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  • Mutie, Pascal M.
    et al.
    Giordano, Giuseppe N.
    Franks, Paul W.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine. Lund Univ, Skane Univ Hosp, Dept Clin Sci, Harvard Sch Publ Hlth, Univ Oxford, Radcliff Dept Med.
    Lifestyle precision medicine: the next generation in type 2 diabetes prevention?2017In: BMC Medicine, ISSN 1741-7015, E-ISSN 1741-7015, Vol. 15, 171Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The driving force behind the current global type 2 diabetes epidemic is insulin resistance in overweight and obese individuals. Dietary factors, physical inactivity, and sedentary behaviors are the major modifiable risk factors for obesity. Nevertheless, many overweight/obese people do not develop diabetes and lifestyle interventions focused on weight loss and diabetes prevention are often ineffective. Traditionally, chronically elevated blood glucose concentrations have been the hallmark of diabetes; however, many individuals will either remain 'prediabetic' or regress to normoglycemia. Thus, there is a growing need for innovative strategies to tackle diabetes at scale. The emergence of biomarker technologies has allowed more targeted therapeutic strategies for diabetes prevention (precision medicine), though largely confined to pharmacotherapy. Unlike most drugs, lifestyle interventions often have systemic health-enhancing effects. Thus, the pursuance of lifestyle precision medicine in diabetes seems rational. Herein, we review the literature on lifestyle interventions and diabetes prevention, describing the biological systems that can be characterized at scale in human populations, linking them to lifestyle in diabetes, and consider some of the challenges impeding the clinical translation of lifestyle precision medicine.

  • Loeb, Stacy
    et al.
    Ventimiglia, Eugenio
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Urology and Andrology. Division of Experimental Oncology, Unit of Urology, URI, IRCCS Ospedale San Raffaele, Milan, Italy; Universita Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milan, Italy.
    Salonia, Andrea
    Folkvaljon, Yasin
    Stattin, Pär
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Urology and Andrology. Department of Surgical Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden .
    Meta-Analysis of the Association Between Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors (PDE5Is) and Risk of Melanoma2017In: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, ISSN 0027-8874, E-ISSN 1460-2105, Vol. 109, no 8, djx086Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The US Food and Drug Administration recently announced the need to evaluate the association between PDE5is and melanoma. We performed a meta-analysis on the association between PDE5i and melanoma using random effects models and examined whether it met Hill's criteria for causality. A systematic search of Medline, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library from 1998 to 2016 identified three case-control studies and two cohort studies, including a total of 866 049 men, of whom 41 874 were diagnosed with melanoma. We found a summary estimate indicating an increased risk of melanoma in PDE5i users (relative risk = 1.12, 95% confidence interval = 1.02 to 1.23). However, there was no difference in risk between men with low and high exposure to PDE5i, and risk was higher for in situ melanoma than localized and high-risk melanoma, suggesting a lack of dose response and biological gradient. PDE5i use was also associated with basal cell cancer, suggesting a lack of specificity and likely confounding by ultraviolet exposure. Thus, although this meta-analysis found a statistically significant association between PDE5i and melanoma, it did not satisfy Hill's criteria for causality.

  • Persson, Emilia
    et al.
    Gustafsson, Christian
    Nordström, Fredrik
    Sohlin, Maja
    Gunnlaugsson, Adalsteinn
    Petruson, Karin
    Rintelä, Niina
    Hed, Kristoffer
    Blomqvist, Lennart
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences.
    Zackrisson, Björn
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences.
    Nyholm, Tufve
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences.
    Olsson, Lars E.
    Siversson, Carl
    Jonsson, Joakim
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences.
    MR-OPERA: a multicenter/multivendor validation of magnetic resonance imaging–only prostate treatment planning using synthetic computed tomography images2017In: International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics, ISSN 0360-3016, E-ISSN 1879-355X, Vol. 99, no 3, 692-700 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: To validate the dosimetric accuracy and clinical robustness of a commercially available software for magnetic resonance (MR) to synthetic computed tomography (sCT) conversion, in an MR imaging–only workflow for 170 prostate cancer patients.

    Methods and Materials: The 4 participating centers had MriPlanner (Spectronic Medical), an atlas-based sCT generation software, installed as a cloud-based service. A T2-weighted MR sequence, covering the body contour, was added to the clinical protocol. The MR images were sent from the MR scanner workstation to the MriPlanner platform. The sCT was automatically returned to the treatment planning system. Four MR scanners and 2 magnetic field strengths were included in the study. For each patient, a CT-treatment plan was created and approved according to clinical practice. The sCT was rigidly registered to the CT, and the clinical treatment plan was recalculated on the sCT. The dose distributions from the CT plan and the sCT plan were compared according to a set of dose-volume histogram parameters and gamma evaluation. Treatment techniques included volumetric modulated arc therapy, intensity modulated radiation therapy, and conventional treatment using 2 treatment planning systems and different dose calculation algorithms.

    Results: The overall (multicenter/multivendor) mean dose differences between sCT and CT dose distributions were below 0.3% for all evaluated organs and targets. Gamma evaluation showed a mean pass rate of 99.12% (0.63%, 1 SD) in the complete body volume and 99.97% (0.13%, 1 SD) in the planning target volume using a 2%/2-mm global gamma criteria.

    Conclusions: Results of the study show that the sCT conversion method can be used clinically, with minimal differences between sCT and CT dose distributions for target and relevant organs at risk. The small differences seen are consistent between centers, indicating that an MR imaging–only workflow using MriPlanner is robust for a variety of field strengths, vendors, and treatment techniques.

  • Rösblad, Birgit
    Visual and proprioceptive control of arm movements: studies of development and dysfunction1994Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this dissertation was to examine the role of sensory information for control of goal-directed arm movements in children. The role of visual and proprioceptive information on the target for end point accuracy was examined in normal 4- to 12-year- old children (Study I), and in children with motor impairments (Study II). Accuracy in pointing with the unseen hand was found to improve rapidly during the age period tested, with the most pronounced development taking place in the preschool years. Visual specification of the target was superior to proprioceptive specification for all age groups tested. The performance of children with motor impairments was more variable than that of the non-impaired children, and this effect was most pronounced when visual information about the target was unavailable. The importance of visual information for controlling the transport and handling part of reaching movements were examined in normal 6- to 8-year-old children (Study III), and in children with developmental coordination disorders (Study IV). Object handling required visual information on both target and hand. For the transport phase of the movement visual information on target was sufficient, and sight of hand did not improve performance. The young children were relatively more impaired than the older children when lacking adequate visual information. The children with developmental coordination disorders responded to the withdrawal of visual information in a similar way to that of the normally developed children. A discontinuity at 7 years of age in the development of perceptual control of pointing movements, observed in Study I, was further investigated and confirmed in study V. In this study the ability to control movements visually and prorioceptively was also investigated and found to develop in parallel rather than one being a prerequisite for the other.

  • Nilsson, Per A.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History. International Office.
    The Swedish Experience of International Student Mobility2017In: On the verge of a new era: value, viability and visibility of international education / [ed] Riikka Vanhanen, Jyrki Holappa, Jyväskylä: JAMK University of Applied Sciences Library , 2017, 25-31 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The internationalisation of education started in the late 1970s when the wording in the Swedish Higher Education Act was changed, emphasising that higher education institutions (HEI) should promote understanding of other countries and of international circumstances. This also opened the door for other changes in Swedish regulations, such as the study aid system, allowing more students to study abroad. However, the greatest boost to international student mobility was when Sweden entered the Erasmus Programme in 1992 (Lundgren & Nilsson, 2009).

    It is clear that there are political ambitions when it comes to international student mobility. Politicians set the roles for mobility through political decisions about studying in a foreign country, regulations for migration, student loans, recognition for foreign degrees, etc. There is also a global education market being developed outside Sweden. More countries have an interest in the business of international education and the commodification of education due to a decrease of public HEI funding (Knight, 2012). This means that market solutions have entered the global scene, which countries around the world have to adjust to, including Sweden. The aim with this article is to highlight some of the Swedish experiences in regard to international student mobility.

  • Niklasson, Urban
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Clinical Physiology.
    Spectral analysis of the heart rate variability: a methodological study1993Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Heart rate and other cardiovascular variables are not steady but fluctuate over time. The evolution of computer technology the last 2 decades has made detailed analysis of the fluctuations possible and has focused the attention to the information content of the variability.

    Autonomic nervous influence on the heart can be assessed by measuring the heart rate variability from R-R intervals in the electrocardiogram. Applications have been developed in many fields where the pathophysiological features of the patients include autonomic dysfunction.

    This thesis is based on clinical studies and model studies compared with results from healthy volunteers. Two patient groups, with familial amyloidosis and with myotonic dystrophy, were evaluated using simple indexes of heart rate variability. Signs of autonomic dysfunction which is a dominant clinical feature in familial amyloidosis with polyneuropathy was confirmed by abnormal heart rate variability indexes. In myotonic dystrophy heart rate variability was normal but recumbent and standing plasma catecholamines were elevated. Reassessment of the heart rate variability with spectral analysis confirmed the results.

    The integral pulse frequency modulation (IPFM) model can be used as a simple analogy of the interface between autonomic activity and the cardiac pacemaker. Computer simulations using the IPFM model revealed marked differences in the estimated modulating variability depending on whether the intervals between simulated beats or the frequency of beats was analyzed. Comparison with data from healthy volunteers indicated that the IPFM model was valid and that heart rate should be preferred instead of R-R intervals for variability measurements.

    Beat-by-beat heart rate can be viewed as an irregular sample of the underlying autonomic activity. Spectral analysis of simulated heart rate variability data using the IPFM model showed attenuation of high frequency variability with decreasing mean heart rate and with increasing variability mean frequency. Application of these results on data from healthy volunteers suggest that the effects can be significant in actual variability measurements.

    Cholinergic blockade resulted in reduced heart rate variability at all spectral frequencies. Adrenergic beta-blockade reduced high-frequency variability in standing position indicating that high-frequency variability might partly be sympathetically mediated.

  • Wikman, Marianne
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Obstetrics and Gynecology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Psychiatry.
    To desire and to choose: aspects of women's and men's urge to have children1994Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this study was to increase available knowledge about women's and men’s desire for pregnancy and for a child/children to serve as a basis for further studies of problems and inconsistencies in the reproductive sphere. The motivation to become a parent was hypothesized as being not only of an existential, social, interpersonal and intrapsychic character but also a biologically anchored personality trait.

    The first part of the study deals with the development of a method for collecting valid information concerning this intimate and personal sphere of life and to categorize this information into measurable dimensions. A questionnaire was constructed and factor analysis was used as a statistical tool. There are two versions of the final instrument, one for women and one for men. Interviews were used as a means of testing the validity of the instrument. Experiences from the methodological development process revealed that it was meaningful to deal with the issue though suitable wording was not easily found.

    In the main part of the study, two large populations, one reference group of 416 women and 329 men of fertile ages and one group of expecting parents, 369 women and 345 men, were investigated by means of the questionnaire. Attitudes were dominated by two opposing views of children: 'Children mean existential satisfaction' and 'Children mean restriction of freedom'. This confirmed the findings of earlier studies and clinical experience that ambivalence is a natural phenomenon, that may be associated with feelings of guilt. The view of one's own parents as models in parenthood was a third important dimension. The view of the child's sex was a fourth important and complex dimension.

    The similarities between women and men were striking. There were only subtle differences between reference women and pregnant women. Reference men and child-expecting men had different response patterns, child-expecting men emphasizing more the advantages of having children.

    In the last part of the study 48 women were followed during pregnancy and after childbirth using the questionnaire and determination of levels of the intestinal peptide gastrin. Gastrin may be a marker of energy-storing characteristics, thus influencing reproductive capacity. There were some attitudinal differences between 0-parous women and parous women, the latter agreeing less with the view of 'children as restriction of freedom'. The view of 'children as existential satisfaction' was agreed with more after childbirth than during pregnancy. The view of one’s own parents as models in parenthood correlated with the levels of gastrin during this period.

  • Gustafsson, Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience.
    Mattsson, Sofia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience.
    Gallego, Gisselle
    Students' satisfaction with a web-based pharmacy program in a re-regulated pharmacy market2017In: Pharmacy, ISSN 2226-4787, E-ISSN 1913-4711, Vol. 5, no 3, E47Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In response to the shortage of pharmacists in Northern Sweden, a web-based Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy program was established at Umeå University in 2003. In 2009, the Swedish pharmacy market was re-regulated from a state monopoly to an open market, but it is unknown what impact this has had on education satisfaction. The objectives of this study were to examine the level of satisfaction among graduates from a web-based pharmacy program and to describe what subjects and skills students would have liked more or less of in their education. A secondary objective was to compare the level of satisfaction before and after the Swedish pharmacy market was re-regulated. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2015 with all alumni who had graduated from the pharmacy program between 2006 and 2014 (n = 511), and responses to questions about graduates' satisfaction with the program were analyzed (n = 200). Most graduates (88%) agreed or strongly agreed that the knowledge and skills acquired during their education were useful in their current job. The graduates stated that they would have wanted more applied pharmacy practice and self-care counselling, and fewer social pharmacy and histology courses. Further, 82% stated that they would start the same degree program if they were to choose again today, and 92% agreed or strongly agreed that they would recommend the program to a prospective student. Graduates were more likely to recommend the program after the re-regulation (p = 0.007). In conclusion, pharmacy graduates were very satisfied with their education, and no negative effects of the re-regulation could be observed on program satisfaction.

  • Kristensen, Bo Traberg
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Clinical Neuroscience.
    Stroke in young adults in northern Sweden1998Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Objectives. To study different aspects of cerebral venous and arterial occlusive disease including cerebrospinalfluid hydrodynamics, epidemiology, aetiology, genetics, metabolic and haemostatic disorders, andcognitive function in young adults in Northern Sweden.

    Methods. Cerebrospinal fluid hydrodynamics were investigated with a constant pressure infusion methodin patients with superior sagittal sinus thrombosis. Ten patients were studied with serial examinations, upto 15 years after the onset of the disease.

    Epidemiological data on ischaemic stroke in young adults aged 18 to 44 years were collected to calculateincidence and mortality based on the WHO Northern Sweden MONICA register of acute strokeevents. One hundred and seven consecutive patients aged 18-44 years with ischaemic stroke referred toUmeå university hospital were studied prospectively during a five-year period and were extensively evaluatedaccording to a standardized protocol. During follow-up at least three months after onset 102 and 80patients, respectively, were evaluated for disturbances in the fibrinolytic system and in the metabolism ofhomocysteine. A comprehensive neuropsychological battery was performed in a subset of 20 patients withinfratentorial infarcts.

    Results and conclusions. All patients with superior sagittal sinus thrombosis demonstrated a marked increasein intracranial pressure due to raised pressure in the sagittal sinus. A striking feature was the persistentintracranial pressure increase with only a slow decline over time.

    The incidence rate for ischaemic stroke was higher than previously reported from most countries inWestern Europe. The higher incidence was not explained by a higher prevalence of atherosclerotic vasculopathy. In spite of extensive evaluation, including advanced cardiac imaging, the cause of ischaemic strokein young adults still remains uncertain or unknown in most cases.

    Patients had lowered tissue plasminogen activator activity and increased plasminogen activator inhibitortype 1 activity. Increased fibrinogen levels and tissue plasminogen activator mass concentration wereindependently associated with ischaemic stroke. Metabolic perturbations were closely interrelated with tissueplasminogen activator and plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 activity. Elevated plasma fibrinogenlevels and abnormalities in the fibrinolytic system in conjunction with metabolic perturbations may be importantcontributors to an increased stroke risk among young adults.

    Stroke patients had an exaggerated increase in total homocysteine levels after methionine loading.Abnormal responsivity to methionine loading was associated with higher tissue plasminogen activatormass concentration, plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 levels and lower tissue plasminogen activator activity. Abnormal homocysteine metabolism may provide an additional thrombogenetic risk, partly mediatedby interactions with the fibrinolytic system.

    Circumscribed infratentorial lesions (mainly cerebellar) impaired central aspects of attention andworking memory, and inflicted damage upon visuospatial skills. In contrast, these patients may not sufferfrom global intellectual impairment and difficulties with respect to memory for previous events. The prognosisis favorable in terms of neurological deficits and handicap, but cognitive disability may be the mostsignificant problem in adapting to their former occupations.Key w ords. Cerebral venous thrombosis, cerebrospinal fluid dynamics, ischaemic stroke, young adults, epidemiology,fibrinolysis, homocysteine, cerebellar infarct, neuropsychology.

  • Gärling, Anita
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Parents' perceptions of children's accident risk1988Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of the present thesis was, first, to study how parents and other adults percieve or judge children’s accident risk, and, secondly, to relate such judgements to the subjects’ preferences for and satisfaction with different residential conditions.

    A theoretical framework is proposed which assumes that judgements of children’s accident risk are based on beliefs about what causes accidents to children. Such beliefs are furthermore assumed to be acquired more often from indirect sources than from own direct experiences. Nevertheless, because of parents’ higher motivation to protect their children, they are assumed to differ from other adults who are not parents with respect to their causal models and, as a consequence, their risk perceptions.

    To test some implications of the theoretical framework, three empirical studies were carried out in which parents and nonparents were requested to judge the risk children run of having accidents under different circumstances and to judge the strengths of five causes of such accidents, the parent, the child, the environment, other people, and chance. In two of the studies the subjects were also requested to express their preferences for different residential neighborhoods varying in traffic conditions, or satisfaction with their own residential conditions either as it is or if changed in different ways.

    Support for the implications of the theoretical framework was obtained in that causal explanations of accidents were shown to play a decisive role for judgements of accident risk. However, very slight differences were found between parents’ and nonparents’ causal models and risk perceptions. The results furthermore indicated that accident risk was of importance for parents’ satisfaction with their residential conditions if changes with perceived accident consequences were implemented. In this respect parents differed from nonparents. For the latter other things than children’s accident risk tended to be more important.

  • Hoffman, Victoria
    et al.
    Söderström, Lars
    Samuelsson, Eva
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
    Self-management of stress urinary incontinence via a mobile app: two-year follow-up of a randomized controlled trial2017In: Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, ISSN 0001-6349, E-ISSN 1600-0412, Vol. 96, no 10, 1180-1187 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction. We investigated the long-term effects of using a mobile app to treat stress urinary incontinence with a focus on pelvic floor muscle training. Material and methods. A previous randomized controlled trial of 123 women aged 27-72 years found that three months of self-managing stress urinary incontinence with support from the Tat((R)) app was effective. We followed up the women in the app group (n=62) two years after the initial trial with the same primary outcomes for symptom severity (International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire Short Form) and condition-specific quality of life (ICIQ-Lower Urinary Tract Symptom Quality of Life) and compared the scores with those at baseline. Results. Of the 62 women, 61 and 46 (75.4%), respectively, participated in three-month and two-year follow-ups. Baseline data did not differ between responders and non-responders at follow-up. The mean decreases in International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire Short Form and ICIQ-Lower Urinary Tract Symptom Quality of Life scores after two years were 3.1 (95% confidence interval 2.0-4.2) and 4.0 (95% confidence interval 2.1-5.9), respectively. Of the 46 women, four (8.7%) rated themselves as very much better, nine (19.6%) as much better, and 16 (34.8%) as a little better. The use of incontinence protection products decreased significantly (p=0.04), and the proportion of women who felt they could contract their pelvic muscles correctly increased from 14/46 (30.4%) at baseline to 31/46 (67.4%) at follow-up (p<0.001). Conclusions. Self-management of stress urinary incontinence with support from the Tat((R)) app had significant and clinically relevant long-term effects and may serve as first-line treatment.

  • Troiano, Giuseppe
    et al.
    Caponio, Vito Carlo Alberto
    Boldrup, Linda
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences.
    Gu, Xiaolian
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences.
    Lo Muzio, Lorenzo
    Sgaramella, Nicola
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences.
    Wang, Lixiao
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences.
    Nylander, Karin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences.
    Expression of the long non-coding RNA HOTAIR as a prognostic factor in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck: a systematic review and meta-analysis2017In: OncoTarget, ISSN 1949-2553, E-ISSN 1949-2553, Vol. 8, no 42, 73029-73036 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are often dysregulated in cancer tissue and seem to play an important role in neoplastic processes. Recent studies have shown that the HOX transcript antisense intergenic RNA (HOTAIR) may play a role as a marker of prognosis in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). The aim of this study was to perform a meta-analysis of studies focused on the prognostic role of HOTAIR in SCCHN.

    Results: At the end of the selection process, four studies were considered eligible for inclusion in the meta-analysis, comprising a total of 271 patients. Meta-analysis revealed that high expression of HOTAIR was associated with poor overall survival (HR, 1.90; 95% CI: [1.42, 2.53]; p < 0,0001), advanced tumor stage (OR, 3.44; 95% CI: [1.84, 6.43]; p < 0,001) and lymph-node metastasis (OR, 3.31; 95% CI: [1.24, 8.79]; p = 0,02).

    Materials and Methods: The literature search was performed in the following databases: PUBMED, SCOPUS, EMBASE and Web of Science, in order to find studies that met the inclusion criteria.

    Conclusions: Findings from this systematic review and meta-analysis revealed that HOTAIR represents a potential biomarker of prognosis in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.

  • Niklasson, André
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Dialogue Systems Using Web-based Language Tools2017Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Chatbots in commercial environments are on the rise with the release of several web-based language understanding tools. The vast majority of the dialogue systems deployed today uses very primitive state-machine architectures to model their interactions. These primitive approaches are reliable and easy to implement but the dialogue becomes very unnatural and the system always has the initiative in the conversation. The positive features of being easy to build, and the ability to easily retain control over the system normally supersedes the shortcomings.This thesis proposes a dialogue model that utilizes new approaches for dialogue modeling but aims to be easy to congure. The proposed dialogue management strategy is implemented in a prototype dialogue system. Developers are able to model their dialogues using an XML dialogue description. The system utilizes LUIS.ai, a recently launched web-based language tool for sentence analysis. LUIS.ai is evaluated together with the prototype dialogue system.i

  • Thomson, Suzanne E.
    et al.
    Charalambous, Chloe
    Smith, Carol-Anne
    Tsimbouri, Penelope M.
    Déjardin, Theophile
    Kingham, Paul J.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB).
    Hart, Andrew M.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB). The Centre for Cell Engineering, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, University Avenue, Hillhead, Glasgow G128QQ, UK; Canniesburn Plastic Surgery Unit, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, 84 Castle Street, Glasgow G4 0SF, UK.
    Riehle, Mathis O.
    Microtopographical cues promote peripheral nerve regeneration via transient mTORC2 activation2017In: Acta Biomaterialia, ISSN 1742-7061, E-ISSN 1878-7568, Vol. 60, 220-231 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Despite microsurgical repair, recovery of function following peripheral nerve injury is slow and often incomplete. Outcomes could be improved by an increased understanding of the molecular biology of regeneration and by translation of experimental bioengineering strategies. Topographical cues have been shown to be powerful regulators of the rate and directionality of neurite regeneration, and in this study we investigated the downstream molecular effects of linear micropatterned structures in an organotypic explant model. Linear topographical cues enhanced neurite outgrowth and our results demonstrated that the mTOR pathway is important in regulating these responses. mTOR gene expression peaked between 48 and 72 h, coincident with the onset of rapid neurite outgrowth and glial migration, and correlated with neurite length at 48 h. mTOR protein was located to glia and in a punctate distribution along neurites. mTOR levels peaked at 72 h and were significantly increased by patterned topography (p < 0.05). Furthermore, the topographical cues could override pharmacological inhibition. Downstream phosphorylation assays and inhibition of mTORC1 using rapamycin highlighted mTORC2 as an important mediator, and more specific therapeutic target. Quantitative immunohistochemistry confirmed the presence of the mTORC2 component rictor at the regenerating front where it co-localised with F-actin and vinculin. Collectively, these results provide a deeper understanding of the mechanism of action of topography on neural regeneration, and support the incorporation of topographical patterning in combination with pharmacological mTORC2 potentiation within biomaterial constructs used to repair peripheral nerves.

    Statement of Significance: Peripheral nerve injury is common and functionally devastating. Despite microsurgical repair, healing is slow and incomplete, with lasting functional deficit. There is a clear need to translate bioengineering approaches and increase our knowledge of the molecular processes controlling nerve regeneration to improve the rate and success of healing. Topographical cues are powerful determinants of neurite outgrowth and represent a highly translatable engineering strategy. Here we demonstrate, for the first time, that microtopography potentiates neurite outgrowth via the mTOR pathway, with the mTORC2 subtype being of particular importance. These results give further evidence for the incorporation of microtopographical cues into peripheral nerve regeneration conduits and indicate that mTORC2 may be a suitable therapeutic target to potentiate nerve regeneration.

  • Chen, Genqiang
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry. College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Donghua University, Shanghai 201620, China.
    Wu, Guochao
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Alriksson, Björn
    Wang, Wei
    Hong, Feng F.
    Jönsson, Leif J.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Bioconversion of waste fiber sludge to bacterial nanocellulose and use for reinforcement of CTMP paper sheets2017In: Polymers, ISSN 2073-4360, E-ISSN 2073-4360, Vol. 9, no 9, 458Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Utilization of bacterial nanocellulose (BNC) for large-scale applications is restricted by low productivity in static cultures and by the high cost of the medium. Fiber sludge, a waste stream from pulp and paper mills, was enzymatically hydrolyzed to sugar, which was used for the production of BNC by the submerged cultivation of Komagataeibacter xylinus. Compared with a synthetic glucose-based medium, the productivity of purified BNC from the fiber sludge hydrolysate using shake-flasks was enhanced from 0.11 to 0.17 g/(L x d), although the average viscometric degree of polymerization (DPv) decreased from 6760 to 6050. The cultivation conditions used in stirred-tank reactors (STRs), including the stirring speed, the airflow, and the pH, were also investigated. Using STRs, the BNC productivity in fiber-sludge medium was increased to 0.32 g/(L x d) and the DPv was increased to 6650. BNC produced from the fiber sludge hydrolysate was used as an additive in papermaking based on the chemithermomechanical pulp (CTMP) of birch. The introduction of BNC resulted in a significant enhancement of the mechanical strength of the paper sheets. With 10% (w/w) BNC in the CTMP/BNC mixture, the tear resistance was enhanced by 140%. SEM images showed that the BNC cross-linked and covered the surface of the CTMP fibers, resulting in enhanced mechanical strength.

  • Dahlgren Lindström, Adam
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Structured Prediction using Voted Conditional Random FieldsLink Prediction in Knowledge Bases2017Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Knowledge bases are useful in the validation of automatically extracted information, and for hypothesis selection during the extraction process. Building knowledge bases is a dfficult task and the process is bound to miss facts. Therefore, the existence of facts can be estimated using link prediction, i.e., by solving the structured prediction problem.It has been shown that combining directly observable features with latent features increases performance. Observable features include, e.g., the presence of another chain of facts leading to the same end point. Latent features include, e.g, properties that are not modelled by facts on the form subject-predicate-object, such as being a good actor. Observable graph features are modelled using the Path Ranking Algorithm, and latent features using the bilinear RESCAL model. Voted Conditional Random Fields can be used to combine feature families while taking into account their complexity to minimize the risk of training a poor predictor. We propose a combined model fusing these theories together with a complexity analysis of the feature families used. In addition, two simple feature families are constructed to model neighborhood properties.The model we propose captures useful features for link prediction, but needs further evaluation to guarantee effcient learning. Finally, suggestions for experiments and other feature families are given.

  • Allgardsson, Anders
    et al.
    Andersson, C. David
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Akfur, Christine
    Worek, Franz
    Linusson, Anna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Ekström, Fredrik
    An unusual dimeric inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase: cooperative binding of crystal violet2017In: Molecules, ISSN 1420-3049, E-ISSN 1420-3049, Vol. 22, no 9, 1433Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) is an essential enzyme that terminates cholinergic transmission by a rapid hydrolysis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. AChE is an important target for treatment of various cholinergic deficiencies, including Alzheimer's disease and myasthenia gravis. In a previous high throughput screening campaign, we identified the dye crystal violet (CV) as an inhibitor of AChE. Herein, we show that CV displays a significant cooperativity for binding to AChE, and the molecular basis for this observation has been investigated by X-ray crystallography. Two monomers of CV bind to residues at the entrance of the active site gorge of the enzyme. Notably, the two CV molecules have extensive intermolecular contacts with each other and with AChE. Computational analyses show that the observed CV dimer is not stable in solution, suggesting the sequential binding of two monomers. Guided by the structural analysis, we designed a set of single site substitutions, and investigated their effect on the binding of CV. Only moderate effects on the binding and the cooperativity were observed, suggesting a robustness in the interaction between CV and AChE. Taken together, we propose that the dimeric cooperative binding is due to a rare combination of chemical and structural properties of both CV and the AChE molecule itself.

  • Stenling, Roger
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences.
    The enterocyte in small intestinal adaption: an experimental and clinicopathological study with special reference to the ultrastructure of the brush border1984Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Stenling, Roger; THE ENTEROCYTE IN SMALL INTESTINAL ADAPTION. An expe­rimental and clinicopathological study with special reference to the ultrastructure of the brush border. Umeå Univ, Med Di ss, New Series 122 - ISSN 0346-6612.

    The small intestine mucosa is known to be able to adapt itself to several kinds of both physiological and pathological conditions. The adaptive patterns of the structure of the enterocytes, particularly their apical surface (brush border), were studied in three models: (1) in rats, subjected to antrectomy or antral exclusion, combined with gastroduodenostomy and gastrojejunostomy; (2) in rats with alloxan dia­betes; (3) in children with coeliac disease; a) in its active phase; b) after long-term treatment with gluten-free diets; c) after long-term challenge with dietary gluten following treatment; d) after short-term elimination of dietary gluten. Gut mucosa from fasting or fed, normal or sham-operated rats, fasting cats, and short-statured children with no signs of gastrointestinal disease served as controls. - The specimens were prepared for light microscopy (LM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Quantitation of structural variables was achieved by means of LM and TEM morphometrical procedures.

    Differentiation of the rat enterocytes from the base to the crest of the villi was structurally reflected by doubling of their apical cell area, an increase in cell height, and a decrease of both nuclear and mitochondrial volume densities. In mature normal rat enterocytes, high- -power SEM showed regularly arranged, nude microvilli in thir apical surfaces, whereas in cat and man the apical surfaces were covered by a thick glycocalyx. - Fasting for 24 hours decreased the total length of the rat small intestine and the height of the enterocytes. Antrectomy and antral exclusion with gastrojejunostomy produced an increase of the apical surfaces of the enterocytes of the seif-emptying duodenal blind loop, whereas no changes occurred after antrectomy with gastroduodeno­stomy. In the jejunum, the apical surface area was reduced both after antrectomy and antral exclusion. In the diabetic rats a slight decrease of the apical surface area, together with an elongation of both the vil­li and the crypts, was observed in the jejunum, whereas no structural changes occurred in the duodenal mucosa.

    Both in active coeliac disease and after long-term challenge with dietary gluten, SEM analyses showed uniformly destructed villi. The api­cal surfaces of the enterocytes were frequently convex and irregular in size and delineation (the surface of the normal enterocytes was polygo­nal and flat). Ultrastructurally, the apical surfaces were severely damaged with a distortion of the glycocalyx and with marked irregularity of the microvilli. - After gluten elimination, the surface ultrastructu­re of the enterocytes in the coeliac gut mucosa generally showed a rapid, clear-cut restoration despite a remaining severe atrophy of the villi. Successful dietary treatment (after about one year of gluten-free diet) restored the small intestine mucosa to normal as assessed both by LM and low-power SEM. In contrast, high-power SEM often disclosed per­sisting lesions of the enterocytes. Another provocation with gluten for up to 9 days in clinically healed coeliac mucosa did not significantly alter the surface ultrastructure of the enterocytes.

  • Björnstig, Ulf
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Snowmobile, motorcycle and moose-car accidents: aspects on injury control1985Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Injuries related to snowmobiles, motorcycles and moose-car collisions have increased. The aim of the present thesis was to analyse mechanisms and consequences in fatal and non-fatal accidents of these types, and to penetrate possible preventive measures.

    Snowmobiles

    The median age of the injured was 30 and of the killed 32, males pre­dominating. A majority of the accidents occurred during weekends, and especially the fatal accidents occurred after dark. The extremities were the most commonly injured parts of the body, however, drowning, crushed chest and cranial injuries caused most of the fatalities. Among the fatalities, four out of five were under the influence of alcohol. The present Swedish laws regarding snowmobiles seem well motivated. "Built-in" safety measures in the construction of the snowmobiles, pro­perly designed snowmobile tracks and functional search and rescue sys­tems could reduce the injuries.

    Motorcycles

    The median age was 19 years for both the traffic injured and the kil­led. Half of the traffic accidents were collisions with other motor ve­hicles. In the fatally injured group, also collisions with fixed road­side objects were common. Of the fatally injured, more than every fifth person died in an accident where alcohol was an influential factor. In the injured group, lower extremity injuries (especially in off-road riding) were common and among the fatalities most riders died from injuries to the head or chest. Out of one thousand motorcycle riders interviewed, 45% reported wobbling experiences (8% reported severe wobbling). Possible injury reducing measures include increasing the licensing age, more discriminating driving test, "built-in" restriction of the motorcycle's top speed, elimination of motorcycles prone to wobbling, and a more intensive traffic supervision (speeding, alco­hol).

    Moose-car collisitions

    The median age of the drivers was 38 years. Most collisions happened at dusk or when dark (3/4). The median collision speed was 70 km/h. The damage to the car was typical, the roof and the windshield pillars were deformed downwards and backwards. The broken windshield was often pressed into the passenger compartment. Most of the injured car occu­pants suffered cuts predominantly to the head and upper extremities. Nearly all the fatally injured died of head and neck injuries. The injuries may be reduced by strengthening the roof and the windshield pillars, and by introducing anti 1 acerati ve windshields.

  • Kinsman, John
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    de Bruijne, Kars
    Jalloh, Alpha M.
    Harris, Muriel
    Abdullah, Hussainatu
    Boye-Thompson, Titus
    Sankoh, Osman
    Jalloh, Abdul K.
    Jalloh-Vos, Heidi
    Development of a set of community-informed Ebola messages for Sierra Leone2017In: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, ISSN 1935-2727, E-ISSN 1935-2735, Vol. 11, no 8, e0005742Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The West African Ebola epidemic of 2013-2016 was by far the largest outbreak of the disease on record. Sierra Leone suffered nearly half of the 28,646 reported cases. This paper presents a set of culturally contextualized Ebola messages that are based on the findings of qualitative interviews and focus group discussions conducted in 'hotspot' areas of rural Bombali District and urban Freetown in Sierra Leone, between January and March 2015. An iterative approach was taken in the message development process, whereby (i) data from formative research was subjected to thematic analysis to identify areas of community concern about Ebola and the national response; (ii) draft messages to address these concerns were produced; (iii) the messages were field tested; (iv) the messages were refined; and (v) a final set of messages on 14 topics was disseminated to relevant national and international stakeholders. Each message included details of its rationale, audience, dissemination channels, messengers, and associated operational issues that need to be taken into account. While developing the 14 messages, a set of recommendations emerged that could be adopted in future public health emergencies. These included the importance of embedding systematic, iterative qualitative research fully into the message development process; communication of the subsequent messages through a two-way dialogue with communities, using trusted messengers, and not only through a one-way, top-down communication process; provision of good, parallel operational services; and engagement with senior policy makers and managers as well as people in key operational positions to ensure national ownership of the messages, and to maximize the chance of their being utilised. The methodological approach that we used to develop our messages along with our suggested recommendations constitute a set of tools that could be incorporated into international and national public health emergency preparedness and response plans.

  • Alexandersson, Mimmi
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Law.
    Arbetsgivarens möjlighet att avsluta en arbetstagares anställning vid samarbetssvårigheter och vilken hänsyn tas till kollegorna?2017Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
  • Hansson, Oskar
    et al.
    Janelidze, Shorena
    Hall, Sara
    Magdalinou, Nadia
    Lees, Andrew J.
    Andreasson, Ulf
    Norgren, Niklas
    Linder, Jan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience.
    Forsgren, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience.
    Constantinescu, Radu
    Zetterberg, Henrik
    Blennow, Kaj
    Blood-based NfL: A biomarker for differential diagnosis of parkinsonian disorder2017In: Neurology, ISSN 0028-3878, E-ISSN 1526-632X, Vol. 88, no 10, 930-937 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: To determine if blood neurofilament light chain (NfL) protein can discriminate between Parkinson disease (PD) and atypical parkinsonian disorders (APD) with equally high diagnostic accuracy as CSF NfL, and can therefore improve the diagnostic workup of parkinsonian disorders. Methods: The study included 3 independent prospective cohorts: the Lund (n 5 278) and London (n 5 117) cohorts, comprising healthy controls and patients with PD, progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), corticobasal syndrome (CBS), and multiple system atrophy (MSA), as well as an early disease cohort (n 5 109) of patients with PD, PSP, MSA, or CBS with disease duration <= 3 years. Blood NfL concentration was measured using an ultrasensitive single molecule array (Simoa) method, and the diagnostic accuracy to distinguish PD from APD was investigated. Results: We found strong correlations between blood and CSF concentrations of NfL (p >= 0.73-0.84, p <= 0.001). Blood NfL was increased in patients with MSA, PSP, and CBS (i.e., all APD groups) when compared to patients with PD as well as healthy controls in all cohorts (p, 0.001). Furthermore, in the Lund cohort, blood NfL could accurately distinguish PD from APD (area under the curve [AUC] 0.91) with similar results in both the London cohort (AUC 0.85) and the early disease cohort (AUC 0.81). Conclusions: Quantification of blood NfL concentration can be used to distinguish PD from APD. Blood-based NfL might consequently be included in the diagnostic workup of patients with parkinsonian symptoms in both primary care and specialized clinics.

  • Saedén, Johanna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Microbiology, Biomedical Laboratory Science.
    Snabb DNA extraktion för ”Point-of-Care” sekvensering och analys2017Independent thesis Basic level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
  • Gillemyr, Rikard
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Ansvarsgapet och moraliskt ansvar2017Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
  • Public defence: 2017-11-03 10:00 KB.E3.01 (Lilla Hörsalen), Umeå
    Ochtrop, Philipp
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Selective protein functionalisation via enzymatic phosphocholination2017Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Proteins are the most abundant biomolecules within a cell and are involved in all biochemical cellular processes ultimately determining cellular function. Therefore, to develop a complete understanding of cellular processes, obtaining knowledge about protein function and interaction at a molecular level is critical. Consequently, the investigation of proteins in their native environment or in partially purified mixtures is a major endeavour in modern life sciences. Due to their high chemical similarity, the inherent problem of studying proteins in complex mixtures is to specifically differentiate one protein of interest from the bulk of other proteins. Site-specific protein functionalisation strategies have become an indispensable tool in biochemical- and cell biology studies. This thesis presents the development of a new enzymatic site-specific protein functionalisation strategy that is based on the reversible covalent phosphocholination of short amino acid sequences in intact proteins. A synthetic strategy has been established that allows access to functionalised CDP-choline derivatives carrying fluorescent reporter groups, affinity tags or bioorthogonal handles. These CDP-choline derivatives serve as co-substrates for the bacterial phosphocholinating enzyme AnkX from Legionella pneumophila, which transfers a phosphocholine moiety to the switch II region of its native target protein Rab1b during infection. We identified the octapeptide sequence TITSSYYR as the minimum recognition sequence required to direct the AnkX catalysed phosphocholination and demonstrated the functionalisation of proteins of interest carrying this recognition tag at the N- or C-terminus as well as in internal loop regions. Moreover, this covalent modification can be hydrolytically reversed by the action of the Legionella enzyme Lem3, which makes the labeling strategy the first example of a covalent and reversible approach that is fully orthogonal to current existing methodologies. Thus, the here presented protein functionalisation approach holds the potential to increase the scope of possible labeling strategies in complex biological systems. In addition to the labeling of tagged target proteins, a CDP-choline derivative equipped with a biotin affinity-tag was synthesised and used in pull-down experiments to investigate the substrate scope of AnkX and to elucidate the role of protein phosphocholination during Legionella pneumophila infection.

  • Gutebrand, Kristoffer
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Ett Drogfritt Samhälle: En filosofisk förfrågan om Sveriges narkotikapolitik2017Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [sv]

    Sveriges narkotikapolitik har en tydlig noll vision; Sverige skall bli ett drogfritt samhälle. För att uppnå det målet följer Sverige en så kallad nolltoleransmodell, vilket innebär en strikt policy som säger att all hantering och bruk oavsett volym och syfte är olagligt. Jag argumenterar att det är en skadlig och ineffektiv policy att applicera på drogproblematiken i Sverige och argumenterar därför istället för att införa en så kallad skadereducerande policy. Detta är istället en policy som accepterar att droger är en del av samhället. En sådan policy jobbar främst med förebyggande och behandlande åtgärder, jag argumenterar för en avkriminalisering av personligt bruk av drog. Jag kommer använda mig av empirisk källor och moralfilosofiska argument för att påvisa att en skadereducerade policy gynnar samhället både ur ett socialt och ekonomiskt perspektiv.

  • Cochard, Aurélie
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Kvinnliga medborgarskolan vid Fogelstads kursverksamhet: - mellan kvinnorörelsens två vågor2017Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    This paper analyses the Fogelstad Citizen School for Women in relation to first andsecond-wave feminism in Sweden. The school was established not long after women in Sweden were given the right to vote in 1921, with the purpose of educating women in civic education, in order for them to be able to make use of their newly gained rights.The school and its founders had thus a close connection to the ideas of Swedish first-wave feminism. On the other hand, the school shut down in 1954, about a decade before second-wave feminism is considered to have started in Sweden in the late 1960’/70’s. Hence, the school was active between two so-called “waves”. By analysing specific ideas on women expressed through course notes from the school’s later years, 1939–1945, this paper explores ideas about women that women’s specific qualities were emphasised in order to argue for women’s increased participation in society, while contextualising with other contemporary tendencies and events in Swedish society. A closer examination shows that specifically the school’s founders and its teacher in citizenship, Ebba Holgersson, were promoting gender essentialism, emphasising women’s nurturing characteristics and using it as an argument for women to participate more in societal and political matters. The results further imply that while this period cannot be attributed a specific feminist “wave” with regards to how a social movement’s wave it was defined, it was nonetheless a period where feminist ideas flourished and thus worked as bridge between first and second-wave feminism.

  • Boberg, Felicia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Krigsfånge eller flykting?: Svenska interneringsläger för utländsk militär personal2017Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
  • Larsen, Øyvind
    et al.
    Hodne, Fritz
    Health Conditions, Population and Physicians in Norway 1814-1986. Notes on the Development of a Profession.1988In: Society, Health and Population during the Demographic Transition / [ed] Anders Brändström and Lars-Göran Tedebrand, Stockholm: Almqvist and Wiksell International , 1988, 331-341 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • Johansson, Petter
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Temporal spawning divergence in European whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus): The first steps towards reproductive isolation in young populations (70-171 years)2017Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    A critical step in ecological speciation is the development of reproductive isolation. The processes leading up to reproductive isolation are difficult to study since they often occur over very long time periods. Populations of European whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus) has gone through reticulate divergent evolution in many Scandinavian lakes during the last 10 000 years. Some populations even exhibit morphological and genetic divergence that involves adaptations to different niches during the first 100-200 years after introduction. This observed rapid diversification into different ecological niches makes whitefish a useful model species for studying ecological speciation and early population divergence. By assessing divergence for three traits in recently introduced whitefish populations, this study aims to elucidate the processes that lead to adaptive phenotypic divergence and reproductive isolation. Whitefish populations of known age (71-170 years) were sampled on their spawning grounds and characterized with respect to, 1) length of spawning season, 2) temporal segregation based on body size, and 3) temporal segregation based on the number of gill rakers. I found that the length of the spawning season and body size differences between early and late spawners increased with population age. No such trend was observed for differences in gill rakers between early and late spawners, but significant divergence within some of the older populations was detected. I conclude that these young whitefish populations have taken the first steps toward reproductive isolation between ecotypes that differs in body size (a highly plastic trait) and gill raker numbers (a trait under strong genetic control).

  • Öhman Mägi, Daniel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Mening och moral: - Är minimal moralisk anständighet nödvändigt för ett meningsfullt liv?2017Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    In this thesis, I argue for the hypothesis that a minimal moral decency is in fact a criterion for livinga meaningful life. To argue that point I present four different arguments about the relation between morality and a meaningful life. These four arguments are grounded in different forms of theories that discuss the concept and conceptions of meaning and a meaningful life. The four arguments are built on the philosophies of: John Cottingham, Laurence Thomas, Susan Wolf and Thaddeus Metz. Two of the arguments are in favor of morality being a criterion for a meaningful life while the other two are against it. The most powerful argument against morality being a part of a meaningful life is built on Metz fundamentality theory which is presented last in the thesis. When we look closer upon Metz description of anti-matter, which can be considered to be the opposite of meaning, come to the conclusion that when avoiding certain anti-matter we live lives with a minimal form of moral decency. The conclusion of this thesis is that a minimal moral decency is in fact a criterion for a meaningful life.

  • Huber, Daniel
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
    Henriksson, Robin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
    Jakobsson, Stina
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
    Mooe, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
    Nurse-led telephone-based follow-up of secondary prevention after acute coronary syndrome: One-year results from the randomized controlled NAILED-ACS trial2017In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 12, no 9, e0183963Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background. Secondary prevention after acute coronary syndrome (ACS) could reduce morbidity and mortality, but guideline targets are seldom reached. We hypothesized that nurse-led telephone- based intervention would increase adherence.

    Methods. The NAILED ACS trial is a prospective, controlled, randomized trial. Patients admitted for ACS at Ostersund hospital, Sweden, were randomized to usual follow-up by a general practitioner or a nurse-led intervention. The intervention comprised telephone follow-up after 1 month and then yearly with lifestyle counselling and titration of medications until reaching target values for LDL-C (< 2.5 mmol/L) and blood pressure (BP; < 140/90 mmHg) or set targets were deemed unachievable. This is a 12-month exploratory analysis of the intervention.

    Results. A total of 768 patients (396 intervention, 372 control) completed the 12-month follow-up. After titration at the 1-month follow-up, mean LDL-C was 0.38 mmol/L (95% CI 0.28 to 0.48, p< 0.05), mean systolic BP 7 mmHg (95% CI 4.5 to 9.2, p< 0.05), and mean diastolic BP 4 mmHg (95% CI 2.4 to 4.1, p< 0.05) lower in the intervention group. Target values for LDL-C and systolic BP were met by 94.1% and 91.9% of intervention patients and 68.4% and 65.6% of controls (p< 0.05). At 12 months, mean LDL was 0.3 mmol/L (95% CI 0.1 to 0.4, p < 0.05), systolic BP 1.5 mmHg (95% CI -1.0 to 4.1, p = 0.24), and mean diastolic BP 2.1 mmHg (95% CI 0.6 to 3.6, p < 0.05) lower in the intervention group. Target values for LDL-C and systolic BP were met in 77.7% and 68.9% of intervention patients and 63.2% and 63.7% of controls (p< 0.05 and p = 0.125).

    Conclusion. Nurse-led telephone-based secondary prevention was significantly more efficient at improving LDL-C and diastolic BP levels than usual care. The effect of the intervention declined between 1 and 12 months. Further evaluation of the persistence to the intervention is needed.

  • de Boer, Lieke
    et al.
    Axelsson, Jan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Diagnostic Radiology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Functional Brain Imaging (UFBI).
    Riklund, Katrine
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Functional Brain Imaging (UFBI). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Diagnostic Radiology.
    Nyberg, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Diagnostic Radiology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Functional Brain Imaging (UFBI). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB).
    Dayan, Peter
    Backman, Lars
    Guitart-Masip, Marc
    Attenuation of dopamine-modulated prefrontal value signals underlies probabilistic reward learning deficits in old age2017In: eLIFE, E-ISSN 2050-084X, Vol. 6, e2642Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Probabilistic reward learning is characterised by individual differences that become acute in aging. This may be due to age-related dopamine (DA) decline affecting neural processing in striatum, prefrontal cortex, or both. We examined this by administering a probabilistic reward learning task to younger and older adults, and combining computational modelling of behaviour, fMRI and PET measurements of DA D1 availability. We found that anticipatory value signals in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) were attenuated in older adults. The strength of this signal predicted performance beyond age and was modulated by D1 availability in nucleus accumbens. These results uncover that a value-anticipation mechanism in vmPFC declines in aging, and that this mechanism is associated with DA D1 receptor availability.

  • Hörnell, Agneta
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Food and Nutrition.
    Berg, Christina
    Forsum, Elisabet
    Larsson, Christel
    Sonestedt, Emily
    Akesson, Agneta
    Lachat, Carl
    Hawwash, Dana
    Kolsteren, Patrick
    Byrnes, Graham
    De Keyzer, Willem
    Van Camp, John
    Cade, Janet E.
    Greenwood, Darren C.
    Slimani, Nadia
    Cevallos, Myriam
    Egger, Matthias
    Huybrechts, Inge
    Wirfalt, Elisabet
    Perspective: An Extension of the STROBE Statement for Observational Studies in Nutritional Epidemiology (STROBE-nut): Explanation and Elaboration2017In: Advances in Nutrition, ISSN 2161-8313, Vol. 8, no 5, 652-678 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Nutritional epidemiology is an inherently complex and multifaceted research area. Dietary intake is a complex exposure and is challenging to describe and assess, and links between diet, health, and disease are difficult to ascertain. Consequently, adequate reporting is necessary to facilitate comprehension, interpretation, and generalizability of results and conclusions. The STrengthening the Reporting of OBservational studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) statement is an international and collaborative initiative aiming to enhance the quality of reporting of observational studies. We previously presented a checklist of 24 reporting recommendations for the field of nutritional epidemiology, called "the STROBE-nut." The STROBE-nut is an extension of the general STROBE statement, intended to complement the STROBE recommendations to improve and standardize the reporting in nutritional epidemiology. The aim of the present article is to explain the rationale for, and elaborate on, the STROBE-nut recommendations to enhance the clarity and to facilitate the understanding of the guidelines. Examples from the published literature are used as illustrations, and references are provided for further reading.

  • Prymula, Roman
    et al.
    Szenborn, Leszek
    Silfverdal, Sven-Arne
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Paediatrics.
    Wysocki, Jacek
    Albrecht, Piotr
    Traskine, Magali
    Gardev, Asparuh
    Song, Yue
    Borys, Dorota
    Safety, reactogenicity and immunogenicity of two investigational pneumococcal protein-based vaccines: results from a randomized phase II study in infants2017In: Vaccine, ISSN 0264-410X, E-ISSN 1873-2518, Vol. 35, no 35B, 4603-4611 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: Vaccination with formulations containing pneumococcal protein antigens such as pneumolysin toxoid (dPly) and histidine-triad protein D (PhtD) may extend serotype-related protection of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) against Streptococcus pneumoniae.

    Methods: This phase II, multi-center, observer-blind trial conducted in Europe (NCT01204658) assessed 2 investigational vaccines containing 10 serotype-specific polysaccharide conjugates of PHiD-CV and either 10 or 30 mu g of dPly and PhtD each. Infants randomized 1:1:1:1 received 4 doses of PHiD-CV/dPly/PhtD-10, PHiD-CV/c1Ply/PhtD-30, PHiD-CV, or 13-valent PCV (PCV13), co-administered with DTPa-HBV-IPV/Flib, at ages 2, 3, 4 and 12-15 months. Occurrences of fever >40.0 degrees C following primary vaccination with PHiD-CV/dPly/PhtD vaccines compared to PHiD-CV (non-inferiority objective), dose superiority, safety and immunogenicity were assessed.

    Results: 575 children received primary vaccination, and 564 booster vaccination. The non-inferiority objective was met; no fever >40.0 degrees C causally related to vaccination was reported during primary vaccination. Incidence of adverse events appeared similar between the 3 PHiD-CV groups. Serious adverse events were reported in 13, 9, 21 (1 related to vaccination), and 17 children in the PHiD-CV/c1Ply/PhtD-10, PHiD-CV/dPly/PhtD-30, PHiD-CV, and PCV13 groups, respectively. PHiD-CV/dPly/PhtD-30 was superior to PHiD-CV/c1Ply/PhtD-10 in terms of post-dose 3 anti-Ply and Anti-PhtD antibody levels. Anti-Ply and anti-PhtD antibody levels were higher in both PHiD-CV/dPly/PhtD groups than in controls and increased from post-primary to post-booster timepoint. Post-primary and booster vaccination, for each PHiD-CV serotype, >= 98.5% of participants in PHiD-CV/dPly/PhtD groups had antibody concentrations >= 0.2 mu g/mL, except for 6B (>= 72.3%) and 23 F (>= 82.7%) post-primary vaccination. Similar results were observed in the PHiD-CV group. Immune responses to protein D and DTPa-HBV-IPV/Hib were within similar ranges for the 3 PHiD-CV groups.

    Conclusion: Both PHiD-CV/dPly/PhtD formulations co-administered with DTPa-HBV-IPV/Hib in infants were well-tolerated and immunogenic for dPly and PhtD antigens, while immune responses to serotype-specific, protein D and co-administered antigens did not appear altered in comparison to PHiD-CV group. 

  • Forsell, Erik
    et al.
    Bendix, Marie
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Psychiatry.
    Holländare, Fredrik
    Szymanska von Schultz, Barbara
    Nasiell, Josefine
    Blomdahl-Wetterholm, Margareta
    Eriksson, Caroline
    Kvarned, Sara
    Lindau van der Linden, Johanna
    Söderberg, Elin
    Jokinen, Jussi
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Psychiatry. Centre for Psychiatry Research, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
    Wide, Katarina
    Kaldo, Viktor
    Internet delivered cognitive behavior therapy for antenatal depression: A randomised controlled trial2017In: Journal of Affective Disorders, ISSN 0165-0327, E-ISSN 1573-2517, Vol. 221, 56-64 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Major depression occurs in 5-10% of pregnancies and is associated with many negative effects for mother and child, yet treatment options are scarce. To our knowledge, this is the first published randomised controlled trial on Internet delivered Cognitive Behavior Therapy (ICBT) for this group.

    Objective: To test the efficacy of a pregnancy adapted version of an existing 10-week ICBT-program for depression as well as assessing acceptability and adherence.

    Design: Randomised controlled trial.

    Setting: Online and telephone.

    Population or sample: Self-referred pregnant women (gestational week 10-28 at intake) currently suffering from major depressive disorder.

    Methods: 42 pregnant women (gestational week 12-28) with major depression were randomised to either treatment as usual (TAU) provided at their antenatal clinic or to ICBT as an add-on to usual care.

    Main outcome measures: The primary outcome was depressive symptoms measured with the Montgomery-Asberg depression rating scale-self report (MADRS-S). The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and measures of anxiety and sleep were used. Credibility, satisfaction, adherence and utilization were also assessed.

    Results: The ICBT group had significantly lower levels of depressive symptoms post treatment (p < 0.001, Hedges g = 1.21) and were more likely to be responders (i.e. achieve a statistically reliable improvement) (RR = 0.36; p = 0.004). Measures of treatment credibility, satisfaction, utilization, and adherence were comparable to implemented ICBT for depression.

    Limitations: Small sample size and no long-term evaluation.

    Conclusion: Pregnancy adapted ICBT for antenatal depression is feasible, acceptable and efficacious. These results need to be replicated in larger trials to validate these promising findings.

  • Munneke, Antoon Frans
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Cornu, Manuel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    The influence of the age difference on trust between young managers and older subordinates: A qualitative study among employees of a Dutch multinational production company2017Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    An aging population results in retirement ages going up and the age difference between subordinates and managers growing bigger. Despite an extensive literature review on trust within organizations, we have not been able to identify studies related to the influence of age difference between managers and their subordinates. The main purpose of this thesis is to gain a deeper understanding of the influence of age difference on trust in relationships between managers and subordinates, and more specifically how the age difference influences the trust in the relationship with their older subordinates. Our research question has been formulated as follows:

    How does age difference influence trust between young managers and their older subordinates?

    Despite studies on trust increasing in popularity over the last years, we identified a research gap since there is no previous studies addressing the influence of age difference on trust between managers and subordinates. Specifically, the influence of the age difference between young managers and older subordinates and the trust between them in their relationship.

    In order to fulfil the purpose of our thesis we have conducted a qualitative research, where we gathered qualitative data through the use of semi-structured interviews. These interviews were conducted in a Dutch multinational production company employing approximately 25.000 employees. By analysing the data we gathered through our semi-structured interviews and relating it to the theoretical framework we built up from pre-existing literature, we were able to answer our research question.

    As a theoretical foundation, we have used the key theories on trust: trust, factors of perceived trustworthiness, antecedent of trustworthy behaviour and employee-organisation relationship. The findings demonstrate that the age difference has influence on an individual’s behaviour, employee expectations and factors of trust. We found an influence of the age difference on benevolence as well as for ability. Young managers are perceived to have different values than older subordinates, resulting in an influence on integrity. Factors related to the social exchange influence trust in other ways as interpersonal relationships have been found to influence the age difference. Finally, the age difference does influence individuals and relational factors due to the expectations of young managers being perceived as strengthening trust with their subordinates.

    Our thesis has contributed to the theory of trust by gaining a deeper knowledge of the influence of age difference on trust between managers and their subordinates. Also we have opened up new areas for research concerning the influence of age difference on trust in other industries or reversed situations. Our thesis has provided management scholars and managers with a deeper understanding of trust in manager-subordinate relationships, providing young managers with theories on how to improve their relationships with their older subordinates.

  • Olofsson, Jenny
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    En kartläggning av regiassistenters roll under tv- respektive filmproduktion.2017Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 180 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    This dissertation is a degree project for a bachelor's degree at Media Producer Education, 180 credits, Umeå University. The study is about identifying and describing how the assistant roles differ from first, second and third and how the work is structured and distributed during a television and film production in Sweden, the United States and England. The study also shows the similarities and differences that exist between the countries. The report is initiated with a part in which the background to the study and the questions that gave rise to the study are presented. Then the method chosen for the study is presented. Through participation in a television drama production, interviews and literature studies have research material has been collected for the study. The conclusion of the study shows that in the United States and England the AD professions and what they include are pretty much the same, However, it differs in Sweden. In Sweden, the role of First AD is the same as in the United States and England, but the others have become more optimized to suit Swedish television or film production. In Sweden, the United States and England the First AD is the directors right hand person and the link between the crew and the director. The first AD is the one who controls the recording site and its main task is to lead and coordinate the film team and support the director in its work. A Second AD in the United States and England works directly under the First AD and acts as his or hers the right hand person. The second AD’s main task is to ensure that the First AD's directives is performed in time and by the right person, that the schedule for actors is held and put together every recording day's call sheet. In Sweden, the Second AD can act as the First AD right hand person, or have responsibility for the background actors. Then the Second AD under pre-production books extras for each scene, schedules costume tests and during production, the second AD has responsibility for the extras and directs the extras according to the director's wishes. In the United States and England the third AD works directly under the First AD and the Second AD and its main responsibility is to assist the First AD and Second AD. The Third AD is also the one that has the responsibility for the background actors. In Sweden, the Third AD works directly under the First AD and Seond AD, if the Second AD isn’t in charge of the background actors. However if the Second AD is in charge of the Extras, then the Third AD works closer to the first AD and fills up for the responsibilities that the Second AD would otherwise have.

  • Duvhammar, Andreas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Economics.
    Familjestorlek och barns utfall i livet: Ett test av kvalitets-kvantitetsmodellen för fertilitet i Niger2017Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [sv]

    Denna uppsats letar efter evidens för kvalitets-kvantitetsmodellen för fertilitet i Niger. Familjestorlekens effekt på barns utbildningsnivå skattas genom att fört använda 2sls, därefter marginaleffektsregressioner. I 2sls visar resultaten små, men signifikanta negativa effekter av familjestorleken på barns utbildning. Inga signifikanta resultat hittas i marginaleffektsregressionerna. Resultaten indikerar att politiska åtgärder som syftar på att minska fertiliteten i Niger kan ha positiva bieffekter på barns utbildning. Om effekten är entonigt för alla familjestorlekar eller om marginaleffekterna varierar för olika familjestorlekar går inte att fastställa i denna uppsats. Båda resultaten kan bero på att en stor majoritet av barnen i samplet är outbildade

  • Sundström, Peter
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Clinical Neuroscience.
    Multiple sclerosis in Västerbotten county, northern Sweden2003Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    One out of several distinguishing features of multiple sclerosis (MS) is the epidemiological variation of geographic distribution. Population-based studies on the prevalence and incidence of MS in Sweden have previously been performed only in Göteborg. Another feature of MS is the clinical variation between individuals. To a large extent data on the clinical characteristics of MS come from studies on cases frequenting MS clinics and therefore, may be biased. Also rare are population-based studies of the consequences of MS-related incapacity on socio­economic factors. As for MS aetiology, both environment and genes are involved. Human herpesviruses are often the main suspected environmental aetiological agents.

    Our aim was to estimate the prevalence of MS in Västerbotten County for 1 January 1990, the incidence during a 10-year period 1988-97, and the prevalence 31 December 1997; and also to present detailed clinical data including onset symptoms and the disability distribution for the latter two MS populations. Furthermore, we wanted to estimate the prevalence of sick leave, professional assistance, and housing; and also, to study the risk factors for sick leave. In order to investigate the association between MS and human herpesviruses, samples were identified in two regional population-based serumbank registers. This linkage identified samples collected from before MS-onset in 73 MS cases and after MS onset in 161 cases The prevalence and incidence populations were identified through multiple sources. Diagnostic ascertainment, the reliability of clinical data, and additional information were assured from a questionnaire with follow-up interview and neurological examination.

    The onset adjusted crude prevalence of MS was 125/100,000 (95% CI: 112-140) in January 1990, and 154/100,000 (95% Cl: 139-170) in December 1997. The increase was mainly attributable to a higher incidence than mortality. The crude incidence rate 1988-97 was 5.2/100,000 (95% CI: 4.4-6.2). The disability distribution in the 1997 prevalence population in Västerbotten was compared to the disability distribution in a Canadian MS population, which has been used for publications on the natural history of MS. One difference from the Canadian studies appears to be the better recognition of cases with more benign disease. Nevertheless almost half of prevalent MS cases aged 18-64 years were fully sick-listed, and one-fourth of all prevalent cases received professional assistance. High disability level was the strongest predictor for sick leave. All MS cases showed signs of past Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection. High activity to EBV (EBNA-1 but not VCA) and human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) significantly (borderline significance for HHV-6) increased the risk to develop MS.

    These estimates show that Västerbotten County is a high risk area for MS. Both incidence and prevalence were significantly higher when compared to estimates from Göteborg. The comparison with the Canadian MS population shows that MS might be a slightly more benign disease than previously recognized. Still, the consequences of MS regarding socio-economic aspects are considerable. We suggest that EBV is a prerequisite for the development of MS. Individuals that will develop MS exhibit an altered immune response against the EBV virus characterised by high activities to EBNA-1 in the absence of high VCA activities, this being most pronounced in the five-year period preceding MS onset. A pathogenetic role is suggested for EBV and remains possible also for HHV-6.

  • Public defence: 2017-10-27 13:00 N420, Umeå
    Fodor, Szabolcs
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Towards semi-automation of forestry cranes: automated trajectory planning and active vibration damping2017Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Forests represent one of the biggest terrestrial ecosystems of Earth, that can produce important raw renewable materials such as wood with the help of sun, air and water. To efficiently extract these raw materials, the tree harvesting process is highly mechanized in developed countries, meaning that advanced forestry machines are continuously used to fell, to process and to transport the logs and biomass obtained from the forests. However, working with these machines is demanding both mentally and physically, which are known factors to negatively affect operator productivity. Mental fatigue is mostly due to the manual operation of the on-board knuckleboom crane, which requires advanced cognitive work with two joystick levers, while the most serious physical strains arise from cabin vibrations. These vibrations are generated from knuckleboom crane vibrations as a result of aggressive manual operation.

    To enhance operator workload, well-being, and to increase productivity of the logging process, semi-automation functions are suggested, which are supervised automatic executions of specific work elements. Some of the related issues are addressed in the current thesis. Therefore, the content is divided into: (1) the design and development of a semi-automation function focused only on the base joint actuator (slewing actuator) of a knuckleboom crane, and (2) active vibration damping solutions to treat crane structure vibrations induced by the main lift cylinder (inner boom actuator). The considered reference machine is a downsized knuckleboom crane of a forwarder machine, which is used to pick up log assortments from a harvesting site.

    The proposed semi-automation function presented in the first part could be beneficial for operators to use during log loading/unloading scenarios. It consists from a closed-loop position control architecture, to which smooth reference slewing trajectories are provided by a trajectory planner that is automated via operator commands. The used trajectory generation algorithms are taken from conventional robotics and adapted to semi-automation context with proposed modifications that can be customizable by operators.

    Further, the proposed active vibration damping solutions are aimed to reduce vibrations of the knuckleboom crane excited by the inner boom actuator due to aggressive manual commands. First, a popular input shaping control technique combined with a practical switching logic was investigated to deal with the excited payload oscillations. This technique proved to be useful with a fixed crane pose, however it did not provide much robustness in terms of different link configurations. To tackle this problem an H2-optimal controller is developed, which is active in the pressure feedback-loop and its solely purpose is to damp the same payload oscillations. During the design process, operator commands are treated and explained from input disturbance viewpoint.

    All of the hypothesis throughout this thesis were verified with extensive experimental studies using the reference machine.

  • Hallgren, Erika
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Upplevd oro över, kunskap och engagemang om klimatförändringar hos invånarna i Örnsköldsviks kommun2017Independent thesis Basic level (university diploma), 80 credits / 120 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    This study looked at local concern and knowledge about and commitment to climate change in the municipality of Örnsköldsvik, Sweden. The purpose of the study was to explore the difference in knowledge and the levels of concern shown, relating to climate change amongst genders and differing age brackets. The theoretical roots of the study are to be found within a WWFs survey from 2017 and survey from the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation conducted (Naturskyddsverket) in 2015. The data collection from this study was undertaken within the local population and consisted of 426 individuals across a diverse range of ages over 16 years old. The result of the study found that a majority of participants showed a high level of awareness when it came to the topic of climate change. However female respondents showed a higher level of knowledge and interest in the subject matter compared to the male respondents. The study also shows that most people believe they have personally experienced the effects of global warming, yet know little about the work being done to address the issue of climate change and global warming by local authorities.     

  • Public defence: 2017-10-27 13:00 Hörsal B, 9 tr, Umeå
    Doohan, Isabelle
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Surviving a major bus crash: experiences from the crash and five years after2017Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Background Major road traffic crashes (RTCs) can have a significant impact on the survivors, their family, and their friends, as well as on emergency personnel, volunteers, and others involved. However, survivors’ perspectives are rare or missing in research on major RTCs in Sweden. A comprehensive understanding of the survivors and their experiences is also lacking. By studying what it is like to survive a major RTC, the care and support provided to survivors can be adapted and improved.

    The overall aim is to broaden the understanding of the short- and long-term consequences and experiences of surviving a major bus crash.

    Methods The contexts are two bus crashes that occurred in Sweden, in February 2007 and December 2014. In total, the participants are 110 out of the 112 survivors, and the data is collected through telephone interviews, official reports, and medical records at one month, three months, and five years after the crashes. Analysis methods include qualitative content analysis, descriptive statistics, thematic analysis, and mixed methods research analysis.

    Results One month after the crash, most of the survivors were experiencing minor or major physical and/or psychological stress in their everyday lives (Study I). Four main findings were identified regarding their experiences of immediate care (Study II): prehospital discomfort, lack of compassionate care, dissatisfaction with crisis support, and satisfactory initial care and support. The importance of compassion and being close to others was also highlighted. Five years after the bus crash in Rasbo (Study III), survivors were still struggling with physical injuries and mental problems. Other long-term consequences were a lasting sense of connectedness among fellow passengers, a gratitude for life, as well as feelings of distress in traffic, especially in regard to buses. The main findings from study IV indicated that injury severity did not seem to affect mental health, and that social aspects were important to the recovery process. There was an interconnection among survivors in which they seemed to be linked to each other’s recovery.

    Conclusion A strong need for short- and long-term social and psychological support in terms of compassion and community is evident in all the studies. The survivors ought to be acknowledged as capable and having the resources to contribute to their own and their fellow survivors’ recovery and health. There is a need for greater understanding of how different the survivors are, with each one of them having various physical, psychological, social, and existential needs. 

  • Public defence: 2017-10-27 10:00 KB.E3.03 (Stora hörsalen, Carl Kempe-salen), KBC-huset, Umeå
    Näsström, Elin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Diagnosis of acute and chronic enteric fever using metabolomics2017Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Enteric (or typhoid) fever is a systemic infection mainly caused by Salmonella Typhi and Salmonella Paratyphi A. The disease is common in areas with poor water quality and insufficient sanitation. Humans are the only reservoir for transmission of the disease. The presence of asymptomatic chronic carriers is a complicating factor for the transmission. There are major limitations regarding the current diagnostic methods both for acute infection and chronic carriage. Metabolomics is a methodology studying metabolites in biological systems under influence of environmental or physiological perturbations. It has been applied to study several infectious diseases, with the goal of detecting diagnostic biomarkers. In this thesis, a mass spectrometry-based metabolomics approach, including chemometric bioinformatics techniques for data analysis, has been used to evaluate the potential of metabolite biomarker patterns for diagnosis of enteric fever at different stages of the disease.

    In Paper I, metabolite patterns related to acute enteric fever were investigated. Human plasma samples from patients in Nepal with culture-confirmed S. Typhi or S. Paratyphi A infection were compared to afebrile controls. A metabolite pattern discriminating between acute enteric fever and afebrile controls, as well as between the two causative agents of enteric fever was detected. The strength of using a panel of metabolites instead of single metabolites as biomarkers was also highlighted. In Paper II, metabolite patterns for acute enteric fever, this time focusing only on S. Typhi infections, were investigated. Human plasma from patients in Bangladesh with culture-positive or -negative but clinically suspected S. Typhi infection were compared to febrile controls. Differences were found in metabolite patterns between the culture-positive S. Typhi group and the febrile controls with a heterogeneity among the suspected S. Typhi samples. Consistencies in metabolite patterns were found to the results from Paper I. In addition, a validation cohort with culture-positive S. Typhi samples and a control group including patients with malaria and infections caused by other pathogens was analysed. Differences in metabolite patterns were detected between S. Typhi samples and all controls as well as between S. Typhi and malaria. Consistencies in metabolite patterns were found to the primary Bangladeshi cohort and the Nepali cohort from Paper I. Paper III focused on chronic Salmonella carriers. Human plasma samples from patients in Nepal undergoing cholecystectomy with confirmed S. Typhi or S. Paratyphi A gallbladder carriage were compared to non-carriage controls. The Salmonella carriage samples were distinguished from the non-carriage controls and differential signatures were also found between the S. Typhi and S. Paratyphi A carriage samples. Comparing metabolites found during chronic carriage and acute enteric fever (in Paper I) resulted in a panel of metabolites significant only during chronic carriage. This work has contributed to highlight the potential of using metabolomics as a tool to find diagnostic biomarker patterns associated with different stages of enteric fever.

  • Public defence: 2017-10-27 09:00 Aulan, Vårdvetarhuset, Umeå
    Sundqvist, Johanna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Forced repatriation of unaccompanied asylum-seeking refugee children: towards an interagency model2017Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction Not all children seeking asylum without parents or other relatives are entitled to residence permits. In the last few years, more than one in four unaccompanied asylum-seeking refugee children have been forced to repatriate, either to their home country or to a transit country. Mostly the children refuse to leave the country voluntarily, and it becomes a forced repatriation. Five actors collaborate in the Swedish child forced repatriation process: social workers, staff at care homes, police officers, Swedish Migration Board officers and legal guardians. When a child is forced to repatriate, the Swedish workers involved must consider two different demands. The first demand requires dignified repatriation, which is incorporated from the European Union’s (EU’s) Return Directive into Swedish Aliens Act. The second demand requires that the repatriation process be conducted efficiently, which means that a higher number of repatriation cases must be processed. The fact that the same professionals have different and seemingly contradictory requirements places high demands on the involved collaborators. Two professionals have a legal responsibility for the children until the last minute before they leave Sweden: social workers and police officers. That makes them key actors in forced repatriation, as they carry most of the responsibility in the process. Further, they often work with children who are afraid what will happen when they return to their home country and often express their fear through powerful emotions. Being responsible and obliged to carry out the government’s decision, despite forcing children to leave a safe country, may evoke negative emotional and mental stress for the professionals involved in forced repatriation.

    Aim The overall aim of this study is to explore and analyse forced repatriation workers’ collaboration and perceived mental health, with special focus on social workers and police officers in the Swedish context.

    Materials and methods The study combines a qualitative and quantitative research design in order to shed light at both a deep and general level on forced repatriation. In qualitative substudy I, a qualitative case study methodology was used in one municipality in a middle-sized city in Sweden. The municipality had a contract regarding the reception of unaccompanied asylum-seeking refugee children iv with the Swedish Migration Board. The municipality in focus has a population of more than 100,000 inhabitants. The city in which the data were collected has developed a refugee reception system where unaccompanied asylumseeking refugee children are resettled and await a final decision regarding their permit applications. This situation made it possible to recruit participants who had worked with unaccompanied refugee children without a permit. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a total of 20 social workers, staff at care homes, police officers, Swedish Migration Board officers and legal guardians. A thematic approach was used to analyse the data. In quantitative substudies II, III and IV, a national survey of social workers (n = 380) and police officers (n = 714), with and without experience of forced repatriation, was conducted. The questionnaires included sociodemographic characteristics, the Swedish Demand-Control Questionnaire, Interview Schedule for Social Interaction, Ways of Coping Questionnaire and the 12- item General Mental Health Questionnaire. Factor analysis, correlational analysis, and univariate and multivariable regression models were used to analyse the data.

    Results The qualitative results in substudy I showed low levels of collaboration among the actors (social workers, staff at care homes, police officers, Swedish Migration Board officers and legal guardians) and the use of different strategies to manage their work tasks. Some of them used a teamwork pattern, showing an understanding of the different roles in forced repatriation, and were willing to compromise for the sake of collaboration. Others tended to isolate themselves from interaction and acted on the basis of personal preference, and some tended to behave sensitively, withdraw and become passive observers rather than active partners in the forced repatriation. The quantitative results in substudy II showed that poorer mental health was associated with working with unaccompanied asylum-seeking refugee children among social workers but not among police officers. Psychological job demand was a significant predictor for mental health among social workers, while psychological job demand, decision latitude and marital status were predictors among police officers. Substudy III showed that both social workers and police officers reported relatively high access to social support. Furthermore, police officers working in forced repatriation with low levels of satisfaction with social interaction and close emotional support increased the odds of psychological disturbances. In substudy IV, social workers used more escape avoidance, distancing and positive-reappraisal coping, whereas police officers used more planful problem solving and self-controlling coping. Additionally, social workers with experience in forced repatriation used more planful problem solving than those without experience.

    Conclusions In order to create the most dignified forced repatriation, based on human dignity, for unaccompanied asylum-seeking refugee children and with healthy actors, a forced repatriation system needs: overall statutory national guidance, interagency collaboration, actors working within a teamworking pattern, forced repatriation workers with reasonable job demands and decision latitude, with a high level of social support and adaptive coping strategies. The point of departure for an interagency model is that it is impossible to change the circumstances of the asylum process, but it is possible to make the system more functional and better adapted to both the children’s needs and those of the professionals who are set to handle the children. A centre for unaccompanied asylum-seeking refugee children, consisting of all actors involved in the children’s asylum process sitting under the same roof, at the governmental level (Swedish Migration Board, the police authority) and municipality level (social services, board of legal guardians), can meet all requirements.

  • Public defence: 2017-10-27 10:00 Hörsal B, Samhällsvetarhuset, Umeå
    Österlind, Malin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Strävan efter samhällsförbättring: idrottspolitiska problematiseringar och lösningsstrategier för formandet av den nyttiga idrotten och den idrottande individen2017Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Sport and sport participation is generally believed to positively contribute to society and individuals and have become important to welfare policy in the westernised world. Simultaneously, there has been an increased political and academic interest in turning sport policy, sport and sport participation into a relevant object of study and evaluation. The overall aim of this dissertation is to develop knowledge on contemporary sport policy and evaluation in relation to ideas about the social significance of sport and sport participation. The purpose is to critically examine how sport policy evaluations, their problematisations and solution proposals help to shape particular images of the good society, good sports and the ideal sport participant. Three research questions are posed: (1) Through what ways of thinking, speaking and knowing are societal and sport policy problems, goals and ideals defined? (2) Through what techniques, methods and strategies are solutions proposed to solve the problems and achieve desired goals and ideals? (3) How are different types of individual and collective (non-)soughtafter subjectivities anticipated and shaped? Drawing on the concept of governmentality, the study focuses on the governing of sport's and the sport participant's conduct, the political problematisations and rationalities regarding this conduct, and the strategies proposed to enhance this conduct. The governmental role of evaluation, knowledge production and scientific expertise is given specific attention. The gradual shifts in governmental rationalities and technologies, from a social form of governing to an advanced liberal form of governing, in the Swedish welfare state provide an overall framework of the study. Two kinds of empirical materials are analysed. First, final reports of sport political government Commissions of inquiries, published in the Swedish Government Official Reports (SOU) from 1922-2008, are analysed. Second, reports of sport political evaluations, published by the Swedish Research Council for Sport Science (CIF) from 2011-2015, are analysed. The analysis reported on in article 1 shows that citizens' 'good' and 'healthy' behaviour and bodies are a focus of problematisation throughout the studied period. In relation to this, sport is seen as an important tool and solution. Parallel to the increased critique of sport in contemporary times, a neo-liberal governmentality is embraced which in turn affects how 'problems' and 'solutions' are thought of in individualistic and rational ways. The analysis reported on in article 2 shows that the 2008 government Commission adopted two main 'problematics'. The democratic problematic concerned a commitment to issues of democracy and equality of opportunities and specified a particular problem of sport; sport excludes rather than includes. The health problematic concerned a commitment to issues of public health and physical activity and focused on a particular problem of the population: people are physically inactive and unhealthy. The argument being proposed in article 2 is that these two problematics construct the ‘problem’ of sport and the sport (non)participant in specific ways, drawing on particular forms of knowledge and discourse, with certain implications for the judgements made and the solutions proposed by the Commission. The analysis reported on in article 3 demonstrates three strategies of evaluation and governing: strategies of representation; deliberation; and reflexivity. The argument being proposed in article 3 is that these three strategies draw on different yet overlapping forms and methods of knowledge about sport participation and thereby also produce different (non-)sport participant subject positions. The analysis reported on in article 4 offers an alternative theoretical conceptualisation, based on governmentality, of the Swedish sports model and shows how sport policy, governing and power can be seen in the light of shifting forms of governmental rationality (i.e. governing from a social point of view to an advanced liberal way of governing). In conclusion, the analyses provided in the thesis as a whole suggest that processes of societal and political improvement in contemporary political governing of sport and sport participation, involves particular images of the good society, good sports and the ideal sport participant.

  • Tamar, Rojin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Kvinnan var Guds andra misstag: En kvalitativ studie om bemötandet av pojkar och flickor inom religionsundervisningen i regionen Kurdistan utifrån ett genusperspektiv.2017Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this study has been to investigate teachers’ treatment of girls and boys in religiouseducation and how these teachers discuss their treatment of them. The study is set in Kurdistan innorthern Iraq. Religion teachers were interviewed in order to examine their reasoning regardingtheir treatment of girls and boys and observations have been performed to investigate how theseteachers treat the students in religious education. As a background, the study describes the Kurdisheducation from the time of them being an ethnic minority group in northern Iraq to becoming a selfgovernedregion with their own curriculum. This study has used a qualitative method whereinterviews have been conducted with a phenomenological approach and ethnography as a methodfor the observations. The study's results have been analyzed based on its gender-theoretical points.The study has been written with the help of a phenomenology approach. The results have beendiscussed based on the studies gender-theoretical points. The conclusion is that even though girlsand boys are considered equal they do not have equal opportunities.

  • Jacobsson, Sofie
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences.
    Larsson, Peter
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences.
    Johansson, Göran
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences.
    Norberg, Margareta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Wadell, Göran
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Microbiology.
    Hallmans, Göran
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Nutritional Research.
    Winso, Ola
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences.
    Söderberg, Stefan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Leptin independently predicts development of sepsis and its outcome2017In: Journal of Inflammation, ISSN 1476-9255, E-ISSN 1476-9255, Vol. 14, 19Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Sepsis is a life-threatening condition and obesity is related to the clinical outcome. The underlying reasons are incompletely understood, but the adipocyte derived hormones leptin and adiponectin may be involved.

    Methods: Patients aged 18 years or more with documented first time sepsis events were included in a nested case-referent study if they had participated in previous health surveys. Two matched referents free of known sepsis were identified. Circulating levels of leptin and adiponectin were determined in stored plasma, and their impact on a future sepsis event and its outcome was evaluated.

    Results: We identified 152 patients (62% women) with a sepsis event and a previous participation in a health survey. Eighty-three % had also blood samples from the acute event. Hyperleptinemia at health survey associated with a future sepsis event (OR 1.77, 95% CI 1.04-3.00) and with hospital death. After adjustment for BMI leptin remained associated with sepsis in men, but not in women. High levels in the acute phase associated with increased risk for in hospital death in women (OR 4.18, 95% CI 1.17-15.00), while being protective in men (OR 0.05, 95% CI 0.01-0.48). Furthermore, leptin increased more from baseline to the acute phase in men than in women. Adiponectin did not predict sepsis and did not relate to outcome.

    Conclusions: Hyperleptinemia independently predicted the development of sepsis and an unfavourable outcome in men, and inertia in the acute response related to worse outcome.

  • Nerudová, Danuše
    et al.
    Mendel University in Brno.
    Schratzenstaller, Margit
    Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO).
    Solilová, Veronika
    Mendel University in Brno.
    The Financial Transactions Tax as Tax-based Own Resource for the EU Budget2017Report (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    Key Findings

    • A broad-based financial transactions tax presents itself as a suitable instrument to simultaneously raise revenues and curb highly speculative and potentially destabilising short-term financial transactions.
    • The introduction of an FTT within Enhanced Cooperation in the EU may serve as a pilot, representing the first step towards an EU-wide implementation.
    • Under a Brexit scenario, an FTT introduced by a “Coalition of the Willing” including 10 EU Member States could yield € 4 to € 33 billion.
    • The FTT is an interesting option for tax-based own resources partially substituting current own resources to finance the EU budget, allowing Member States to cut their national contributions to the EU budget and thus creating budgetary space to cut national taxes more harmful for growth and employment (in particular the high taxes on labour).
  • Boman, Viktor
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Economics.
    Netzén Örn, André
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Economics.
    Okun’s law within the OECD: A cross-country comparison2017Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    In the 60’s, the first article identifying the relationship between output growth and unemployment were released, with the purpose of providing a tool for US authorities to estimate the effect of labour policy on output. This article, presented by Arthur Okun, came to lay the foundation for the commonly known empirical relationship, named Okun’s law. However, since the 60’s, the world has gone through political and economic shocks, such as the oil crisis, fall of the berlin wall, the crisis of the 90’s, the financial crisis and crisis of 2008. These events open up the question: has the relationship changed?

    This study focuses on 21 OECD countries for the time period 1991-2016, with the purpose to identify their respective relationship between output growth and unemployment, namely their Okun coefficient. The test that will be performed calculates the marginal effects of respective country to observe differences. Further, this study aims to give the reader a greater understanding of the complexity underlying the simple model Okun presented in the 60’s. This is done by investigating whether there are any differences in the coefficient for countries within the EU, compared to those out of the EU. To explain the complexity further we check whether factors that affects labour market rigidity, such as union density, create differences in the Okun coefficient. The results from the study shows that the Okun coefficient differs between different countries. They also show that countries belonging to the European Union has a lower Okun’s coefficient on average. Finally, the results show that countries with a union density of over 75 % have a lower coefficient on average.