Simon Fraser University Institutional Repository

    Determinants of Bank Profitability: Evidence from the U.S. Banking Sector

    Get PDF
    Using the ordinary least squares estimation technique, this paper analyzes the profitability of the U.S banking sector over the period from 2000 – 2008. Our profitability determinants include bank-specific characteristic as well as macroeconomic factors. Consistent previous studies, we find that the bank-specific determinants, with the exception of size, are significantly positively related to bank performance. For size measure, the impact is uncertain and is depended on the category of bank size. The macroeconomic factors GDP and interest rate change are also significant in explain bank profits

    Genome Comparison of Human and Non-Human Malaria Parasites Reveals Species Subset-Specific Genes Potentially Linked to Human Disease

    Get PDF
    Genes underlying important phenotypic differences between Plasmodium species, the causative agents of malaria, are frequently found in only a subset of species and cluster at dynamically evolving subtelomeric regions of chromosomes. We hypothesized that chromosome-internal regions of Plasmodium genomes harbour additional species subset-specific genes that underlie differences in human pathogenicity, human-to-human transmissibility, and human virulence. We combined sequence similarity searches with synteny block analyses to identify species subset-specific genes in chromosome-internal regions of six published Plasmodium genomes, including Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium knowlesi, Plasmodium yoelii, Plasmodium berghei, and Plasmodium chabaudi. To improve comparative analysis, we first revised incorrectly annotated gene models using homology-based gene finders and examined putative subset-specific genes within syntenic contexts. Confirmed subset-specific genes were then analyzed for their role in biological pathways and examined for molecular functions using publicly available databases. We identified 16 genes that are well conserved in the three primate parasites but not found in rodent parasites, including three key enzymes of the thiamine (vitamin B1) biosynthesis pathway. Thirteen genes were found to be present in both human parasites but absent in the monkey parasite P. knowlesi, including genes specifically upregulated in sporozoites or gametocytes that could be linked to parasite transmission success between humans. Furthermore, we propose 15 chromosome-internal P. falciparum-specific genes as new candidate genes underlying increased human virulence and detected a currently uncharacterized cluster of P. vivax-specific genes on chromosome 6 likely involved in erythrocyte invasion. In conclusion, Plasmodium species harbour many chromosome-internal differences in the form of protein-coding genes, some of which are potentially linked to human disease and thus promising leads for future laboratory research

    Restoration or Disturbance: Assessing the Impacts of a Salmon Habitat Restoration Project on Riparian Vegetation Composition

    Get PDF
    Invasive plant species can threaten the biodiversity and resilience of riparian ecosystems. A vegetation assessment of the riparian zone beside the Stoney Creek Off-Channel Habitat Project compared with a non-restored site and a previously replanted site showed that the sites were significantly different in their vegetation composition. All three sites had several invasive species of concern playing dominant roles in the ecosystem with the most common two species being English ivy (Hedera helix) and Himalayan blackberry (Rubus discolor). The previously restored site had significantly lower levels of invasive English ivy than the non-restored site. The non-restored site had greater total foliar cover than the other sites, but this was mostly covered by invasive species. The project site was only significantly different from the reference sites by having greater ivy levels on trees and a higher number of red alders (Alnus rubra). These results, along with the qualitative differences noted in the composition of the Off-Channel habitat from the previously restored stream area, suggests that further restoration and replanting needs to take place around the Off-Channel habitat area

    Ground Beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidea) Community Structure as an Indication of Disturbance in Stoney Creek, Burnaby, BC

    Get PDF
    To investigate the impact of constructing an off-channel pond in Stoney Creek, Burnaby, BC to ground dwelling arthropods, carabid beetles were sampled at three sites: the pond site, the adjacent site, and the upstream site. The pond site was the area in which the artificial pond was constructed to create spawning habitat for salmon, and it was the most disturbed site. The other two sites were relatively undisturbed and were used as a comparison. Species observed in all sites were forest generalists consisting of both native and invasive species. This indicates that all sites have experienced recent disturbance since significant time has not passed to allow specialists to become re-established. Species evenness, however, was calculated to be lowest in the pond site, greatest in the upstream site, and intermediate in the adjacent site. This is due to the different characteristics of each site; the pond site had an open canopy as most of its vegetation had been removed, the upstream site was dominated by tall trees and is characteristic of a natural riparian zone in BC, and the adjacent site had a relatively open canopy as much of the understory was dominated by Hedera helix (English ivy) and Rubus ameniacus (Himilayan blackberry). Unfortunately, statistical analysis could not be performed since a small number of individuals were caught at each site; the impact of the off-channel pond construction is inconclusive. Future studies can, however, use this study as a comparison and further elaborate on these results

    The Journey Home- Guiding Intangible Knowledge Production in the Analysis of Ancestral Remains (Final Report)

    Get PDF
    This study, co-developed by David Schaepe, Director, Stó:lo Research and Resource Management Centreand Susan Rowley, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, stems from the Journey Home Project, a repatriation of ancestral remains from the UBC Lab of Archaeology (LOA) to the Stó:lo Nation of southwestern B.C.    For the Stó:lo, knowing as much as possible about these ancestors informs their process. How can scientific research address Stó:lo questions and aid this repatriation? Opportunity recently arose for scientific study, stimulating a Stó:lo-LOA dialogue touching on multiple issues of scientific process, knowledge production and intellectual property. What types of anthropological research and scientific analyses can be applied to answer community-based questions? What are the details and cultural implications of analyses — both destructive and non-destructive? Who decides which questions to ask and which means of research to implement? Who interprets the results? Who owns those data? How do ‘scientific’ and ‘cultural’ ways of knowing relate? Who is allowed to share in and benefit from this knowledge? These questions are central to the Stó:lo ’s relationship with both their ancestors and LOA.   This study aims to provide guidelines for generating knowledge within a mutually acceptable framework of authority, control, and use. These critical issues are at the forefront of our conversations as we work together to complete The Journey Home

    “Do Your Homework…and Then Hope for the Best”: The Challenges that Medical Tourism Poses to Canadian Family Physicians’ Support of Patients’ Informed Decision-Making

    Get PDF
    Background Medical tourism—the practice where patients travel internationally to privately access medical care—may limit patients’ regular physicians’ abilities to contribute to the informed decision-making process. We address this issue by examining ways in which Canadian family doctors’ typical involvement in patients’ informed decision-making is challenged when their patients engage in medical tourism. Methods Focus groups were held with family physicians practicing in British Columbia, Canada. After receiving ethics approval, letters of invitation were faxed to family physicians in six cities. 22 physicians agreed to participate and focus groups ranged from two to six participants. Questions explored participants’ perceptions of and experiences with medical tourism. A coding scheme was created using inductive and deductive codes that captured issues central to analytic themes identified by the investigators. Extracts of the coded data that dealt with informed decision-making were shared among the investigators in order to identify themes. Four themes were identified, all of which dealt with the challenges that medical tourism poses to family physicians’ abilities to support medical tourists’ informed decision-making. Findings relevant to each theme were contrasted against the existing medical tourism literature so as to assist in understanding their significance. Results Four key challenges were identified: 1) confusion and tensions related to the regular domestic physician’s role in decision-making; 2) tendency to shift responsibility related to healthcare outcomes onto the patient because of the regular domestic physician’s reduced role in shared decision-making; 3) strains on the patient-physician relationship and corresponding concern around the responsibility of the foreign physician; and 4) regular domestic physicians’ concerns that treatments sought abroad may not be based on the best available medical evidence on treatment efficacy. Conclusions Medical tourism is creating new challenges for Canadian family physicians who now find themselves needing to carefully negotiate their roles and responsibilities in the informed decision-making process of their patients who decide to seek private treatment abroad as medical tourists. These physicians can and should be educated to enable their patients to look critically at the information available about medical tourism providers and to ask critical questions of patients deciding to access care abroad

    Reclaiming our Moral Agency through Healing: A Call to Moral, Social, Environmental Activists

    Get PDF
    This paper makes the case that environmental education needs to be taken up as a moral educa- tion to the extent that we see the connection between harm and destruction in the environment and harm and destruction within human individuals and their relationship, and proceeds to show this connection by introducing the key notion of human alienation and its psychological factors of wounding, dissociation or split, self and other oppression and exploitation, all of which result in compromised moral agency. To this end, the paper further makes the case that we need to replace the culture of alienation with a culture of healing and reclamation of fundamental humanity manifest as compassion and wisdom, and presents an ideal of moral agency that would emerge when all parts and dimensions of one’s being——body–mind–heart– energetics——are aligned, attuned and integrated, having healed from the body–mind split, mind–heart split, body–spirit split and mind–matter split. Concepts and imagery borrowed from Asian philosophies, such as Buddhism and Daoism, are offered as illustrative resources for the project of reclaiming uncompromised moral agency and its manifestation through compassion and wisdom. These concepts include hungry ghosts, bodhicitta, sunyata and wu-wei

    “You Don’t Want to Lose That Trust That You’ve Built With This Patient…”: (Dis)Trust, Medical Tourism, and the Canadian Family Physician-Patient Relationship

    Get PDF
    Background Recent trends document growth in medical tourism, the private pursuit of medical interventions abroad. Medical tourism introduces challenges to decision-making that impact and are impacted by the physician-patient trust relationship—a relationship on which the foundation of beneficent health care lies. The objective of the study is to examine the views of Canadian family physicians about the roles that trust plays in decision-making about medical tourism, and the impact of medical tourism on the therapeutic relationship. Methods We conducted six focus groups with 22 family physicians in the Canadian province of British Columbia. Data were analyzed thematically using deductive and inductive codes that captured key concepts across the narratives of participants. Results Family physicians indicated that they trust their patients to act as the lead decision-makers about medical tourism, but are conflicted when the information they are managing contradicts the best interests of the patients. They reported that patients distrust local health care systems when they experience insufficiencies in access to care and that this can prompt patients to consider going abroad for care. Trust fractures in the physician-patient relationship can arise from shame, fear and secrecy about medical tourism. Conclusions Family physicians face diverse tensions about medical tourism as they must balance their roles in: (1) providing information about medical tourism within a context of information deficits; (2) supporting decision-making while distancing themselves from patients’ decisions to engage in medical tourism; and (3) acting both as agents of the patient and of the domestic health care system. These tensions highlight the ongoing need for reliable third-party informational resources about medical tourism and the development of responsive policy

    After Abduction: Exploring Access to Reintegration Programs and Mental Health Status among Young Female Abductees in Northern Uganda

    Get PDF
    Background Reintegration programs are commonly offered to former combatants and abductees to acquire civilian status and support services to reintegrate into post-conflict society. Among a group of young female abductees in northern Uganda, this study examined access to post-abduction reintegration programming and tested for between group differences in mental health status among young women who had accessed reintegration programming compared to those who self-reintegrated. Methods This cross-sectional study analysed interviews from 129 young women who had previously been abducted by the Lords Resistance Army (LRA). Data was collected between June 2011-January 2012. Interviews collected information on abduction-related experiences including age and year of abduction, manner of departure, and reintegration status. Participants were coded as ‘reintegrated’ if they reported ≥1 of the following reintegration programs: traditional cleansing ceremony, received an amnesty certificate, reinsertion package, or had gone to a reception centre. A t-test was used to measure mean differences in depression and anxiety measured by the Acholi Psychosocial Assessment Instrument (APAI) to determine if abductees who participated in a reintegration program had different mental status from those who self-reintegrated. Results From 129 young abductees, 56 (43.4%) had participated in a reintegration program. Participants had been abducted between 1988–2010 for an average length of one year, the median age of abduction was 13 years (IQR:11–14) with escaping (76.6%), being released (15.6%), and rescued (7.0%) being the most common manner of departure from the LRA. Traditional cleansing ceremonies (67.8%) were the most commonly accessed support followed by receiving amnesty (37.5%), going to a reception centre (28.6%) or receiving a reinsertion package (12.5%). Between group comparisons indicated that the mental health status of abductees who accessed ≥1 reintegration program were not significantly different from those who self-reintegrated (p > 0.05). Conclusions Over 40% of female abductees in this sample had accessed a reintegration program, however significant differences in mental health were not observed between those who accessed a reintegration program and those who self-reintegrated. The successful reintegration of combatants and abductees into their recipient community is a complex process and these results support the need for gender-specific services and ongoing evaluation of reintegration programming
    Simon Fraser University Institutional Repositoryis based in CA
    Access Repository Dashboard
    Do you manage Simon Fraser University Institutional Repository? Access insider analytics, issue reports and manage access to outputs from your repository in the CORE Repository Dashboard! CORE Repository Dashboard!