University of Lethbridge
  • Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Recent publications
Nova Scotia's Supportive Care Program (SCP) is an individualized funding program that provides funds for people living with dementia (PLWD) or acquired brain injuries to purchase basic home care services such as personal care, respite, cleaning and cooking. The SCP has the potential to address the Quintuple Aim of enhancing care experience, improving population health, reducing costs, improving provider experience and improving health equity, yet qualitative evidence is lacking. The aim of this study is to use participatory program evaluation methods to evaluate the SCP and consider how effective it is in addressing the Quintuple Aim. The study objectives and corresponding methods are to (1) Co-develop a SCP logic model to guide the evaluation through consultations with a diverse group of stakeholders including PLWD, caregivers, care providers, researchers, government representatives, and nongovernment organizations, with attention to gender; (2) Evaluate the SCP based on the outcomes and outputs identified in the logic model using focus groups with PLWD, caregivers and home care providers, and interviews with PLWD and their caregivers; and (3) Mobilize knowledge about the ways the SCP addresses the Quintuple Aim through integrated knowledge translation activities with public, policy and research audiences. By focusing on clinically and socially vulnerable populations of PLWD and caregivers, the proposed evaluation of the SCP offers a valuable case in assessing the effectiveness of individually-funded home care in addressing the Quintuple Aim including health equity within the context of dementia care.
In this study, we explore discussions of literature in a high school English Language Arts (ELA) classroom, examining how students read rhetorically. Reading rhetorically considers the ethical effects of narrative content as it is mediated through character dialogue and action, narrator discourse, and the author's organization: a narrative as a story told to someone for some rhetorical purpose. Drawing from rhetorical narratology, we analyzed data collected in a 12th-Grade ELA classroom during student-driven Socratic seminars to ask: how did students address the ethics of various narrative situations as they talked about literature? We found that youth engaged in interpretive discussions that grappled with the complexities of ethical positioning in narrative. We argue that ELA classrooms are key spaces to help students examine how narratives act on readers, how readers act on narratives, and the ethical dimensions of such interpretive work.
For a natural number [Formula: see text], let [Formula: see text] where the sum runs over the nontrivial zeros of the Riemann zeta function. For a primitive Dirichlet character [Formula: see text] modulo [Formula: see text], we define [Formula: see text] for [Formula: see text] and obtain the meromorphic continuation of the function [Formula: see text] to the region [Formula: see text]. Our main result indicates that the poles of [Formula: see text] in the region [Formula: see text], if they exist, are related to the zeros of many Dirichlet [Formula: see text]-functions in the same region.
Benzotriazole ultraviolet stabilizers (BUVSs) are emerging contaminants of concern. They are added to a variety of products including building materials, personal care products, paints, and plastics to prevent degradation caused by UV light. Despite widespread occurrence in aquatic environments, little is known regarding effects of BUVSs on aquatic organisms. The aim of this study was to characterize effects of exposure to 2‐(2H‐Benzotriazol‐2‐yl)‐4‐methylphenol (UV‐P) on reproductive success of zebrafish ( Danio rerio ) following embryonic exposure. Embryos were exposed, by use of microinjection, to UV‐P at < 1.5 ng/g‐egg (control), 2.77 ng/g‐egg, and 24.25 ng/g egg, and reared until sexual maturity, where reproductive performance was assessed, following which molecular and biochemical endpoints were analyzed. Exposure to UV‐P did not have a significant effect on fecundity. However, there was a significant effect on fertilization success. Using UV‐P exposed males and females, fertility was decreased by 8.75% in the low treatment and by 15.02% in the high treatment, relative to control. In a reproduction assay with UV‐P exposed males and control females, fertility was decreased by 11.47% in the high treatment, relative to the control. Embryonic exposure to UV‐P might have perturbed male sex steroid synthesis as indicated by small changes in blood plasma concentrations of E2 and 11‐KT, and small statistically non‐significant decreases in mRNA abundances of cyp19a1a , cyp11c1 , and hsd17b3. Additionally, decreased transcript abundances of genes involved in spermatogenesis, such as nanos2 and dazl , was observed. Decreases in later stages of sperm development were observed, suggesting that embryonic exposure to UV‐P impaired spematogenesis, resulting in decreased sperm quantity. This study is the first to demonstrate latent effects of BUVSs, specifically on fish reproduction.
Environmental change is intensifying the biodiversity crisis and threatening species across the tree of life. Conservation genomics can help inform conservation actions and slow biodiversity loss. However, more training, appropriate use of novel genomic methods and communication with managers are needed. Here, we review practical guidance to improve applied conservation genomics. We share insights aimed at ensuring effectiveness of conservation actions around three themes: (1) improving pedagogy and training in conservation genomics including for online global audiences, (2) conducting rigorous population genomic analyses properly considering theory, marker types and data interpretation and (3) facilitating communication and collaboration between managers and researchers. We aim to update students and professionals and expand their conservation toolkit with genomic principles and recent approaches for conserving and managing biodiversity. The biodiversity crisis is a global problem and, as such, requires international involvement, training, collaboration and frequent reviews of the literature and workshops as we do here.
Background: Many Nigerians pay out-of-pocket for their health care, and some hospitals have started utilising e-payment systems to increase transactional efficiency. The study investigated the type and usage of e-payment platforms in public hospitals and the factors that may influence the managerial staff's disposition towards using the e-payment system. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of 300 managerial staff within the four public tertiary hospitals in Enugu, Nigeria, through proportionate quota sampling. The survey obtained participants' demographic characteristics, types of e-payment platforms, managerial staff's technophobia, perception of credibility, and disposition towards e-payment. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, Spearman correlation, and hierarchical linear regression. Results: The majority of the respondents (n = 278, 92.7% completion rate) aged 43.4 ± 7.6 years were females (59.0%) with a bachelor's degree (54.7%). Their disposition (80.0%±17.9%), perceptions of the usefulness (85.7 ± 13.9%), and user-friendliness (80.5 ± 18.1%) of e-payment in the hospital were positive, credibility (72.6 ± 20.1%) and technophobia (68.0 ± 20.7%) were moderate. There was a negative correlation between technophobia and disposition toward the use of e-payment (ρ =-0.50, P < 0.001). Significant multivariate predictors of managerial disposition towards e-payment were; being a woman (β = 0.12, P = 0.033), married (β = 0.18, P = 0.003), positive perception of usefulness (β = 0.14, P = 0.025), and credibility (β = 0.15, P = 0.032). Conclusion: Most participants had a positive disposition towards e-payment in public hospitals. However, managers with technophobia, a negative perception of e-payment usefulness, and credibility had a lesser disposition to its use. To ensure the universal implementation of e-payment in Nigerian hospitals, the service providers should make the e-payment platforms more secure and user-friendly to health services consumers and providers.
Education, occupation, and an active lifestyle, comprising enhanced social, physical, and mental components are associated with improved cognitive functions in aged people and may delay the progression of various neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease. To investigate this protective effect, 3-month-old APPNL-G-F/NL-G-F mice were exposed to repeated single- or multi-domain cognitive training. Cognitive training was given at the age of 3, 6, & 9 months. Single-domain cognitive training was limited to a spatial navigation task. Multi-domain cognitive training consisted of a spatial navigation task, object recognition, and fear conditioning. At the age of 12 months, behavioral tests were completed for all groups. Then, mice were sacrificed, and their brains were assessed for pathology. APPNL-G-F/NL-G-F mice given multi-domain cognitive training compared to APPNL-G-F/NL-G-F control group showed an improvement in cognitive functions, reductions in amyloid load and microgliosis, and a preservation of cholinergic function. Additionally, multi-domain cognitive training improved anxiety in APPNL-G-F/NL-G-F mice as evidenced by measuring thigmotaxis behavior in the Morris water maze. There were mild reductions in microgliosis in the brain of APPNL-G-F/NL-G-F mice with single-domain cognitive training. These findings provide causal evidence for the potential of certain forms of cognitive training to mitigate the cognitive deficits in Alzheimer disease.
Increasing evidence of sperm RNA's role in fertilization and embryonic development has provided impetus for its isolation and thorough characterization. Sperm are considered tough-to-lyse cells, due to compact condensed DNA in sperm heads. Lack of consensus among bovine sperm RNA isolation protocols introduces experimental variability in transcriptome studies. Here, we describe an optimized method for total RNA isolation from bovine sperm using TRIzol reagent. This study critically investigated effects of various lysis conditions on sperm RNA isolation. Sperm suspended in TRIzol were subjected to a combination of mechanical treatments (sonication and passage through a 30G needle and syringe) and chemical treatments (supplementation with reducing agents DTT (1,4-dithiothreitol) and TCEP [Tris(2-carboxyethyl) phosphine hydrochloride)]. Microscopic evaluation of sperm lysis confirmed preferential sperm tail versus sperm head lysis. Interestingly, only TCEP-supplemented TRIzol (both mechanical treatments) had progressive sperm head lysis and consistently yielded total-sperm RNA. Furthermore, RNA integrity was confirmed based on electrophoresis profile and an absence of genomic DNA and somatic cells (e.g., epithelial cells, spermatids, etc.) with RT-qPCR. Our findings highlighted the importance of sperm lysis, specifically of sperm head using TCEP with mechanical treatment, in total RNA isolation, and present a bovine-specific sperm RNA isolation method to reduce experimental variabilities.
Monitoring the air for airborne plant pathogens is an increasingly common method for the management of economically important plant diseases. In Alberta, Canada, several commodity clusters, including dry bean, canola, potato, and wheat, currently support air monitoring research programs for airborne pathogens of interest. In this study, we assessed the feasibility of monitoring for these, and more, plant fungal pathogens simultaneously using two different sampler types (cyclone versus rotation impaction) and by metabarcoding the ITS1 region using the Illumina sequencing platform. We collected air samples from four geographically distant sites across Alberta and monitored four crop types in southern Alberta. Overall, we found weak, but statistically significant, effects of geographic location and crop type on the aeromycobiota community composition. A few common taxa, such as Ramularia, Alternaria, and Epicoccum, constituted the vast majority of reads across all samples. Nevertheless, in each sample, we identified many plant pathogens of interest and organisms that previous research has found antagonistic to those pathogens, highlighting the utility of these approaches in understanding the pathobiome. In assessing the real-world implications of read counts, we discovered that they were only weakly correlated with spore counts quantified by qPCR. The two types of samplers collected different community profiles, reinforcing the importance of carefully considering which sampler type to use in monitoring programs. Taken together, our results show promise for the future of monitoring the air pathobiome, although much more work is required to understand the relationship of airborne communities to their in-field impact on disease development. [Formula: see text] Copyright © 2023 His Majesty the King in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International license .
This study presents a comprehensive climatology of coastal fog from four synoptic weather stations operated by the Danish Meteorological Institute along the entire East Greenland coast between 1958 and 2016. Elements investigated include fog frequency, daily timing, temperature, wind, visibility and radiosonde profiles during fog. The spatiotemporal patterns in fog from the low‐ to high‐Arctic locations were related to varying regional seasonal temperatures, surface and upper‐air wind and sea ice conditions, and to correlations with the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the Greenland Blocking Index (GBI). Results indicate that ~70–80% of East Greenland fog occurs in summer (MJJA), and yearly fog onset is near‐coincident with the start of sea ice break‐up. This warm‐season fog has the typical characteristics of advection fog, as shown in the radiosonde profiles and the association with a gentle sea breeze. More than 95% of warm‐season fog is warmer than –10°C, and peaks close to 0°C and, therefore, consists of liquid or supercooled water droplets. In the cold season, mixed‐phase fog prevails in the high‐Arctic locations, accounting for ~70% of observations. Ice fog (T < –30°C) occurs in only 2% of observations and is limited to Northeast Greenland during the cold season. The cold‐season composite radiosonde fog profiles in the high Arctic locations are characterized by deep (~1000 m) and strong (~6°C) surface‐based temperature inversions. Visibility during most fog conditions is lowest during the warm season (< 500 m) and higher during the cold season (< 800 m). In Northeast Greenland, visibility during warm‐season fog has decreased by ~50 m dec ‐1 between 1981 and 2016. In Southeast Greenland, fog visibility is high during low GBI and a positive phase of NAO, but no other correlations with climate indices were found. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
We investigate approximating the Dragon Boat Partition problem, a practical real-world variant of the Integer Partition problem, using convolutional neural networks and reinforcement learning. A team of dragon boat rowers must be partitioned with an approximately balanced arrangements. We first present one variant of our approach and then demonstrate its effectiveness through experiments. We omit many technical details in this abstract.
Animal displays (i.e. movement-based signals) often involve extreme behaviours that seem to push signallers to the limits of their abilities. If motor constraints limit display performance, signal evolution will be constrained, and displays can function as honest signals of quality. Existing approaches for measuring constraint, however, require multiple kinds of behavioural data. A method that requires only one kind could open up new research directions. We propose a conceptual model of performance under constraint, which predicts that the distribution of constrained performance will skew away from the constraint. We tested this prediction with sports data, because we know a priori that athletic performance is constrained and that athletes attempt to maximize performance. Performance consistently skewed in the predicted direction in a variety of sports. We then used statistical models based on the skew normal distribution to estimate the constraints on athletes and displaying animals while controlling for potential confounds and clustered data. We concluded that motor constraints tend to generate skewed behaviour and that skew normal models are useful tools to estimate constraints from a single axis of behavioural data. This study expands the toolkit for identifying, characterizing, and comparing performance constraints for applications in animal behaviour, physiology and sports.
Far-infrared (FIR) wavelength light provides a wealth of information about astrophysical processes. Large field-of-view FIR spectrometers face a variety of challenges that can be bypassed by utilizing on-chip filter bank technology. To this end, we have been developing microwave kinetic inductance detectors (MKIDs) to couple to on-chip spectrometric technologies. We utilize a unique two-silicon wafer design to create a waveguide for an on-chip spectrometer between 1.4 and 2 THz. The spectrometer's principle of operation is electromagnetic radiation traveling down a center waveguide before being picked off by a resonance cavity and absorbed by a detector. The MKIDs are designed to couple directly to the waveguide using an annular antenna shape for the inductor. Alignment of the two-wafer design is achieved with two dowel pins and a hole and slot pattern in our custom designed box. We present the design and early test data from a 18-channel prototype device. The prototype yielded the full 18 resonances with quality factors Qc of about 5 ∗ 10⁴ and Qi of about 1 ∗ 10⁴. We plan to use the technology we developed to create an n × n pixel device targeting R = 100.
Verticillium dahliae is an important soilborne pathogen causing Verticillium wilt. It is also the primary causal agent of potato early dying, a disease complex involving the root-lesion nematode. Here, we report the whole-genome sequencing of 192 isolates of V. dahliae originating from the major potato production areas across Canada. Our results yielded a resource of 277,010 genetic variations that will be useful for genetic analyses and revealed the presence of two major lineages, both present in all provinces but exhibiting differences in regional prevalence. [Formula: see text] Copyright © 2023 His Majesty the King in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International license .
Two new metal(II) complexes [M(dmv)2(py)2]•3H2O {M = Ni (1), Zn (2)} were self-assembled from a metal(II) chloride salt, N,N’-dimethylvioluric acid (Hdmv), and pyridine (py). They were isolated as stable crystalline solids and characterized, including by single crystal X-ray diffraction. Structures 1 and 2 are composed of discrete [M(dmv)2(py)2] blocks in which the six-coordinate metal(II) atoms show a slightly distorted {MN4O2} octahedral geometry. The adjacent [M(dmv)2(py)2] units are hydrogen bonded with an involvement of disordered water clusters into 1D H-bonded chains. DFT calculations were used to analyse the unconventional anti-parallel C=O⋯C=O interaction observed between the monomeric units in 1 and 2. Complex 1 also refers to an elongated tetragonal bipyramid for which a positive zero-field splitting is confirmed by magnetic studies. The complex matches the magnetostructural D-correlation for hexacoordinate Ni(II) complexes with moderate structural and magnetic anisotropy with Dstr = +7.45 pm, and Dmag= +5.11 cm−1. Solution state NMR spectroscopy reveals a slow isomerization process related to the bidentate-N,O and bidentate-O,O coordination of dimethylviolurate in 2, with the barrier ranging from 76.4 to 77.9 kJ/mol. The 1H NMR spectra confirm the presence of three water molecules which exhibit significant chemical shift dependence on temperature indicating strong binding to the complex in solution phase.
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2,988 members
Cheryl L Currie
  • Faculty of Health Sciences
Darren R Christensen
  • Faculty of Health Sciences
Narendra Singh Yadav
  • Department of Biological Sciences
Laura Chasmer
  • Department of Geography
John Vokey
  • Department of Psychology
4401 University Drive, T1K 3M4, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Head of institution
Dr. Michael J. Mahon
(403) 329-2111