Olympic Torch... Canadian researchers design the Olympic Torch for the Calgary Olympics and provide a special fuel mixture to keep the flame burning.
Faster than the Wind... The Canadian Ski Team trains for the Calgary Olympics in NRC's wind tunnel in Ottawa, while the bobsledding team practises on new sled runners improved by federal researchers.
Oil Clean Up... The use of agricultural fertilizers to clean up marine oil spills captures worldwide interest after Canadian scientists apply biomediation treatment to 130 kilometers of British Columbia shoreline contaminated by the Exxon Valdez oil spill. The treatment breaks up oil three to five times faster than other methods.
Space Station... Canada secures a place with leading space-faring nations on the team assembled to create the International Space Station, the largest scientific project in history. Building on an expertise in space robotics, the Canadian Space Agency later contributes the Station's robot, the Mobile Servicing System (MSS), to build and maintain the Station for its anticipated 10 years in orbit.
Smart Sound... A new generation of audio 'smart speaker' which adjusts sound quality to the environment and delivers the same digital sound to all parts of the room is introduced to market in collaboration with seven Canadian audio equipment manufacturers.
Safe Blades... A process that uses neutrons to produce images of internal structures is used to test all high-temperature jet engine turbine blades made in Canada. The neutron radiography process ensures there are no hidden flaws and reduces the potential for blades to break in flight.
Bogus Bucks... An optical security patch, made of super-thin ceramic layers that change colour in different light, is used on paper money and drivers' licences to prevent counterfeiting and fraud.
Winning Wines... In a follow-up to tests developed in the 1970s, Canadian scientists improve upon procedures to detect and destroy serious viral diseases infecting imported European grapevines. As a result, high-quality grapes, combined with Canadian expertise, produce award-winning wines from the healthiest vineyards in the world.
Green Technologies... A host of environmentally friendly technologies, called Microwave-Assisted Processes (MAP™), reduces amounts of solvents and energy required to produce a variety of products, thereby cutting greenhouse gas emissions and waste disposal costs. One use is to extract essential and edible oils from natural products.
Snow Problem... Replacing a ruler, an automatic snow depth sensor allows even unstaffed weather stations in northern climates to compute the depth of the fluffy stuff by recording the elapsed time between the emission and return of an ultrasonic pulse from the sensor to the snow surface.