ResearchPad - special-issue-article https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Framing consumer food demand responses in a viral pandemic]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_16802 In this paper, I explore several issues related to how the COVID‐19 pandemic might impact consumer demand for food. These impacts relate to the structure of preferences in the context of a pandemic, income and time constraints, and price effects. Discussion includes accounting for differential impacts of COVID‐19 on demand for food across sociodemographic characteristics, and several high‐level issues and observations related to where and how consumers shop and what they buy. My own thinking leads me to conclude that demand‐side factors will account for most of the changes we see in retail food market. These demand‐side effects will be dominated by income effects, the opportunity cost of time, and longer planning horizons on the part of consumers.

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<![CDATA[Potential implications of COVID‐19 on the Canadian pork industry]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_16798 Canada and the US have strong economic ties and form part of an integrated North American pork industry. Canada's pork industry is export‐oriented, and the US represents a key market for both live pigs and pork. Pork value chain stakeholders include input suppliers, pig producers, transportation companies, slaughter plants, wholesalers, and retailers. There are three overriding areas of concern for the Canadian pork industry with respect to potential impacts of the current pandemic (COVID‐19). The first is Canada/US trade and the ability to continue exporting Canadian live pigs and pork to the US. The second is labour and the impact of potential absenteeism on all sectors of the pork value chain. The third is global trade, because Canada's pork industry relies heavily on exporting pork to markets around the world.

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<![CDATA[Labour issues and COVID‐19]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_16785 The COVID‐19 pandemic has prompted Canada and several other countries to impose an economic shutdown to prevent a deadly public health crisis from becoming much deadlier. In the agriculture and food sector, several hundred thousand restaurant workers have lost their jobs. The rise in unemployment, the closing of restaurants and schools, and social distancing have triggered demand reductions for certain commodities and foods and demand increases for others, bringing along changes in demand for inputs including labour. Canadian employers of temporary foreign workers (TFWs) are facing delays and additional constraints in recruiting, but so have US and European employers of TFWs. Rising food security concerns are making protectionist trade policies popular. Domestic and foreign firms may export less and do more foreign direct investment, inducing trade in jobs.

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<![CDATA[The COVID‐19 pandemic and agriculture – Short and long run implications for international trade relations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_16770 The COVID‐19 pandemic has put unprecedented strain on food supply chains. Given the ever‐increasing degree of globalization, those supply chains very often stretch across international borders. In the short run, countries have largely been working to keep those supply chains intact and operating efficiently so that panic buying is cooled and shifts in consumption habits arising from personal isolation can be accommodated. Once the crisis has passed, based on what has been learned regarding the international food system's resilience, governments may wish to strengthen institutions that govern international trade. On the other hand, based on their COVID‐19 experience, governments may feel that they are too dependent on foreign sources of supply and may wish to reverse the impacts of globalization on their food systems. As a result, they may become increasingly isolationist, eschewing international cooperation. Which of these opposing forces will prevail may depend on the paths economies follow after the disequilibrium precipitated by the pandemic.

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<![CDATA[Food security and Canada's agricultural system challenged by COVID‐19]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_16715 The effect of COVID‐19 on Canadian food security is examined from two different perspectives. COVID‐19 creates a unique “income shock” that is expected to increase the prevalence of household food insecurity. This food insecurity can be measured by utilizing the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS). More fundamentally, COVID‐19 heightens household concern about the capacity of the Canadian food system to ensure food availability. Despite surges in demand and supply chain disruptions, we currently do not observe broad, rapid appreciation in food prices. This suggests that there is an adequate supply of food for the near term. There is less certainty over intermediate and longer time periods because so many factors are in flux, particularly the rate of increases in sicknesses and deaths across the country and globally. Data on these health factors and elements of the food supply chain are needed to predict beyond a short time frame. In this regard, we discuss three ongoing considerations—ease of capital flows, international exchange, and maintaining transportation—that will help ensure food availability in the longer run.

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<![CDATA[COVID‐19 impact on fruit and vegetable markets]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_16701 Canadian fruit and vegetable markets were significantly impacted by the spread of the novel coronavirus SARS‐CoV‐2 (and COVID‐19 disease), beginning in March 2020. Due to the closure of restaurants, bars, and schools, produce growers and distributors were forced to shift supplies almost entirely from the foodservice to the retail channel. Shippers reported labor and logistical constraints in making the change, but the fresh produce supply chain remained robust. In the long term, we expect lasting changes in consumers’ online food‐purchasing habits, heightened constraints on immigrant labor markets, and tighter concentration in fresh produce distribution and perhaps retailing.

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<![CDATA[Agriculture, transportation, and the COVID‐19 crisis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_16695 In this short paper, I assess how COVID‐19‐related disruptions in transportation services, as well as new demands for transportation services, could impact Canadian agricultural supply chains. The brief analysis reveals that agricultural access to bulk ocean freight, rail movement, and trucking has generally improved in the pandemic, bolstered by the reduced demand for these transportation services by other sectors of the economy. The intermodal containerized movement of grains and food products has seen some disruption from the lack of empty containers in North America. The widespread consumer adoption of physical distancing measures has vastly increased the demand for retail food pickup and delivery services to the point where these services are being rationed by long wait times. From a policy perspective, there is an apparent need for (a) continued supply chain monitoring and industry engagement, (b) the proactive development of strategies to deal with absenteeism and other potential threats to the supply chain, and (c) an assessment of the economic and health merits of providing additional public resources to provide greater access to grocery pickup and delivery services.

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<![CDATA[Economic thoughts on the potential implications of COVID‐19 on the Canadian dairy and poultry sectors]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_16681 The dumping of milk, the offering of hospitality size goods in grocery stores, and the closure of processing facilities are examples of the disruptions caused by the pandemic to the dairy, poultry, and egg sectors. These supply management sectors, however, are more resilient to the impacts of COVID‐19 than other sectors as producers are generally more financially stable, losses are pooled, and production/marketing efforts are coordinated.

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<![CDATA[The COVID‐19 Pandemic: Anticipating its Effects on Canada's Agricultural Trade]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_16680 With the deep recession now forecast for the world economy, trade can be expected to fall even more steeply. Agricultural trade will be less significantly affected, being insulated by its relatively low income elasticities of demand. However, a drop in the range of 12 to 20 percent in real trade value should be expected. Canada can be expected to share in this, but, within agricultural exports, cereals will be least affected. This minimal expected impact to cereals stems from the risk of wheat export bans by Russia and Kazakhstan, due to the resulting increase in wheat prices. Livestock, pulses, and horticulture can be expected to face a larger decline in trade prospects and revenues. An equally large threat to falling incomes in our trade partners is their policy responses, particularly the potential increase in import restrictions. These may take the form of more costly inspections, tightened SPS and food safety regulations, and protectionist measures from competing domestic producers.

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<![CDATA[The impact of COVID‐19 on food retail and food service in Canada: Preliminary assessment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_16675 COVID‐19 has imposed a series of unique challenges on the food retail and food service sectors in Canada. Almost overnight, the roughly 30% of the food dollar that Canadians have been spending on food away from home has shifted to retail.

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<![CDATA[COVID‐19 and the Canadian cattle/beef sector: Some preliminary analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_16653 Canada's cattle/beef sector has already weathered a shock after a 2003 case of BSE resulted in closed borders and industry restructuring. Now the sector has to adjust to similar shocks due to COVID‐19. This paper examines the supply chain from the consumer up to the cow‐calf producer by considering consumer reactions, labour market constraints, and supply response. A quarterly market model of North American cattle and beef markets is used to examine price and revenue impacts associated with the market disruptions. Depending on the scenario, there is considerable price and revenue suppression at all levels of the market.

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<![CDATA[Economic thoughts on COVID‐19 for Canadian food processors]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_16649 In this paper, I explore the potential effects of the COVID‐19 pandemic on Canadian food processors. First, COVID‐19 may have an impact on food processing economic activities because of supply and demand shocks. Second, the impact of COVID‐19 on food processing may depend on the type of products and the size of the processors. The effects of measures taken by the government to flatten the epidemiological curve on the economic activities of the food processing sector are uncertain.

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<![CDATA[Food supply chains during the COVID‐19 pandemic]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_16648 This paper provides an early assessment of the implications of the COVID‐19 pandemic for food supply chains and supply chain resilience. The effects of demand‐side shocks on food supply chains are discussed, including consumer panic buying behaviors with respect to key items, and the sudden change in consumption patterns away from the food service sector to meals prepared and consumed at home. Potential supply‐side disruptions to food supply chains are assessed, including labor shortages, disruptions to transportation networks, and “thickening” of the Canada–U.S. border with respect to the movement of goods. Finally, the paper considers whether the COVID‐19 pandemic will have longer‐lasting effects on the nature of food supply chains, including the growth of the online grocery delivery sector, and the extent to which consumers will prioritize “local” food supply chains.

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<![CDATA[The impact of COVID‐19 on the grains and oilseeds sector]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_16615 While downstream distribution and demand is likely to be hampered by the labour and income effects of COVID‐19, Canada is expected to produce over 88 million tonnes of grains and oilseeds in 2020. Canadians have valid concerns about delays related to their changing needs as millions move their purchases from food services to retail groceries, but they should not worry about our overall supply of calories. Despite some shortages, the supply chains for flour and cooking oil are not likely to be blocked for an extended period. Learning from the coordinated needs of the BSE crisis in the beef sector, the federal government developed Value Chain Roundtables in 2003, including one for grains. These roundtables bring together government and industry to tackle the issues that face each sector's major needs, including food safety, transportation infrastructure, and market access. A working group made up of various roundtable members was set up specifically to deal with COVID‐19‐related supply chain challenges. This gives both industry and government a venue to attack any choke point or breakdown within our agri‐food supply chains – the exact response we need at this time. A pre‐established forum for discussion of critical issues at these roundtables, assuming the right players are active and present, cannot hurt, but it would useful for future planners and researchers if the federal government could clarify any positive impact they have.

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<![CDATA[Fibrosis: Shared Lessons From the Lens and Cornea]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14406 Regenerative repair in response to wounding involves cell proliferation and migration. This is followed by the reestablishment of cell structure and organization and a dynamic process of remodeling and restoration of the injured cells' extracellular matrix microenvironment and the integration of the newly synthesized matrix into the surrounding tissue. Fibrosis in the lungs, liver, and heart can lead to loss of life and in the eye to loss of vision. Learning to control fibrosis and restore normal tissue function after injury repair remains a goal of research in this area. Here we use knowledge gained using the lens and the cornea to provide insight into how fibrosis develops and clues to how it can be controlled. The lens and cornea are less complex than other tissues that develop life‐threatening fibrosis, but they are well characterized and research using them as model systems to study fibrosis is leading toward an improved understanding of fibrosis. Here we summarize the current state of the literature and how it is leading to promising new treatments. Anat Rec, 2019. © 2019 The Authors. The Anatomical Record published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of American Association of Anatomists.

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<![CDATA[A Problematic Tyrannosaurid (Dinosauria: Theropoda) Skeleton and Its Implications for Tyrannosaurid Diversity in the Horseshoe Canyon Formation (Upper Cretaceous) of Alberta]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nc8f1cf35-8fa9-45dd-9ae7-5826cb76ee79

ABSTRACT

Several published censuses have noted the presence of two tyrannosaurids, Daspletosaurus sp. and Albertosaurus sarcophagus, within the Upper Cretaceous Horseshoe Canyon Formation of Alberta. Although A. sarcophagus is known from more than a dozen major discoveries in these strata, Daspletosaurus sp. is known from just a single problematic skeleton (lacking most of the skull) of a young individual. Here we describe and figure this skeleton, and marshal a variety of osteohistologic, morphometric, and phylogenetic methods to accurately determine its taxonomic status. Although none of these methods individually provides convincing evidence regarding the affinities of the specimen, together (and including other historical and biostratigraphic considerations) they strongly imply that the skeleton instead pertains to a young A. sarcophagus. In this way, we show that only a single species of tyrannosaurid is definitively present in the Horseshoe Canyon Formation, greatly simplifying interpretations of tyrannosaurid evolution and ecology in this setting. Anat Rec, 303:673–690, 2020. © 2019 The Authors. The Anatomical Record published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of American Association of Anatomists.

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<![CDATA[Biophysical screening methods for extracellular domain peptide receptors, application to natriuretic peptide receptor C ligands]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N29391856-ac33-4cdf-8e4d-a17e84e8ba00

Abstract

Endothelium‐derived C‐type natriuretic peptide possesses cytoprotective and anti‐atherogenic functions that regulate vascular homeostasis. The vasoprotective effects of C‐type natriuretic peptide are somewhat mediated by the natriuretic peptide receptor C, suggesting that this receptor represents a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. In order to facilitate our drug discovery efforts, we have optimized an array of biophysical methods including surface plasmon resonance, fluorescence polarization and thermal shift assays to aid in the design, assessment and characterization of small molecule agonist interactions with natriuretic peptide receptors. Assay conditions are investigated to explore the feasibility and dynamic range of each method, and peptide‐based agonists and antagonists are used as controls to validate these conditions. Once established, each technique was compared and contrasted with respect to their drug discovery utility. We foresee that such techniques will facilitate the discovery and development of potential therapeutic agents for NPR‐C and other large extracellular domain membrane receptors.

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<![CDATA[Debt and development in historical perspective: The external constraints of late industrialisation revisited through South Korea and Brazil]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c9299b9d5eed0c48438110c

Abstract

Current debates about the role of external finance in development mostly overlook the insights from early development economics that late industrialisation generates a structural tendency to run trade deficits, thereby exacerbating rather than relieving external foreign exchange constraints. The developmental role of external finance is therefore based on its strategic marginal contribution to relieve such constraints. External debt in particular also allows countries to pursue industrial strategies without reliance on foreign direct investment. These insights are revisited in this paper as a critical input to both mainstream and heterodox contemporary scholarship on debt and development. While the mainstream generally avoids discussion of state‐led industrial policy, the heterodox has converged on a view that developing countries should avoid external finance. The contrasting external account histories of South Korea and Brazil are examined to demonstrate the validity of the classic insights and the contemporary fallacies. While the South Korean case speaks much to its geopolitical context, this does not necessarily refute the principle that post‐war late development engenders an intensive demand for external finance, which must be met if industrialisation strategies are not to be stymied, as in the case of Brazil, no matter how effectively domestic strategies are conceived and implemented.

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<![CDATA[Microbial Biotechnology 2020; microbiology of fossil fuel resources]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b020a69463d7e51de8c9923

Summary

This roadmap examines the future of microbiology research and technology in fossil fuel energy recovery. Globally, the human population will be reliant on fossil fuels for energy and chemical feedstocks for at least the medium term. Microbiology is already important in many areas relevant to both upstream and downstream activities in the oil industry. However, the discipline has struggled for recognition in a world dominated by geophysicists and engineers despite widely known but still poorly understood microbially mediated processes e.g. reservoir biodegradation, reservoir souring and control, microbial enhanced oil recovery. The role of microbiology is even less understood in developing industries such as shale gas recovery by fracking or carbon capture by geological storage. In the future, innovative biotechnologies may offer new routes to reduced emissions pathways especially when applied to the vast unconventional heavy oil resources formed, paradoxically, from microbial activities in the geological past. However, despite this potential, recent low oil prices may make industry funding hard to come by and recruitment of microbiologists by the oil and gas industry may not be a high priority. With regards to public funded research and the imperative for cheap secure energy for economic growth in a growing world population, there are signs of inherent conflicts between policies aimed at a low carbon future using renewable technologies and policies which encourage technologies which maximize recovery from our conventional and unconventional fossil fuel assets.

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<![CDATA[Addressing Early Life Sensitivity Using Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic Modeling and In Vitro to In Vivo Extrapolation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5af9ed51463d7e201613f27f

Physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling can provide an effective way to utilize in vitro and in silico based information in modern risk assessment for children and other potentially sensitive populations. In this review, we describe the process of in vitro to in vivo extrapolation (IVIVE) to develop PBPK models for a chemical in different ages in order to predict the target tissue exposure at the age of concern in humans. We present our on-going studies on pyrethroids as a proof of concept to guide the readers through the IVIVE steps using the metabolism data collected either from age-specific liver donors or expressed enzymes in conjunction with enzyme ontogeny information to provide age-appropriate metabolism parameters in the PBPK model in the rat and human, respectively. The approach we present here is readily applicable to not just to other pyrethroids, but also to other environmental chemicals and drugs. Establishment of an in vitro and in silico-based evaluation strategy in conjunction with relevant exposure information in humans is of great importance in risk assessment for potentially vulnerable populations like early ages where the necessary information for decision making is limited.

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