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Month: April 2011


Health File

Blood Tests To Detect Cancer A less invasive alternative to surgical biopsy to identify and track serious diseases is now in the works. Researchers are using biomarkers—like certain antibodies and proteins—to diagnose several serious diseases, including prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer and mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer. Prostate cancer researchers in England have developed a way to detect autoantibodies in blood samples long before symptoms begin. Not only do researchers claim it’s more accurate than current methods—a rectal examination and prostate specific antigen (PSA) test—but it would do away with biopsies. It should also increase survival rates, since men could be treated much earlier. A Colorado company has developed equipment to identify protein signatu...
Air Force

Dropping 'Fish': Air Force, Part 44

The Royal Canadian Air Force’s overseas experience with torpedo bombers differed greatly from the sporadic and often ineffective operations on the home front. Although the RCAF carried only one torpedo bomber squadron in its overseas Order of Battle, many Canadians flew with British squadrons in this role. The Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm entered the war with one obsolete torpedo bomber type in service, the Fairey Swordfish. Its replacement, the Fairey Albacore, was not much better. The Royal Air Force was in worse shape, having only a few Vickers Vildebeest torpedo bombers. Two British-based squadrons exchanged these relics for Beauforts in 1940, but the old biplanes soldiered on at Imperial outposts. Vildebeest aircraft formed the main torpedo bomber defences in Singapore before ...

Busy Little Port: Navy, Part 44

Naval historians have naturally concentrated on the great naval base of Halifax, and on the secondary naval bases developed at Sydney, N.S., and St John’s, Nfld. And much has been written on the role of minor ports and bases, such as Gaspé, Que., in the Battle of the St. Lawrence in 1942. Through it all, Canada’s major east coast commercial port, Saint John, N.B., scarcely earns a nod, but between the freeze-up of the St. Lawrence River in late November until its re-opening for shipping in May, Saint John was Canada’s busiest commercial port. During the winter of 1941-42, when U-boats struck along the coast of North America, an average of 60 ocean-going cargo vessels cleared Saint John each month. The small naval establishment in the port played a key, but utterly forgotten role in ...

McCrae House Keeps Poet’s Memory Alive

The life of John McCrae, author of the famous poem, In Flanders Fields, and the First World War are brought to life daily by dedicated volunteers and staff at McCrae House, the Guelph, Ont., home where the poet was born in 1872. The western half of the four-bedroom limestone cottage in a residential part of the city was built in 1857. In 1867, the second storey was added, and sometime between 1875 and 1966 the veranda was removed and a small porch was added. The house was used as a private residence until the mid-1960s when it was threatened with demolition. At this point, a small group of Guelph citizens formed the John McCrae Birthplace Society which purchased the house and opened the museum in 1968. The society operated the museum until 1983 when the City of Guelph assumed ownersh...
On This Date

On This Date – April 2011

April 1, 1924: The Royal Canadian Air Force officially comes into existence. April 2, 2003: Canadian navy ships Iroquois (2nd) and Fredericton (2nd) arrive in the Arabian Gulf. They join HMCS Regina as part of a U.S.-led task force involved in maritime surveillance. April 3, 1974: A severe tornado hits Windsor, Ont., killing nine people and injuring several others. April 4, 1949: Canada signs the agreement creating the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. April 5, 1995: While on a tour of Mideast ports to demonstrate Canadian warship technology, the Canadian frigate HMCS Fredericton answers a distress call from a yacht under pirate attack. The yacht is saved. April 6, 1945: With the Royal Canadian Navy now the third largest navy in the world, the cruiser HMCS Uganda ...

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