Winnipeg, Canada

Canadian Mennonite University is a Christian university located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada that awards three and four-year degrees in a variety of programs. A member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada , CMU offers classes in three different settings: its Shaftesbury campus in southwest Winnipeg, at Menno Simons College, on the campus of The University of Winnipeg, and Outtatown, a program of cross-cultural study, service, and faith formation with program sites in Guatemala and Africa. Wikipedia.


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KRAUSE R.J.,Canadian Mennonite University | KOSKI K.G.,McGill University | SCOTT M.E.,McGill University
Parasitology | Year: 2016

This longitudinal study explored whether aspects of subsistence agriculture were associated with presence and intensity of Ascaris and hookworm in preschool children in rural Panama. Questionnaires were used to collect data on household socio-demographics, child exposure to agriculture and household agricultural practices. Stool samples were collected from children (6 months–5 years) at 3 time points, with albendazole administered after each to clear infections, resulting in 1 baseline and 2 reinfection measures. A novel Agricultural Activity Index (AAI) was developed using principal components analysis to measure the intensity of household agricultural practices. Zero-inflated negative binomial regression models revealed baseline hookworm egg counts were higher if children went to the agricultural plot and if the plot was smaller. Baseline and reinfection Ascaris egg counts were higher if children went to the plot and households had higher AAI, and higher at baseline if the plot was smaller. Caregiver time in the plot was negatively associated with baseline Ascaris egg counts, but positively associated with baseline hookworm and Ascaris reinfection egg counts. Children who spent more time playing around the home were less likely to be infected with Ascaris at baseline. We conclude that preschool child exposure to subsistence agriculture increased Ascaris and hookworm intensity. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2016


PubMed | Canadian Mennonite University and McGill University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Parasitology | Year: 2016

This longitudinal study explored whether aspects of subsistence agriculture were associated with presence and intensity of Ascaris and hookworm in preschool children in rural Panama. Questionnaires were used to collect data on household socio-demographics, child exposure to agriculture and household agricultural practices. Stool samples were collected from children (6 months-5 years) at 3 time points, with albendazole administered after each to clear infections, resulting in 1 baseline and 2 reinfection measures. A novel Agricultural Activity Index (AAI) was developed using principal components analysis to measure the intensity of household agricultural practices. Zero-inflated negative binomial regression models revealed baseline hookworm egg counts were higher if children went to the agricultural plot and if the plot was smaller. Baseline and reinfection Ascaris egg counts were higher if children went to the plot and households had higher AAI, and higher at baseline if the plot was smaller. Caregiver time in the plot was negatively associated with baseline Ascaris egg counts, but positively associated with baseline hookworm and Ascaris reinfection egg counts. Children who spent more time playing around the home were less likely to be infected with Ascaris at baseline. We conclude that preschool child exposure to subsistence agriculture increased Ascaris and hookworm intensity.


Brubacher J.L.,Canadian Mennonite University | Vieira A.P.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Newmark P.A.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign
Nature Protocols | Year: 2014

The flatworm Schmidtea mediterranea is an emerging model species in fields such as stem cell biology, regeneration and evolutionary biology. Excellent molecular tools have been developed for S. mediterranea, but ultrastructural techniques have received far less attention. Processing specimens for histology and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is notoriously idiosyncratic for particular species or specimen types. Unfortunately, however, most methods for S. mediterranea described in the literature lack numerous essential details, and those few that do provide them rely on specialized equipment that may not be readily available. Here we present an optimized protocol for ultrastructural preparation of S. mediterranea. The protocol can be completed in 6 d, much of which is 'hands-off' time. To aid with troubleshooting, we also illustrate the major effects of seemingly minor variations in fixative, buffer concentration and dehydration steps. This procedure will be useful for all planarian researchers, particularly those with relatively little experience in tissue processing. © 2014 Nature America, Inc.


Roberts-Galbraith R.H.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Brubacher J.L.,Canadian Mennonite University | Newmark P.A.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign
eLife | Year: 2016

Planarians regenerate all body parts after injury, including the central nervous system (CNS). We capitalized on this distinctive trait and completed a gene expression-guided functional screen to identify factors that regulate diverse aspects of neural regeneration in Schmidtea mediterranea. Our screen revealed molecules that influence neural cell fates, support the formation of a major connective hub, and promote reestablishment of chemosensory behavior. We also identified genes that encode signaling molecules with roles in head regeneration, including some that are produced in a previously uncharacterized parenchymal population of cells. Finally, we explored genes downregulated during planarian regeneration and characterized, for the first time, glial cells in the planarian CNS that respond to injury by repressing several transcripts. Collectively, our studies revealed diverse molecules and cell types that underlie an animal’s ability to regenerate its brain. © Roberts-Galbraith et al.


Chong T.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Collins J.J.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Brubacher J.L.,Canadian Mennonite University | Zarkower D.,University of Minnesota | Newmark P.A.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign
Nature Communications | Year: 2013

Evolutionary transitions between hermaphroditic and dioecious reproductive states are found in many groups of animals. To understand such transitions, it is important to characterize diverse modes of sex determination utilized by metazoans. Currently, little is known about how simultaneous hermaphrodites specify and maintain male and female organs in a single individual. Here we show that a sex-specific gene, Smed-dmd-1 encoding a predicted doublesex/male- abnormal-3 (DM) domain transcription factor, is required for specification of male germ cells in a simultaneous hermaphrodite, the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. dmd-1 has a male-specific role in the maintenance and regeneration of the testes and male accessory reproductive organs. In addition, a homologue of dmd-1 exhibits male-specific expression in Schistosoma mansoni, a derived, dioecious flatworm. These results demonstrate conservation of the role of DM domain genes in sexual development in lophotrochozoans and suggest one means by which modulation of sex-specific pathways can drive the transition from hermaphroditism to dioecy. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Rogalsky T.,Canadian Mennonite University
GECCO'12 - Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Companion | Year: 2012

In many disease models, the dynamics are described by a system of differential equations. When the spread of the disease is controlled by a treatment strategy, an obvious challenge is to find the best treatment possible. Mathematically, this problem is known as optimal control, or dynamic optimization. To solve these problems, researchers are increasingly turning to evolutionary optimization methods. Evolutionary computation, however, operates on discrete, n-dimensional vectors, not on continuous functions, and becomes computationally unmanageable for large n. Thus a parameterization technique is required, that can represent arbitrary functions with a small number of parameters. The typical approach to parameterization in epidemiological and biomedical models is to approximate the control functions as piecewise constant. We show the limitations of this approach, and demonstrate a recently developed method, Bézier Control Parameterization (BCP). With relatively few parameters, BCP can represent continuous control functions, and provides an efficient and effective parameterization method for evolutionary control of disease models. Copyright 2012 ACM.


Derksen R.W.,University of Manitoba | Rogalsky T.,Canadian Mennonite University
Advances in Engineering Software | Year: 2010

The numerical search for the optimum shape of an aerofoil is of great interest for aircraft and turbomachine designers. Unfortunately, this process is very computationally intense and can require a large number of individual flow field simulations resulting in very long CPU run times. One of the core issues that the designer must deal with is how to describe the shape of the airfoil. Clearly, we cannot treat the profile on a point by point basis as the problem would have an infinite number of degrees of freedom. Hence the typical practice is to resort to using a series of curves, such as polynomials and Bezier curves, to describe the profile. This typically reduces the number of degrees of freedom to a much smaller, manageable number. The influence of the selection of the parameterization on the optimization has received relatively little consideration to date. We can anticipate that some parameterizations will be less suitable for describing the profile shape and may result in slower convergence times. Our paper will discuss a new airfoil parameterization, Bezier-PARSEC, that was developed to extend and improve the typical Bezier parameterization found in use. This parameterization was found to fit the known shape of a wide range of existing airfoil profiles as well as resulting in accelerated convergence for aerodynamic optimization using Differential Evolution. Our presentation will present the development and details of the Bezier-PARSEC parameterization and provide evidence that the parameterization is suitable and accelerates convergence. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Newmaster S.G.,University of Guelph | Ragupathy S.,University of Guelph | Dhivya S.,Bharathiar University | Jijo C.J.,Bharathiar University | And 2 more authors.
Genome | Year: 2013

Our research seeks to investigate genomic diversity of landraces of millet, addressing a key uncertainty that will provide a framework for (i) a DNA barcode method that could be used for fast, sensitive, and accurate identification of millet landraces, and (ii) millet landrace conservation including biocultural diversity. We found considerable intraspecific variation among 15 landraces representing six species of small millets using nuclear regions (ITS, ITS1, and ITS2); there was no variation in plastid regions (rbcL, matK, and trnH-psbA). An efficacious ITS2 DNA barcode was used to make 100% accurate landrace assignments for 150 blind samples representing 15 landraces. Our research revealed that genomic variation is aligned with a fine-scale classification of landraces using traditional knowledge (TK) of local farmers. The landrace classification was highly correlated with traits (morphological, agricultural, and cultural utility) associated with considerable factors such as yield, drought tolerance, growing season, medicinal properties, and nutrition. This could provide a DNA-based model for conservation of genetic diversity and the associated bicultural diversity (TK) of millet landraces, which has sustained marginal farming communities in harsh environments for many generations. © 2013 Published by NRC Research Press.


PubMed | Canadian Mennonite University and University of Guelph
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Medical anthropology | Year: 2016

Type 2 diabetes mellitus is an escalating public health problem in India, associated with genetic susceptibility, dietary shift, and rapid lifestyle changes. Historically a disease of the urban elite, quantitative studies have recently confirmed rising prevalence rates among marginalized populations in rural India. To analyze the role of cultural and sociopolitical factors in diabetes onset and management, we employed in-depth interviews and focus groups within a rural community of Tamil Nadu. The objectives of the study were to understand sources and extent of health knowledge, diabetes explanatory models, and the impact of illness on individual, social, and familial roles. Several cultural, socioeconomic, and political factors appear to contribute to diabetes in rural regions of India, highlighting the need to address structural inequities and empower individuals to pursue health and well-being on their own terms.


News Article | November 30, 2015
Site: www.techtimes.com

While many students have the opportunity to see if they have a green thumb by working on their school gardens, a group of students from Winnipeg, Canada had the magic touch when it came to bringing an extinct vegetable back from the dead. An archaeological team discovered a clay jar that contained seeds of a rare squash, which was estimated to be about 800 years old, that was buried on a Menominee reservation in Wisconsin back in 2008. The Gete-okosomin seeds were then distributed to individuals on the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe reservation, who were then able to help the previously-extinct vegetable make a comeback. In its fifth generation, some of the rare seeds were given to Canadian Mennonite University located in Winnipeg, Canada by the American Indian Center so that they could be added to course curriculum to help students learn about healthy food choices as well as help revive the vegetable. Led by coordinator of the Garden of Learning Brian Etkin, the students have now been able to successfully grow one large squash from the ancient seeds and have plans to continue to bring the veggie back from the dead and onto the kitchen table. Gete-okosomin translates to "really cool old squash," a name that is fitting for its ability to resurrect from the dead after centuries. This squash was planted by Native Americans and eventually died out during the 19th century when the U.S. government ended resistance on the frontier by destroying the natives' food supplies and forcing tribes onto reservations. Luckily, ancient people had the smart idea to preserve the seeds by burying them, although it's not clear why they would store the seeds this way. Check out the "really cool" formerly-extinct squash in the video below.

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