Health and Science: Great developments in Canadian technology
More than 150 years after their independence, Canada continues to punctuate the world of medicine with numerous inventions and innovations. Technological advancement in the health sector keeps changing for the better and Canada is right in the middle of the success story.
From effectively isolating insulin and creating a vaccine for polio, there are many other contributions to the field science that Canada has made. Some of these developments are very recent and therefore still not well known. The following are four major developments in Canadian technology that have shaped health and science as we know it.
The XVIVO Lung Perfusion System
This very recent innovation is an additional to the success of lung transplant technology. Developed in 2011, the ex vivo perfusion method is still being used to test the viability of a donor’s lung before it is transplanted to the recipient. The method works by attaching the lungs to a device mimicking a similar environment to that of a human body. The device then tests the functions of the lungs by passing a solution of proteins, oxygen, and other vital nutrients through them. This system is used today to rule out the unsuitability of a donated lung and recommends it for transplant. The perfusion process takes at least 12 hours to complete and also includes the science of treating the lungs with antibiotics and other anti-inflammatory drugs to create an environment for self-repair and self-healing. This system was developed by a team of physicians led by Dr. Shaf Keshavjee. HAART
Therapy for HIV
In 2014, the United Nations finally adopted the Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy for the prevention of HIV. This regimen was made in Canada by a team of scientists led by Dr. Julio Montaner and was first put into action in 1996. The team of scientists worked through the BC. Center for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. With the development of such worthy interventions, it is hypothesized that engineering a cure for HIV/AIDS could be possible in the near future.
The Palm and Turn Medicine Bottles
Inspired by the need to stop children deaths that were being caused by poisoning from medicine, Dr. Henri Breault created the first child-resistant medicine containers. Dr. Henri’s development was so successful that incidents of poisonings went down by a dramatic 90% within a year of being mandated by the Canadian government. Today, Dr. Henri’s child-resistant medicine containers or palm and turn medicine bottles are being used in many countries around the world.
Discovery of T-cell receptors
In 1984, Dr. Tak Wah Mak discovered T-cell receptors, how they function and how they are produced. This discovery marked a new era in cancer research and specifically cancer immunology. However, in a sad turn of events, Dr. Tak’s wife passed on in 1998 having suffered from breast cancer. Since then, this Canadian scientist has dedicated his life to the cause of finding a cure for cancer. In 2013, he was successful in coming up with a drug that works to stop the growth of various forms of cancer.