Health and Wellness
Sir Alexander Fleming discovered Penicillin in 1928, the discovery
occurred because of Flemings drive to help the sick get well. When a
mother tells her children to ear their broccoli, she does so to keep them
healthy. The inventions devised to benefit human health and wellness can
be as significant as next-generation antibiotics or as commonplace as
tartar-preventing toothpaste. The health and wellness inventions to come
from Alberta over the 20th century are no exception.
In the first half of the 20th century Alberta was
making the transition from an outlying region to scientific destination.
Albertan, Raymond Lemieux may have studied and conducted research across
the continent but when he returned to Alberta after having successfully
synthesised sucrose, he not only
brought his skills as a chemist, but his reputation to the province.
Lemieuxs breakthrough took medical science and transplant technology to
new heights and is profiled in the section.
The tradition of attracting cutting-edge research and
researchers continues. Recently, Edmonton was chosen to host the
National Institute of Nanotechnology.
Nanotechnology is the study and creation of the products measured in
atomic particles and billionths of metres. Such minuscule objects could
operate within the human body and offer medical procedures previously
confined to fantasy. Alberta will benefit from hosting the National
Institute of Nanotechnology and its facilities and the incoming expert
talent. In early 2003, Dr. Jillian Buriak and Dr. Hicham Fenniri, top
researchers in their fields, joined the institution. They were attracted
to the Institute and Alberta because of such high quality facilities and
New and Improved
innovative efforts in Alberta's past have had results that have been
life-changing, not all the health and wellness inventions have been so
serious. For example, in the late 1930s, Mary Fleming of Banff patented
her Halitosis Detector and a patent was issued to Victor Tobiasson of Fort
Macleod for his Blackhead Remover. Additional inventions, such as the Hair
Dye Dispensing Gun, patented in 1969 by Keith Johnson of Edmonton, were
certainly not lifesaving, but, nevertheless, make up a group of inventions
that have a place in our history, just as teeth whiteners and mud masks
have a place on drugstore shelves.
It is the lifesaving innovation being developed in Alberta that will
always make the greatest impact, however. Recent examples constitute a
long and impressive list. The tally includes research undertaken through
Alberta Research Council (ARC), which helps develop many
inventions in the province. One current project is Telehealth, a process
for electronic sharing and distribution of health records between health
professionals. By making the delivery of patient information more
efficient, healthcare providers can save money and lives.
In the end, the health and wellness inventions that
have spanned a century in our province try to make life better. Whether
offering clean drinking water, treatment for diabetics, safer blood
transfusions, or inventions designed to keep us active and fit, the
benefits of Alberta innovative efforts extend well beyond the borders of
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