• Characterizing SERCA Function in Murine Skeletal Muscles after 35–37 Days of Spaceflight

      Braun, Jessica L.; Geromella, Mia S.; Hamstra, Sophie I.; Messner, Holt N.; Fajardo, Val A. (MDPI AG, 2021-10-29)
      It is well established that microgravity exposure causes significant muscle weakness and atrophy via muscle unloading. On Earth, muscle unloading leads to a disproportionate loss in muscle force and size with the loss in muscle force occurring at a faster rate. Although the exact mechanisms are unknown, a role for Ca2+ dysregulation has been suggested. The sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca2+ ATPase (SERCA) pump actively brings cytosolic Ca2+ into the SR, eliciting muscle relaxation and maintaining low intracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i). SERCA dysfunction contributes to elevations in [Ca2+]i, leading to cellular damage, and may contribute to the muscle weakness and atrophy observed with spaceflight. Here, we investigated SERCA function, SERCA regulatory protein content, and reactive oxygen/nitrogen species (RONS) protein adduction in murine skeletal muscle after 35–37 days of spaceflight. In male and female soleus muscles, spaceflight led to drastic impairments in Ca2+ uptake despite significant increases in SERCA1a protein content. We attribute this impairment to an increase in RONS production and elevated total protein tyrosine (T) nitration and cysteine (S) nitrosylation. Contrarily, in the tibialis anterior (TA), we observed an enhancement in Ca2+ uptake, which we attribute to a shift towards a faster muscle fiber type (i.e., increased myosin heavy chain IIb and SERCA1a) without elevated total protein T-nitration and S-nitrosylation. Thus, spaceflight affects SERCA function differently between the soleus and TA.
    • Chemoenzymatic Approach to Tetrodotoxin: Synthesis of Fukuyama’s, Alonso’s, and Sato’s Advanced Intermediates

      Baidilov, Daler; Rycek, Lukas; Trant, John F.; Froese, Jordan; Murphy, Brennan; Hudlicky, Tomas (Wiley, 2018-05-11)
      The advanced intermediates in the syntheses of tetrodotoxin reported by Fukuyama, Alonso, and Sato were prepared. The key steps in the synthesis of the title compounds involved the toluene dioxygenase–mediated dihydroxylation of either iodobenzene or benzyl acetate. The resulting diene diols were transformed to Fukuyama’s intermediate in six steps, to Alonso’s intermediate in nine steps and to Sato’s intermediate in ten steps, respectively.
    • Chemoenzymatic Synthesis of the Antifungal Compound(–)-Pestynol by a Convergent, Sonogashira Construction of the Central Yne-Diene

      Borra, Suresh; Kumar, Manoj; McNulty, James; Baidilov, Daler; Hudlicky, Tomas (Wiley, 2018-10-19)
      A total synthesis of the fungal-derived natural prod-uct pestynol is reported via a convergent chemoenzymatic ap-proach from the readily available precursors geranyl bromide,ethyl acetoacetate, trimethylsilylacetylene, and bromobenzene. Synthetic (–)-pestynol proved to be identical in all respects to thenatural material, allowing confirmation of the structure includ-ing absolute stereochemistry.
    • Chemostratigraphy of the uppermost Cambrian at the Ordovician GSSP

      Wang, Lisha (2018-01)
      Chemostratigraphy is an important tool for correlating layered sedimentary rock successions. Preserved/near primary carbon isotope signatures in marine carbonates can provide high-resolution profiles for sedimentary sequences supplementing the need for distinguishing fossils from different depositional environments and those lacking fossil materials. The Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) of the Cambrian‒Ordovician boundary is located at Green Point in the Green Point Formation of the Cow Head Group in western Newfoundland, Canada. To reconstruct a continuous and high-resolution chemostratigraphy from the Cambrian‒Ordovician boundary to the Furongian Series Stage 10, we included the δ13C results of the Green Point Formation covering the Ordovician GSSP interval (Azmy et al., 2014). The Green Point Formation through the base of Ordovician GSSP consists of alternating dark gray to black shale and thin ribbon limestone rhythmites, with few fossils. The samples are micritic limestone, dolomitic limestone, and dolostone. They were determined to be in primary to near-primary condition based on multiple screening tests. Cathodoluminescence screening reveals dull to bright luminescence of the samples indicative of good preservation for many of them. The δ13Ccarb and δ18O values of the Green Point carbonates range from -6.44‰ to +0.33‰ (VPDB) and from -8.63‰ to -5.67‰ (VPDB), respectively, with poor correlation. Mn/Sr ratios range from 0.63 to 9.82, with no correlation to δ13Ccarb, but with ratios supporting the near primary nature of the δ13C values. Carbon isotope compositions of the Green Point Formation below the Ordovician GSSP fluctuate but remaine essentially invariantly negative. The δ13C values reveal a negative excursion at and below the Cambrian‒Ordovician boundary, which may correlate with the Top of Cambrian Carbon Isotope Excursion (TOCE) and its significant negative excursion. A nadir of -6.44 ‰ at the base of the Eoconodontus conodont zone marks the proposed GSSP for the base of the Furongian Series Stage 10. The lower excursion may be correlated with the Hellnmaria-Red Tops Boundary (HERB) carbon isotope excursion found in sequences in the United States of America, Australia, and north China. Without an adequate record of conodonts, high-resolution chemostratigraphic trends of carbon isotope compositions facilitate the correlation of intercontinental and intracontinental sequences.
    • Cholesterol-Independent Effects of Methyl-b- Cyclodextrin on Chemical Synapses

      Ormerod, Kiel G.; Rogasevskaia, Tatiana P.+-; Coorseen, Jens R.; Mercier, A. Joffre (PLoS, 2012-05-20)
      The cholesterol chelating agent, methyl-b-cyclodextrin (MbCD), alters synaptic function in many systems. At crayfish neuromuscular junctions, MbCD is reported to reduce excitatory junctional potentials (EJPs) by impairing impulse propagation to synaptic terminals, and to have no postsynaptic effects. We examined the degree to which physiological effects of MbCD correlate with its ability to reduce cholesterol, and used thermal acclimatization as an alternative method to modify cholesterol levels. MbCD impaired impulse propagation and decreased EJP amplitude by 40% (P,0.05) in preparations from crayfish acclimatized to 14uC but not from those acclimatized to 21uC. The reduction in EJP amplitude in the cold-acclimatized group was associated with a 49% reduction in quantal content (P,0.05). MbCD had no effect on input resistance in muscle fibers but decreased sensitivity to the neurotransmitter L-glutamate in both warm- and coldacclimatized groups. This effect was less pronounced and reversible in the warm-acclimatized group (90% reduction in cold, P,0.05; 50% reduction in warm, P,0.05). MbCD reduced cholesterol in isolated nerve and muscle from cold- and warmacclimatized groups by comparable amounts (nerve: 29% cold, 25% warm; muscle: 20% cold, 18% warm; P,0.05). This effect was reversed by cholesterol loading, but only in the warm-acclimatized group. Thus, effects of MbCD on glutamatesensitivity correlated with its ability to reduce cholesterol, but effects on impulse propagation and resulting EJP amplitude did not. Our results indicate that MbCD can affect both presynaptic and postsynaptic properties, and that some effects of MbCD are unrelated to cholesterol chelation.
    • Climatic and Environmental Changes Affecting Communities in Atlantic Canada

      Vasseur, Liette; Thornbush, Mary; Plante, Steve (MDPI, 2017-07-27)
      Small rural coastal communities located in Atlantic Canada are vulnerable to the effects of climate and environmental changes. Major storms have impounded the coastline, causing much physical damage and affecting the socio-economics of these communities that are composed of an aging population. The current study relays findings based on interviews completed in 2011–2012, following the 2010 winter storms in Atlantic Canada. It portrays the physical and social–ecological impacts affecting 10 coastal communities located in the provinces of Québec, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. Semi-structured interviews held in these provinces are the basis for the contributions of this research. The findings reveal physical changes related to coastal erosion from high-wave impacts and storm surge causing flooding of the coastal zone. Also considered are strategies preferred and actually implemented by residents, such as building of protection walls, although undesirable. Due to funding constraints, however, many of these large-scale flood protection projects are not possible without governmental support. Instead, it is suggested that development be controlled and some respondents in this study upheld that relocation be used to alleviate the situation. Finally, more work is required to improve emergency planning. Better concerted short- and long-term responses need to be coordinated by local authorities and higher up in the government in order to ensure the sustainability of these coastal communities.
    • The Clinical Translation Gap in Child Health Exercise Research: A Call for Disruptive Innovation

      Ashish, Naveen; Bamman, Marcas; Cerny, Frank; Cooper, Dan; d'Memecourt, Pierre; Eisenmann, Joey; Ericson, Dawn; Fahey, John; Falk, Bareket; Gabriel, Davera; et al. (Wiley, 2015-02)
      In children, levels of play, physical activity, and fitness are key indicators of health and disease and closely tied to optimal growth and development. Cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) provides clinicians with biomarkers of disease and effectiveness of therapy, and researchers with novel insights into fundamental biological mechanisms reflecting an integrated physiological response that is hidden when the child is at rest. Yet the growth of clinical trials utilizing CPET in pediatrics remains stunted despite the current emphasis on preventative medicine and the growing recognition that therapies used in children should be clinically tested in children. There exists a translational gap between basic discovery and clinical application in this essential component of child health. To address this gap, the NIH provided funding through the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program to convene a panel of experts. This report summarizes our major findings and outlines next steps necessary to enhance child health exercise medicine translational research. We present specific plans to bolster data interoperability, improve child health CPET reference values, stimulate formal training in exercise medicine for child health care professionals, and outline innovative approaches through which exercise medicine can become more accessible and advance therapeutics across the child health spectrum.
    • Cluster Computing for Humans -OR- Have you heard of this HPCPack?

      Ribaric, Tim (2019-05-30)
      Presentation material from code4Lib North 2019, held at McMaster.
    • Co-Optimizing Battery Storage for Energy Arbitrage and Frequency Regulation in Real-Time Markets Using Deep Reinforcement Learning

      Miao, Yushen; Chen, Tianyi; Bu, Shengrong; Liang, Hao; Han, Zhu (MDPI, 2021)
      Battery energy storage systems (BESSs) play a critical role in eliminating uncertainties associated with renewable energy generation, to maintain stability and improve flexibility of power networks. In this paper, a BESS is used to provide energy arbitrage (EA) and frequency regulation (FR) services simultaneously to maximize its total revenue within the physical constraints. The EA and FR actions are taken at different timescales. The multitimescale problem is formulated as two nested Markov decision process (MDP) submodels. The problem is a complex decision-making problem with enormous high-dimensional data and uncertainty (e.g., the price of the electricity). Therefore, a novel co-optimization scheme is proposed to handle the multitimescale problem, and also coordinate EA and FR services. A triplet deep deterministic policy gradient with exploration noise decay (TDD-ND) approach is used to obtain the optimal policy at each timescale. Simulations are conducted with real-time electricity prices and regulation signals data from the American PJM regulation market. The simulation results show that the proposed approach performs better than other studied policies in literature.
    • Codifying Academic Freedom: An Examination of Collective Agreements for Librarian Specific Language

      Ribaric, Tim (2018-05-30)
      Academic Freedom is a foundational component of the modern University. The notion is brought to life and exercised through a very particular article of the collective agreement. This article almost always provides a well honed, lofty, and almost self-evident description of the protections to teaching, and research that need to be maintained. Challenging ideas in the classroom are shielded from the reluctant hang wringing of administrators. Research that pushes boundaries and challenges norms proceeds with a slow march for the betterment of all. Our traditional Faculty colleagues conduct their business with full confidence that their activities are well protected, yet what about us as Professional Librarians? In most cases we can rely on this same exact article to afford protections. This is of course due to the fact that we are in the same bargaining units as those traditional Faculty members and are bound to the language as well. Yet, when pressed, does this language really offer protections to Professional Librarians that are specific to the work they conduct? A judicious application of teaching and research for the traditional Faculty member is hard to parallel with certain core Librarian duties. Where does collection development fit? Collaborating on an in-depth research consultation that might unearth ideas contrary to what the institution holds as fundamental? In some cases the collective agreement is silent on these activities. While most would view these types of conduct allowable under the spirit of academic freedom it is possible that a strict interpretation would exclude these endeavours from established protections. Fortunately this is not always the case, and as time progresses breaks to this trend develop. A selection of collective agreements of Canadian universities now have specific provisions for the conduct of Professional Librarians under the overarching concept of Academic Freedom. This paper will attempt to present this landscape by examining text from collective agreements of Canadian institutions to see how (if at all) protections for Librarians are constructed.
    • Cognitive testing of the Colon Cancer Screening Behaviours Survey with South Asian immigrants in Canada

      Crawford, Joanne; Ahmad, Farah; Bierman, Arlene S.; Beaton, Dorcas (Springer, 2017)
      The purpose of this study was to cognitively test the Urdu and English language versions of a survey to assess colon cancer screening behaviours among South Asian immigrants in Canada.

      De Loe, Rob (Canadian Water Network, 2015)
      Drought management can be highly challenging; droughts can be experienced over a large geographic area, and the extent and severity of impacts can be exacerbated by local water uses.1 In Ontario, these uses might include agriculture, aggregate washing, and watering at golf courses. Oftentimes, droughts are part of normal ecological cycles, but the risk and hardship faced by water-based industries and the public make drought a particularly important policy challenge. Technical approaches to managing drought promote the use of monitoring standards, early warning systems, and planned management actions. Building social capital and strengthening relationships can also contribute to reducing vulnerability through building adaptive capacity and reducing exposure and sensitivity.2 Collaborative approaches, created by government to generate policy and program recommendations for drought management, can provide a local view on drought challenges and a balanced viewpoint that includes all voices affected by decisions. An example of this type of collaborative relationship is Ontario Low Water Response and Water Response Teams. Ontario Low Water Response convenes collaborative groups – known as Water Response Teams – to determine the severity of drought in local watersheds and provide recommendations to the provincial government, including recommendations to declare a drought ‘emergency’, which triggers water restrictions in affected areas. One key challenge of this process is that Water Response Teams have recommended declaring water restrictions during severe low water conditions. However, the province has never enforced restrictions. Governments not following the recommendations of collaborative groups they have created to comment on policy problems is a common finding in collaborative governance research. The key focus of this research is to understand the role of Water Response Teams in decision-making, and to explore how international experiences can inform the Ontario drought management process.

      De Loe, Rob (Canadian Water Network, 2016)
      Drought management can be highly challenging and complex. To address this, Ontario uses a collaborative approach through Water Response Teams that are convened by the provincial government; teams provide policy and program recommendations. However, in some instances, the recommendations from teams are not included in final decisions. Uncertainties on the role and expectations of these collaborative groups can lead to challenges in implementing government programs and policies related to drought management. This project explores the role of Water Response Teams in low water decision-making, and draws lessons from international drought management processes.
    • Collegial Self-Governance for Professional Librarians: A Look at the Advantages of the Establishment of a Library Council and its Role in the Lives of the Librarians in the Brock University Faculty Association

      Ribaric, Tim (Litwin Books, LLC, 2014)
      The ability to perform collegial governance is a cornerstone of modern universities in the United States and Canada. This idea of governance is well practiced among faculty members but is not often practiced to the same extent with librarians in those same institutions. In this chapter, I will look at a popular form of collegial governance called the Library Council. Further, I will examine how the Library Council at Brock University has enabled librarians there to perform meaningful collegial self-governance.
    • The colon cancer screening behaviours survey for South Asians: a pilot study of feasibility and psychometric evaluation

      Crawford, Joanne; Morfaw, Frederick; Ahmad, Farah; Thabane, Lehana; Frisina, Angela (Springer Open, 2020)
      The purpose of the study was to pilot test the English and Urdu version of the Colon Cancer Screening Behaviours Survey among South Asians in Canada. The first objective was to evaluate feasibility of administration, data collection using computer assisted personal interviewing software on a tablet, and response burden. The second objective was to examine the prevalence of colorectal cancer screening among South Asians and evaluate the psychometric properties of sub-scales in the survey. Purposive, network and snowball sampling were used to recruit participants for this cross-sectional study. Interviewer-led administration of the Colon Cancer Screening Behaviours Survey was conducted across two cities in Ontario, Canada. Qualitative data analysis assessed feasibility; and sub-scales were evaluated through principal component analysis, item-scale correlations, and construct validity using multiple linear and logistic regression. A total of 328 South Asians participated, 47% Urdu speaking, and 53% English speaking. There was a 23% refusal rate to participate. Feasibility identified: (1) successful recruitment despite reasons for refusal; (2) problematic items and response categories; and (3) computer/tablet limitations. Principal component analysis identified 14 components that explained 68.7% of total variance; 34 items were retained after factor analysis. Internal consistency of 4 scales ranged from 0.79-0.91. There were significant differences in perceived barriers scale scores (- 12.21; 95% CI, - 17.13 to - 7.28; p <  0.0001) between those who participated and those who did not participate in screening. No association was found with years of residence and uptake of screening after adjustment (OR 0.91 (0.46-1.79), p = 0.783). Recruitment and data collection methods are feasible among South Asians if functionality of the tablet selected is improved. The Colon Cancer Screening Behaviours Survey was finalized and retained items in sub-scales demonstrated good psychometric properties to assess behaviours for colon cancer screening among South Asians in Canada. The interviewer-led survey may be used by public health, cancer care or other health practitioners to describe or predict colorectal cancer screening behaviours among South Asians in similar settings or adapted and tested in other contexts.
    • Colorectal cancer screening behaviors among South Asian immigrants in Canada: a qualitative study

      Crawford, Joanne; Ahmad, Farah; Beaton, Dorcas E.; Bierman, Arlene S. (Emerald, 2015)
      The purpose of this paper is to gain an in-depth understanding of beliefs, attitudes, and reasons for decision making about colorectal cancer (CRC) screening among South Asian (SA) immigrants. Design/methodology/approach – Six focus groups conducted in English, Punjabi, and Urdu were held with 42 SA immigrants, 50-74 years old and at average risk for CRC, from November 2012 to May 2013. All focus group discussions were audio-taped and transcribed verbatim. Data analysis used an inductive and systematic approach employing constant comparison techniques. Findings – Three dominant themes emerged. Beliefs and attitudes towards cancer and screening represented SA immigrant’s perceptions that early detection was beneficial; screening was not necessary in the absence of symptoms; cancer was scary; and the loss of previously established bowel practices upon immigration as potential risks for CRC. Knowledge and awareness focused on unscreened participants’ cancer stories; screened participants’ knowledge of CRC, risk factors, and screening; experiential learning from focus groups; and screened participants’ strategies to promote screening. Support and accessibility concentrated on physician support and responsibility to provide information, explanation, and recommend screening to facilitate access. Originality/value – Findings provide novel insights on socio-cultural context, beliefs, and barriers to CRC screening among SA immigrants. Culturally appropriate community-based strategies included story-telling, the use of social networks, and greater physician engagement. Enhancing collaborative partnerships with physicians and public health may minimize structural barriers and reduce health disparities. Future research could explore effectiveness of outreach strategies including these collaborations.
    • Combler le fossé : examiner la possibilité d’effectuer une surveillance communautaire des bassins hydrographiques pour améliorer la santé de l’écosystème et la gouvernance des bassins versants au Canada

      Castleden, Heather (2015)
      La surveillance constitue une composante essentielle de la gestion des bassins hydrographiques. Toutefois, les efforts de décentralisation généralisés aux échelons fédéral et provincial ont entraîné une réduction du financement gouvernemental à cet égard. En réaction, des collectivités se mobilisent pour combler ce déficit par la mise en place d’une pratique appelée surveillance communautaire des bassins hydrographiques (community-based watershed monitoring ou CBWM). Bien qu’on ait recours à la CBWM pour combler ce manque, les décideurs en matière de gouvernance des bassins continuent de sous-utiliser les données de suivi recueillies par les organismes responsables. En outre, l’échange de connaissances représente un défi pour les organismes de CBWM en raison de l’absence de protocoles scientifiques rigoureux et d’un roulement élevé du personnel au sein des organismes. En même temps, les décideurs ont très peu de moyens leur permettant d’utiliser les données de CBWM en raison de leurs mandats et ressources limités. Les recherches indiquent néanmoins que les collectivités profitent considérablement de la CBWM, mais il existe moins de preuves confirmant l’incidence des activités de la CBWM sur la santé des écosystèmes, et les publications sur l’intégration réussie de données de CBWM sont rares. On retrouve des preuves anecdotiques des avantages de la CBWM sur l’écosystème dans la documentation parallèle et sur Internet, mais il serait nécessaire de produire davantage de publications avec comité de lecture pour étayer ces allégations. L’incertitude persiste quant à la façon de mesurer la réussite de la CBWM et les efforts de restauration des bassins hydrographiques.
    • A Community Without a Space: Digital Scholarship at Brock University

      Ribaric, Tim (2019-08-01)
      The Digital Scholarship Lab at Brock University was originally set to open in the fall of 2018. However, the opening was delayed to the following summer. What that meant is that during the last academic year digital scholarship support has been provided by a nomadic team, relying on convincing ideas and compelling project work to increase the profile of the service. This session will look at the trajectory of that year and the many services that were piloted despite the lack of any physical footprint.
    • A comparison of arbitration procedures for risk averse disputants

      Armstrong, Michael J. (Wiley, 2004)
      We propose an arbitration model framework that generalizes many previous quantitative models of final offer arbitration, conventional arbitration, and some proposed alternatives to them. Our model allows the two disputants to be risk averse and assumes that the issue(s) in dispute can be summarized by a single quantifiable value. We compare the performance of the different arbitration procedures by analyzing the gap between the disputants' equilibrium offers and the width of the contract zone that these offers imply. Our results suggest that final offer arbitration should give results superior to those of conventional arbitration.
    • Comparison of different wheelchair seating on thermoregulation and perceptual responses in thermoneutral and hot conditions in children

      Mallette, Matthew M.; Hodges, Gary J.; Klentrou, Panagiota; Cheung, Stephen S.; Falk, Bareket (Elsevier Ltd, 2019-04-24)
      We examined the effects of 4 different wheelchair seatings on physiological and perceptual measures in 21 healthy, pre-pubertal children (9 ± 2 years). Participants were able-bodied and did not regularly use a wheelchair. Participants sat for 2 h in Neutral (∼22.5 °C, ∼40%RH) and Hot (∼35 °C, ∼37%RH) conditions. Four seating technologies were: standard incontinent cover and cushion (SEAT1); standard incontinent cover with new cushion (SEAT2) were tested in Neutral and Hot; new non-incontinent cover with new cushion (SEAT3); new incontinent cover and new cushion (SEAT4) were tested in Neutral only. Measurements included skin blood flow (SkBF), sweating rate (SR) and leg skin temperature (TlegB) on the bottom of the leg (i.e. skin-seat interface), heart rate (HR), mean skin temperature, tympanic temperature, thermal comfort, and thermal sensation. During Neutral, SkBF and TlegB were lower (∼50% and ∼1 °C, respectively) and SR higher (∼0.5 mg cm−2·min−1) (p < 0.05) with SEAT3 compared to all other seats. SkBF was ∼30% lower (p p > 0.05). During Hot, HR and temperatures were higher than in Neutral but there were no differences (p > 0.05) between SEATs. New cover and cushion improved thermoregulatory responses during Neutral but not Hot. An impermeable incontinent cover negated improvements from cushion design. Seat cover appears more important than seat cushion during typical room conditions.