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  • Svensson, Josefin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    REAL-TIME RENDERING OF DEFORMABLE SNOW COVERS2019Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Rendering snow environments in real-time requires e‚ffective methods for representing the snow and its properties. ‘This thesis explores methods for rendering deformable snow covers, where a dynamic heightfi€eld is used for storing snow heights. Collision detection for cylinder geometries is used to generate tyretracks from wheels. A depth buff‚er is used to make the snow follow the shap eof the terrain and the midpoint displacement algorithm to initialise values for the snow. Diff‚erent methods for triangulating the height€field are considered and the eff‚ects of changing the resolution of both the height€field and the underlying vertex grid are tested. Th‘e tests are run in a simulated environment.

    Th‘e results show that height€fields in combination with collision detection for geometric primitives is a promising representation for deformable snow covers, both in regards to visual results and performance. However, some visual artefacts arise because of the heightfi€eld triangulation and representation of vertex normals. Regarding performance, the computational and rendering times seem to increase exponentially with the heightfi€eld resolution. Th‘e tests also show that the implementations reach the required frame rates for real-time rendering.

  • Terao, Chikashi
    et al.
    Brynedal, Boel
    Chen, Zuomei
    Jiang, Xia
    Westerlind, Helga
    Hansson, Monika
    Jakobsson, Per-Johan
    Lundberg, Karin
    Skriner, Karl
    Serre, Guy
    Ronnelid, Johan
    Mathsson-Alm, Linda
    Brink, Mikael
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Rheumatology.
    Rantapää Dahlqvist, Solbritt
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Rheumatology.
    Padyukov, Leonid
    Gregersen, Peter K.
    Barton, Anne
    Alfredsson, Lars
    Klareskog, Lars
    Raychaudhuri, Soumya
    Distinct HLA Associations with Rheumatoid Arthritis Subsets Defined by Serological Subphenotype2019In: American Journal of Human Genetics, ISSN 0002-9297, E-ISSN 1537-6605, Vol. 105, no 3, p. 616-624Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common immune-mediated arthritis. Anti-citrullinated peptide antibodies (ACPA) are highly specific to RA and assayed with the commercial CCP2 assay. Genetic drivers of RA within the MHC are different for CCP2-positive and -negative subsets of RA, particularly at HLA-DRB1. However, aspartic acid at amino acid position 9 in HLA-B (Bpos-9) increases risk to both RA subsets. Here we explore how individual serologies associated with RA drive associations within the MHC. To define MHC differences for specific ACPA serologies, we quantified a total of 19 separate ACPAs in RA-affected case subjects from four cohorts (n = 6,805). We found a cluster of tightly co-occurring antibodies (canonical serologies, containing CCP2), along with several independently expressed antibodies (non-canonical serologies). After imputing HLA variants into 6,805 case subjects and 13,467 control subjects, we tested associations between the HLA region and RA subgroups based on the presence of canonical and/or non-canonical serologies. We examined CCP2(+) and CCP2(−) RA-affected case subjects separately. In CCP2(−) RA, we observed that the association between CCP2(−) RA and Bpos-9 was derived from individuals who were positive for non-canonical serologies (omnibus_p = 9.2 × 10−17). Similarly, we observed in CCP2(+) RA that associations between subsets of CCP2(+) RA and Bpos-9 were negatively correlated with the number of positive canonical serologies (p = 0.0096). These findings suggest unique genetic characteristics underlying fine-specific ACPAs, suggesting that RA may be further subdivided beyond simply seropositive and seronegative.

  • Markstedt, John-John
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Emergent Routing Strategies in the Lightning Network2019Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    In payment channel networks, such as the Bitcoin native Lightning Network, the routing nodes receive a fee as compensation for displaced liquidity, time value of money and operational costs. Currently this fee is manually set procuring sub optimal profits to the node operator. The network dynamics may be modeled as a graph and each node as an actor utilizing strategies in fee price setting, preferential attachment, timing, allocation and funding akin to game theoretic models. Further assuming rational actors and strategy propagation are proportional to population suggest similar methodology to evolutionary game theory where a strategy’s fitness will emerge as a fraction of population size.

    A simulation study was performed where strategies were played against each other to find emergent equilibria under competitive market pressure. Where such equilibrium may lie have further consequences for the network in form of total throughput, routing cost and robustness. This study suggests a model for the optimal fee price and that a robust network topology with short average paths along with an exponential revenue distribution will emerge from a selection bias induced by free competition

  • Larsson, Olle
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    RUNNING DATABASES IN A KUBERNETES CLUSTERAn evaluation2019Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    A recent trend in so‰ftware engineering is to build applications composed of a set of small independent services – microservices. Kubernetes has become the common denominator for hosting stateless microservices. It off‚ers foundational features such as deployment and replication of microservices as well as cluster resource management. Whereas stateless microservices are well suited to being hosted in Kubernetes, stateful microservices such as databases are generally hosted outside of Kubernetes and managed by domain experts. It is desirable to run stateful services such as databases in Kubernetes to leverage its features, ease of operation, and to harmonize the environment across the entire application stack. Th‘e purpose of this thesis is to investigate and evaluate the current support for hosting stateful applications in the form of databases in Kubernetes, and to show how di‚fferent databases are able to operate in Kubernets. An experimental setup was used where a set of databases – MySQL, TiDB, and CockroachDB, were deployed in a Kubernetes cluster. For each of these databases, a set of operational tasks were performed that concerned backup, upgrading, and capacity re-scaling. During the operations a number of server-sided and clients idedmetrics related to the performance and resource effciency of the databases were captured. ‘The results showed that Kubernetes has got the native capabilities necessary to deploy and run databases, but not to fully operate them correctly. Furthermore, it was concluded that the operations had a widely di‚fferent performance impact depending on the database solution.

  • Harr, Daniel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    EFFICIENT SCALES OF MICROSERVICE-ORIENTED SYSTEMS A comparison of evolutionary algorithms2019Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Many modern soft‰ware systems are designed into a microservice-oriented architecture as they run into issues when a‹ttempting to scale. An issue with large and complex microservice-oriented systems is to know which scales of a system that are well-performing with regard to resource usage. Identifying effcient scales is interesting to minimize resource usage and cost while maximizing performance.‘

    The optimal scales of a demo system is investigated using multi-objective Ant Colony and Particle Swarm optimization. Th‘e optimization methods are evaluated and compared with respect to properties of the resulting set of scales, and how much of the search space that is discovered for the solutions to be produced.‘

    The experiments show that Ant Colony is more consistent in producing the entire correct set of scales. Particle Swarm however is cheaper with regard to the number of scales that need to be tested in order to produce a result. Since testing a scale becomes more expensive as the investigated system grows in size and complexity, an initial conclusion is that Particle Swarm would be more viable for a real-world scenario. ‘There are however some ideas of improvements that could a‚ffect the conclusions, and a larger and more complex system should be tested as well before any real conclusions can be made.

  • Andersson, Carl-Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Evaluating Cross-chain Settlement and Exchange in Cryptocurrency2019Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    While Bitcoin is beginning to cement it's core protocol and principles, the related technologies around it, such as atomic swaps and lightning network could still be considered to be in an infant state when it comes to understanding and development. In this thesis you will find atomic swaps being evaluated in depth, both off-chain and on-chain together with reasoned and somewhat wel ldefined standards and protocols on how atomic swaps should be performed in the future.

  • Leshchenko, Vyacheslav E.
    et al.
    Kessel, Alexander
    Jahn, Olga
    Krüger, Mathias
    Münzer, Andreas
    Trushin, Sergei A.
    Veisz, Laszlo
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics. Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik, D-85748 Garching, Germany.
    Major, Zsuzsanna
    Karsch, Stefan
    On-target temporal characterization of optical pulses at relativistic intensity2019In: Light: Science & Applications, ISSN 2095-5545, E-ISSN 2047-7538, Vol. 8, article id 96Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    High-field experiments are very sensitive to the exact value of the peak intensity of an optical pulse due to the nonlinearity of the underlying processes. Therefore, precise knowledge of the pulse intensity, which is mainly limited by the accuracy of the temporal characterization, is a key prerequisite for the correct interpretation of experimental data. While the detection of energy and spatial profile is well established, the unambiguous temporal characterization of intense optical pulses, another important parameter required for intensity evaluation, remains a challenge, especially at relativistic intensities and a few-cycle pulse duration. Here, we report on the progress in the temporal characterization of intense laser pulses and present the relativistic surface second harmonic generation dispersion scan (RSSHG-D-scan)—a new approach allowing direct on-target temporal characterization of high-energy, few-cycle optical pulses at relativistic intensity.

  • Mahler Hasselquist, Eliza
    et al.
    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Umeå, Sweden.
    Mancheva, Irina
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Eckerberg, Katarina
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Laudon, Hjalmar
    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Umeå, Sweden.
    Policy change implications for forest water protection in Sweden over the last 50 years2019In: Ambio, ISSN 0044-7447, E-ISSN 1654-7209Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Improving water quality has become an important environmental issue, spurred in part by the Water Framework Directive. However, the relationship of policy change with forest water protection measures is relatively unknown. We analyzed how policy and practice have developed in Sweden using 50 years of historic data from the Krycklan Catchment Study, ocusing on riparian buffers. Corresponding to legislation, education and voluntary measures mphasizing stream protection, two step changes occurred; between the 1970s–1980s, buffers increased by 67%, then by 100% between 1990s and 2000s. By 2013, just 50% of the stream length affected by forestry was protected and the application has varied by stream size; small streams lacked a buffer approximately 65% of the time, while 90% of large streams had buffers. The doubling of buffer implementation from the 1990s–2000s corresponded to the adoption of a number of environmental protection policies in the 1990s that all came into effect during this period.

  • Tikka, Veronica
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    The Conflict Transformation in Mozambique2019Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this study is to get a better understanding of the conflict transformation in Mozambique. It has a dual focus: the peace process after the 16 years’ war, and the resumed violent conflict, to understand both the constructive and destructive change of the conflict. A field study including interviews with 23 informants was conducted in Maputo between March and June 2019. The study was guided by conflict transformation theory and employed a case-oriented comparative analysis. The results show that the constructive and destructive change of the conflict in Mozambique were influenced by the context transformation; structure transformation; actor transformation; issue transformation; and personal transformation. Some transformations were more substantial than others, but altogether the combination of and interaction between the factors formed the conflict transformation in Mozambique. Factors which have significantly influenced the conflict are: the asymmetric relationship; the elite bargaining; the intra-party dynamics; the external support; the distrust; and the profile of the leaders of the two parties.

  • Landstedt, Evelina
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Almquist, Ylva B.
    Intergenerational patterns of mental health problems: the role of childhood peer status position2019In: BMC Psychiatry, ISSN 1471-244X, E-ISSN 1471-244X, Vol. 19, no 1, article id 286Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Past research has established the intergenerational patterning of mental health: children whose parents have mental health problems are more likely to present with similar problems themselves. However, there is limited knowledge about the extent to which factors related to the child's own social context, such as peer relationships, matter for this patterning. The aim of the current study was to examine the role of childhood peer status positions for the association in mental health across two generations.

    Methods: The data were drawn from a prospective cohort study of 14,608 children born in 1953, followed up until 2016, and their parents. Gender-specific logistic regression analysis was applied. Firstly, we examined the associations between parental mental health problems and childhood peer status, respectively, and the children's mental health problems in adulthood. Secondly, the variation in the intergenerational patterning of mental health according to peer status position was investigated.

    Results: The results showed that children whose parents had mental health problems were around twice as likely to present with mental health problems in adulthood. Moreover, lower peer status position in childhood was associated with increased odds of mental health problems. Higher peer status appeared to mitigate the intergenerational association in mental health problems among men. For women, a u-shaped was found, indicating that the association was stronger in both the lower and upper ends of the peer status hierarchy.

    Conclusions: This study has shown that there is a clear patterning in mental health problems across generations, and that the child generation's peer status positions matter for this patterning. The findings also point to the importance of addressing gender differences in these associations.

  • Crawford, Andrew A.
    et al.
    Söderberg, Stefan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Kirschbaum, Clemens
    Murphy, Lee
    Eliasson, Mats
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine. Sunderby Research Unit, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
    Ebrahim, Shah
    Smith, George Davey
    Olsson, Tommy
    Sattar, Naveed
    Lawlor, Debbie A.
    Timpson, Nicolas J.
    Reynolds, Rebecca M.
    Walker, Brian R.
    Morning plasma cortisol as a cardiovascular risk factor: findings from prospective cohort and Mendelian randomization studies2019In: European Journal of Endocrinology, ISSN 0804-4643, E-ISSN 1479-683X, Vol. 181, no 4, p. 429-438Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: The identification of new causal risk factors has the potential to improve cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk prediction and the development of new treatments to reduce CVD deaths. In the general population, we sought to determine whether cortisol is a causal risk factor for CVD and coronary heart disease (CHD).

    Design and methods: Three approaches were adopted to investigate the association between cortisol and CVD/CHD. First, we used multivariable regression in two prospective nested case-control studies (total 798 participants, 313 incident CVD/CHD with complete data). Second, a random-effects meta-analysis of these data and previously published prospective associations was performed (total 6680 controls, 696 incident CVD/CHD). Finally, one- and two-sample Mendelian randomization analyses were performed (122,737 CHD cases, 547,261 controls for two-sample analyses).

    Results: In the two prospective nested case-control studies, logistic regression adjusting for sex, age, BMI, smoking and time of sampling, demonstrated a positive association between morning plasma cortisol and incident CVD (OR: 1.28 per 1 SD higher cortisol, 95% CI: 1.06-1.54). In the meta-analysis of prospective studies, the equivalent result was OR: 1.18, 95% CI: 1.06-1.31. Results from the two-sample Mendelian randomization were consistent with these positive associations: OR: 1.06, 95% Cl: 0.98-1.15.

    Conclusions: All three approaches demonstrated a positive association between morning plasma cortisol and incident CVD. Together, these findings suggest that elevated morning cortisol is a causal risk factor for CVD. The current data suggest strategies targeted at lowering cortisol action should be evaluated for their effects on CVD.

  • Sloniecka, Marta
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB).
    Danielson, Patrik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Ophthalmology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB).
    Substance P induces fibrotic changes through activation of the RhoA/ROCK pathway in an in vitro human corneal fibrosis model2019In: Journal of Molecular Medicine, ISSN 0946-2716, E-ISSN 1432-1440, Vol. 97, no 10, p. 1477-1489Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Fibrosis is characterized by hardening, overgrowth, and development of scars in various tissues as a result of faulty reparative processes, diseases, or chronic inflammation. During the fibrotic process in the corneal stroma of the eye, the resident cells called keratocytes differentiate into myofibroblasts, specialized contractile fibroblastic cells that produce excessive amounts of disorganized extracellular matrix (ECM) and pro-fibrotic components such as alpha-smooth muscle actin (alpha-SMA) and fibronectin. This study aimed to elucidate the role of substance P (SP), a neuropeptide that has been shown to be involved in corneal wound healing, in ECM production and fibrotic markers expression in quiescent human keratocytes, and during the onset of fibrosis in corneal fibroblasts, in an in vitro human corneal fibrosis model. We report that SP induces keratocyte contraction and upregulates gene expression of collagens I, III, and V, and fibrotic markers: alpha-SMA and fibronectin, in keratocytes. Using our in vitro human corneal fibrosis model, we show that SP enhances gene expression and secretion of collagens I, III, and V, and lumican. Moreover, SP upregulates gene expression and secretion of alpha-SMA and fibronectin, and increases contractility of corneal fibroblasts during the onset of fibrosis. Activation of the preferred SP receptor, the neurokinin-1 receptor (NK-1R), is necessary for the SP-induced pro-fibrotic changes. In addition, SP induces the pro-fibrotic changes through activation of the RhoA/ROCK pathway. Taken together, we show that SP has a pro-fibrotic effect in both quiescent human keratocytes and during the onset of fibrosis in an in vitro human corneal fibrosis model.

  • Leshchenko, Vyacheslav E.
    et al.
    Kessel, Alexander
    Jahn, Olga
    Krüger, Mathias
    Münzer, Andreas
    Trushin, Sergei A.
    Veisz, Laszlo
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics. Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik, 85748 Garching, Germany.
    Major, Zsuzsanna
    Karsch, Stefan
    On-target temporal characterization of optical pulses at relativistic intensity2019In: Light: Science & Applications, ISSN 2095-5545, E-ISSN 2047-7538, Vol. 8, article id 96Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    High-field experiments are very sensitive to the exact value of the peak intensity of an optical pulse due to the nonlinearity of the underlying processes. Therefore, precise knowledge of the pulse intensity, which is mainly limited by the accuracy of the temporal characterization, is a key prerequisite for the correct interpretation of experimental data. While the detection of energy and spatial profile is well established, the unambiguous temporal characterization of intense optical pulses, another important parameter required for intensity evaluation, remains a challenge, especially at relativistic intensities and a few-cycle pulse duration. Here, we report on the progress in the temporal characterization of intense laser pulses and present the relativistic surface second harmonic generation dispersion scan (RSSHG-D-scan)-a new approach allowing direct on-target temporal characterization of high-energy, few-cycle optical pulses at relativistic intensity.

  • Strand, Geir-Harald
    et al.
    Hansen, Inger
    de Boon, Auvikki
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Sandström, Camilla
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Carnivore Management Zones and their Impact on Sheep Farming in Norway2019In: Environmental Management, ISSN 0364-152X, E-ISSN 1432-1009Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We investigated the impact of Norway's current zonal carnivore management system for four large carnivore species on sheep farming. Sheep losses increased when the large carnivores were reintroduced, but has declined again after the introduction of the zoning management system. The total number of sheep increased outside, but declined slightly inside the management zones. The total sheep production increased, but sheep farming was still lost as a source of income for many farmers. The use of the grazing resources became more extensive. Losses decreased because sheep were removed from the open outfield pastures and many farmers gave up sheep farming. While wolves expel sheep farming from the outfield grazing areas, small herds can still be kept in fenced enclosures. Bears are in every respect incompatible with sheep farming. Farmers adjust to the seasonal and more predictable behavior of lynx and wolverine, although these species also may cause serious losses when present. The mitigating efforts are costly and lead to reduced animal welfare and lower income for the farmers, although farmers in peri-urban areas increasingly are keeping sheep as an avocation. There is a spillover effect of the zoning strategy in the sense that there is substantial loss of livestock to carnivores outside, but geographically near the management zones. The carnivore management policy used in Norway is a reasonably successful management strategy when the goal is to separate livestock from carnivores and decrease the losses, but the burdens are unequally distributed and farmers inside the management zones are at an economic disadvantage.

  • Mamani-Ortiz, Yercin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Cardiovascular risk factors in Cochabamba, Bolivia: estimating its distribution and assessing social inequalities2019Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: The increase in the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors (CVRFs) is considered one of the most important public health problems worldwide and especially in Latin American (LA) countries. Although the systematic surveillance of chronic diseases and their risk factors has been recommended, Bolivia has not yet implemented a national strategy to collect and monitor CVRF information. Evidence from previous studies in Bolivia and other Latin American countries has suggested that CVRFs affect women more than men and mestizos more than indigenous people. However, a more accurate and comprehensive picture of the CVRF situation and how ethnicity and gender intersect to affect CVRFs is dearly needed to support the development of health policies to improve population health and reduce inequalities.

    Objective: to estimate the distribution of CVRFs and to examine intersectional in equalities in Cochabamba – Bolivia in order to provide useful information for public health practice and decision making. The specific objectives are: i) to estimate the prevalence of preventable risk factors associated with CVDs and ii) to assess and explain obesity inequalities in the intersectional spaces of ethnicity and gender.

    Methods: The data collection procedure was based on the Pan-American version (V2.0) of the WHO STEPS approach adapted to the Bolivian context. Between 2015 and 2016, 10,754 individuals aged over 18 years old were surveyed. The two first stages of the STEPS approach were conducted: a) Step 1 consisted of the application of a questionnaire to collect demographic and lifestyle data; b) Step 2 involved taking measurements of height, weight, blood pressure, and waist circumference of the participants.

    To achieve objective 1, the prevalence of relevant behavioural risk factors and anthropometric measures were calculated, and then odds ratios/prevalence ratios were estimated for each CVRF, both with crude and adjusted regression models. Regarding objective 2, an intersectionality approach based on the method suggested by Jackson et al. (67) was used to analyse the ethnic and gender inequalities in obesity. Gender and ethnicity information were combined to form four mutually exclusive intersectional positions: i) the dually disadvantaged group of indigenous women; ii) the dually advantaged group of mestizo men; and the singly disadvantaged groups of iii) indigenous men and iv) mestizo women. Joint and excess intersectional disparities in abdominal obesity were estimated as absolute prevalence differences between binary groups, using binomial regression models. The Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition was applied to estimate the contributions of explanatory factors underlying the observed intersectional disparities.

    Main findings: Our findings revealed that Cochabamba had a high prevalence of CVRFs, with significant variations among the different socio-demographic groups. Indigenous populations and those living in the Andean region showed, in general, a lower prevalence for most of the risk factors evaluated. The prevalence of behavioural risk factors were: current smoking (11.6%); current alcohol consumption (42.76%); low consumption of fruits and vegetables (76.73%); and low level of physical activity (64.77%). The prevalence of metabolic risk factors evaluated were: being overweight (35.84%); obesity (20.49%); abdominal obesity (54.13%); and raised blood pressure (17.5%). It is important to highlight that 40.7% of participants had four or more CVRFs simultaneously.

    Dually and singly disadvantaged groups (indigenous women, indigenous men, and mestizo women) were less obese than the dually advantaged group (mestizomen). The joint disparity showed that the obesity prevalence was 7.26 percentage points higher in the doubly advantaged mestizo men (MM) than in the doubly disadvantaged indigenous women (IW). Mestizo men (MM) had an obesity prevalence of 4.30 percentage points higher than mestizo women (MW) and 9.18 percentage points higher than indigenous men (IM). The resulting excess intersectional disparity was 6.22 percentage points, representing -86 percentage points of the joint disparity. The lower prevalence of obesity in the doubly disadvantaged group of indigenous women (7.26 percentage points) was mainly due to ethnic differences alone. However, they had higher obesity than expected when considering both genders alone and ethnicity alone. Health behaviours were important factors in explaining the intersectional inequalities, while differences in socioeconomic and demographic factors played less important roles.

    Conclusion: The prevalence of all CVRFs in Cochabamba was high, and nearly two-thirds of the population reported two or more risk factors simultaneously. The intersectional disparities illustrate that abdominal obesity is not distributed according to expected patterns of structural disadvantages in the intersectional spaces of ethnicity and gender in Bolivia. A high social advantage was related to higher rates of abdominal obesity, with health behaviours as the most important factors explaining the observed inequalities. The information generated by this study provides evidence for health policymakers at the regional level and a baseline data for department-wide action plans to carry out specific interventionsin the population and on individual levels.

  • Tjärnlund Norén, Lindy
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Effekten av predatorinducerade morfologiska förändringar hos Rana temporaria2017Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Phenotypic plasticity is the ability of an organism to express different phenotypes depending on the biotic or abiotic environment. In many cases, the response to the environment is beneficial to the individual and can therefore represent adaptive phenotypic plasticity. An example includes morphological and life-historical response to predators. Because there has been a weak interest in the effect of these morphological changes, and it often assumes, but rarely shown, that predator-induced changes are adaptive. I tested how different variables, such as maximum acceleration and velocity, were related to each other in different Gosner stages. Eggs and tadpoles of the species Rana temporaria were exposed to various predator enclosures, a control, a stalking predator (European Perch, Perca fluviatilis), and an ambush predator (dragonfly larvae). The tadpoles mean weight, maximum acceleration and velocity, mobility, boldness, and morphological changes in various Gosner stages were analyzed. My tests showed a significant difference in tadpole weight and their morphology, however, there were no differences in speed, acceleration, boldness or mobility. The morphometric analysis of the tadpoles showed a significant change of tadpoles in the perch treatment compared to the tadpoles in the control. The tadpoles in the perch treatment showed a higher TH/TL (tail height/tail length) ratio, and were overall heavier, than the tadpoles in the control, but no significant change compared to the tadpoles in the dragonfly treatment. This shows that the kairomones and alarm cues triggered a large morphological change, but the effect of the change requires more research.

  • Olsson, Amanda
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Naturreservat och produktionsskogar: En studie om förekomsten av signalarter av mossor2019Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [sv]

    Homogenous forests, such as forests managed for timber harvest, have caused a lot of discussion regarding the effect they have on biodiversity. Many studies have been done comparing the presence of organism groups and species between different types of forest and the production forests to better understand the effect production forests have on biodiversity. However, few studies have focused on how the bryophyte community is affected by these forests. In this study I study seven indicator moss species and compare their occurrence between nature reserves and production forests in Örebro municipality. These indicator species are used when evaluating if a forest has habitats that are of importance for red-listed species. When doing the inventory, I searched for potential habitat in the forests and tried to locate these species. I found that there were significantly more indicator species per inventoried area in the nature reserves than in the production forests. Furthermore, the density of the mosses was significantly higher in the nature reserves than in the production forests. These results suggest that habitats that are important for the indicator species and thus, the red-listed species are more scarce in the production forests.

  • de Araujo, Kleiton R.
    et al.
    Sawakuchi, Henrique Oliveira
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura, Universidade de São Paulo, Piracicaba, Brazil.
    Bertassoli, Dailson J., Jr.
    Sawakuchi, Andre O.
    da Silva, Karina D.
    Vieira, Thiago B.
    Ward, Nicholas D.
    Pereira, Tatiana S.
    Carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations and emission in the newly constructed Belo Monte hydropower complex in the Xingu River, Amazonia2019In: Biogeosciences, ISSN 1726-4170, E-ISSN 1726-4189, Vol. 16, no 18, p. 3527-3542Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Belo Monte hydropower complex located in the Xingu River is the largest run-of-the-river (ROR) hydroelectric system in the world and has one of the highest energy production capacities among dams. Its construction received significant media attention due to its potential social and environmental impacts. It is composed of two ROR reservoirs: the Xingu Reservoir (XR) in the Xingu's main branch and the Intermediate Reservoir (IR), an artificial reservoir fed by waters diverted from the Xingu River with longer water residence time compared to XR. We aimed to evaluate spatiotemporal variations in CO2 partial pressure (pCO(2)) and CO2 fluxes (FCO2) during the first 2 years after the Xingu River impoundment under the hypothesis that each reservoir has contrasting FCO2 and pCO(2) as vegetation clearing reduces flooded area emissions. Time of the year had a significant influence on pCO(2) with the highest average values observed during the high-water season. Spatial heterogeneity throughout the entire study area was observed for pCO(2) during both low-and high-water seasons. FCO2, on the other hand, only showed significant spatial heterogeneity during the high-water period. FCO2 (0.90 +/- 0.47 and 1.08 +/- 0.62 mu mol m(2) d(-1) for XR and IR, respectively) and pCO(2) (1647 +/- 698 and 1676 +/- 323 mu atm for XR and IR, respectively) measured during the high-water season were on the same order of magnitude as previous observations in other Amazonian clearwater rivers unaffected by impoundment during the same season. In contrast, during the low-water season FCO2 (0.69 +/- 0.28 and 7.32 +/- 4.07 mu mol m(2) d(-1) for XR and IR, respectively) and pCO(2) (839 +/- 646 and 1797 +/- 354 mu atm for XR and IR, respectively) in IR were an order of magnitude higher than literature FCO2 observations in clearwater rivers with naturally flowing waters. When CO2 emissions are compared between reservoirs, IR emissions were 90% higher than values from the XR during low-water season, reinforcing the clear influence of reservoir characteristics on CO2 emissions. Based on our observations in the Belo Monte hydropower complex, CO2 emissions from ROR reservoirs to the atmosphere are in the range of natural Amazonian rivers. However, the associated reservoir (IR) may exceed natural river emission rates due to the preimpounding vegetation influence. Since many reservoirs are still planned to be constructed in the Amazon and throughout the world, it is critical to evaluate the implications of reservoir traits on FCO2 over their entire life cycle in order to improve estimates of CO2 emissions per kilowatt for hydropower projects planned for tropical rivers.

  • Strehlenert, Helena
    et al.
    Hansson, Johan
    Nyström, Monica Elisabeth
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Global Health. Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, Medical Management Centre, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Hasson, Henna
    Implementation of a national policy for improving health and social care: a comparative case study using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research2019In: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 19, no 1, article id 730Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Comprehensive policies are becoming common for addressing wicked problems in health and social care. Success of these policies often varies between target organizations. This variation can often be attributed to contextual factors. However, there is a lack of knowledge about the conditions for successful policy implementation and how context influences this process. The aim of this study was to investigate county-level actors' perspectives on the implementation of a comprehensive national policy in three Swedish counties. The policy focused on developing quality of care for elderly based on the use of national quality registries (NQRs) and to improve coordination of care.

    Methods: A comparative case study approach was used. Data was collected longitudinally through documents and interviews. The Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) guided the analysis.

    Results: All three counties shared the view that the policy addressed important issues. Still, there was variation regarding how it was perceived and managed. Adaptable features-i.e., NQRs and improvement coaches-were perceived as relevant and useful. However, the counties differed in their perceptions of another policy component-i.e., senior management program-as an opportunity or a disturbance. This program, while tackling complex issues of collaboration, fell short in recognizing the counties' pre-existing conditions and needs and also offered few opportunities for adaptations. Performance bonuses and peer pressure were strong incentives for all counties to implement the policy, despite the poor fit of policy content and local context.

    Conclusions: Comprehensive health policies aiming to address wicked problems have better chances of succeeding if the implementation includes assessments of the target organizations' implementation capacity as well as the implicit quid pro quos involved in policy development. Special attention is warranted regarding the use of financial incentives when dealing with wicked problems since the complexity makes it difficult to align incentives with the goals and to assess potential consequences. Other important aspects in the implementation of such policies are the use of collaborative approaches to engage stakeholders with differing perspectives, and the tailoring of policy communication to facilitate shared understanding and commitment.

  • Hadrevi, Jenny
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Barbe, M. F.
    Ortenblad, N.
    Frandsen, U.
    Boyle, E.
    Lazar, S.
    Sjogaard, G.
    Sogaard, K.
    Calcium Fluxes in Work-Related Muscle Disorder: Implications from a Rat Model2019In: BioMed Research International, ISSN 2314-6133, E-ISSN 2314-6141, Vol. 2019, article id 5040818Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: Ca2+ regulatory excitation-contraction coupling properties are key topics of interest in the development of work-related muscle myalgia and may constitute an underlying cause of muscle pain and loss of force generating capacity.

    Method: A well-established rat model of high repetition high force (HRHF) work was used to investigate if such exposure leads to an increase in cytosolic Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) and changes in sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) vesicle Ca2+ uptake and release rates.

    Result: Six weeks exposure of rats to HRHF increased indicators of fatigue, pain behaviors, and [Ca2+]i, the latter implied by around 50–100% increases in pCam, as well as in the Ca2+ handling proteins RyR1 and Casq1 accompanied by an ∼10% increased SR Ca2+ uptake rate in extensor and flexor muscles compared to those of control rats. This demonstrated a work-related altered myocellular Ca2+ regulation, SR Ca2+ handling, and SR protein expression.

    Discussion: These disturbances may mirror intracellular changes in early stages of human work-related myalgic muscle. Increased uptake of Ca2+ into the SR may reflect an early adaptation to avoid a sustained detrimental increase in [Ca2+]i similar to the previous findings of deteriorated Ca2+ regulation and impaired function in fatigued human muscle.

  • Puschmann, Andreas
    et al.
    Jimenez-Ferrer, Itzia
    Lundblad-Andersson, Elin
    Martensson, Emma
    Hansson, Oskar
    Odin, Per
    Widner, Håkan
    Brolin, Kajsa
    Mzezewa, Ropafadzo
    Kristensen, Jonas
    Soller, Maria
    Ygland Rödström, Emil
    Ross, Owen A.
    Toft, Mathias
    Breedveld, Guido J.
    Bonifati, Vincenzo
    Brodin, Lovisa
    Zettergren, Anna
    Sydow, Olof
    Linder, Jan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience.
    Wirdefeldt, Karin
    Svenningsson, Per
    Nissbrandt, Hans
    Belin, Andrea Carmine
    Forsgren, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience.
    Swanberg, Maria
    Low prevalence of known pathogenic mutations in dominant PD genes: A Swedish multicenter study2019In: Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, ISSN 1353-8020, E-ISSN 1873-5126, Vol. 66, p. 158-165Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: To determine the frequency of mutations known to cause autosomal dominant Parkinson disease (PD) in a series with more than 10% of Sweden's estimated number of PD patients.

    Methods: The Swedish Parkinson Disease Genetics Network was formed as a national multicenter consortium of clinical researchers who together have access to DNA from a total of 2,206 PD patients; 85.4% were from population-based studies. Samples were analyzed centrally for known pathogenic mutations in SNCA (duplications/triplications, p.Ala30Pro, p.Ala53Thr) and LRRK2 (p.Asn1437His, p.Arg1441His, p.Tyr1699Cys, p.Gly2019Ser, p.Ile2020Thr). We compared the frequency of these mutations in Swedish patients with published PD series and the gnomAD database.

    Results: A family history of PD in first- and/or second-degree relatives was reported by 21.6% of participants. Twelve patients (0.54%) carried LRRK2 p.(Gly2019Ser) mutations, one patient (0.045%) an SNCA duplication. The frequency of LRRK2 p.(Gly2019Ser) carriers was 0.11% in a matched Swedish control cohort and a similar 0.098% in total gnomAD, but there was a marked difference between ethnicities in gnomAD, with 42-fold higher frequency among Ashkenazi Jews than all others combined.

    Conclusions: In relative terms, the LRRK2 p.(Gly2019Ser) variant is the most frequent mutation among Swedish or international PD patients, and in gnomAD. SNCA duplications were the second.most common of the mutations examined. In absolute terms, however, these known pathogenic variants in dominant PD genes are generally very rare and can only explain a minute fraction of familial aggregation of PD. Additional genetic and environmental mechanisms may explain the frequent co-occurrence of PD in close relatives.

  • Hussain-Alkhateeb, Laith
    et al.
    D'Ambruoso, Lucia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Global Health. Aberdeen Centre for Health Data Science (ACHDS), Institute of Applied Health Sciences, School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK; Medical Research Council/Wits University Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit (Agincourt), School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa .
    Tollman, Stephen
    Kahn, Kathleen
    Van Der Merwe, Maria
    Twine, Rhian
    Schioler, Linus
    Petzold, Max
    Byass, Peter
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Global Health. Aberdeen Centre for Health Data Science (ACHDS), Institute of Applied Health Sciences, School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK; Medical Research Council/Wits University Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit (Agincourt), School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS), Wallenberg Research Centre at Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa .
    Enhancing the value of mortality data for health systems: adding Circumstances Of Mortality CATegories (COMCATs) to deaths investigated by verbal autopsy2019In: Global Health Action, ISSN 1654-9716, E-ISSN 1654-9880, Vol. 12, no 1, article id 1680068Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Half of the world’s deaths and their causes pass unrecorded by routine registration systems, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Verbal autopsy (VA) collects information on medical signs, symptoms and circumstances from witnesses of a death that is used to assign likely medical causes. To further contextualise information on mortality, understanding underlying determinants, such as logistics, barriers to service utilisation and health systems responses, is important for health planning. Adding systematic methods for categorising circumstantial determinants of death to conventional VA tools is therefore important. In this context, the World Health Organization (WHO) leads the development of international standards for VA, and added questions on the social and health systems circumstances of death in 2012. This paper introduces a pragmatic and scalable approach for assigning relevant Circumstances Of Mortality CATegories (COMCATs) within VA tools, and examines their consistency, reproducibility and plausibility for health policy making, as well as assessing additional effort and cost to the routine VA process. This innovative COMCAT model is integrated with InterVA-5 software (which processes WHO-2016 VA data), for assigning numeric likelihoods to six circumstantial categories for each death. VA data from 4,116 deaths in the Agincourt Health and Socio-Demographic Surveillance System in South Africa from 2012 to 2016 were used to demonstrate proof of principle for COMCATs. Lack of resources to access health care, poor recognition of diseases and inadequate health systems responses ranked highest among COMCATs in the demonstration dataset. COMCATs correlated plausibly with age, sex, causes of death and local knowledge of the demonstration population. The COMCAT approach appears to be plausible, feasible and enhances the functionality of routine VA to account for critical limiting circumstances at and around the time of death. It is a promising tool for evaluating progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals and the roll-out of Universal Health Coverage.

  • Westman, Sara
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC). Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Plant Physiology.
    Kloth, Karen J.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC). Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Plant Physiology. Laboratory of Entomology, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
    Hanson, Johannes
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Plant Physiology. Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC).
    Ohlsson, Anna B.
    Albrectsen, Benedicte Riber
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Plant Physiology. Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC).
    Defence priming in Arabidopsis: a Meta-Analysis2019In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 9, article id 13309Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Defence priming by organismal and non-organismal stimulants can reduce effects of biotic stress in plants. Thus, it could help efforts to enhance the sustainability of agricultural production by reducing use of agrochemicals in protection of crops from pests and diseases. We have explored effects of applying this approach to both Arabidopsis plants and seeds of various crops in meta-analyses. The results show that its effects on Arabidopsis plants depend on both the priming agent and antagonist. Fungi and vitamins can have strong priming effects, and priming is usually more effective against bacterial pathogens than against herbivores. Moreover, application of bio-stimulants (particularly vitamins and plant defence elicitors) to seeds can have promising defence priming effects. However, the published evidence is scattered, does not include Arabidopsis, and additional studies are required before we can draw general conclusions and understand the molecular mechanisms involved in priming of seeds' defences. In conclusion, defence priming of plants has clear potential and application of bio-stimulants to seeds may protect plants from an early age, promises to be both labour- and resource-efficient, poses very little environmental risk, and is thus both economically and ecologically promising.

  • Söderström, Adam
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Field study of RC column in high risebuilding - Monitoring and analysis2019Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 300 HE creditsStudent thesis
  • Addi, Ait-Mlouk
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Tarik, Agouti
    Cadi Ayyad university.
    DM-MCDA: A web-based platform for data mining and multiple criteria decision analysis: A case study on road accident2019In: SoftwareX, E-ISSN 2352-7110, Vol. 10, article id 100323Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Today’s ultra-connected world is generating a huge amount of data stored in databases and cloud environment especially in the era of transportation. These databases need to be processed and analyzed to extract useful information and present it as a valid element for transportation managers for further use, such as road safety, shipping delays, and shipping optimization. The potential of data mining algorithms is largely untapped, this paper shows large-scale techniques such as associations rule analysis, multiple criteria analysis, and time series to improve road safety by identifying hot-spots in advance and giving chance to drivers to avoid the dangers. Indeed, we proposed a framework DM-MCDA based on association rules mining as a preliminary task to extract relationships between variables related to a road accident, and then integrate multiple criteria analysis to help decision-makers to make their choice of the most relevant rules. The developed system is flexible and allows intuitive creation and execution of different algorithms for an extensive range of road traffic topics. DM-MCDA can be expanded with new topics on demand, rendering knowledge extraction more robust and provide meaningful information that could help in developing suitable policies for decision-makers.

  • Svensson, Daniel
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Sjögren, Rickard
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry. Corporate Research, Sartorius AG, Umeå, Sweden.
    Sundell, David
    Sjödin, Andreas
    Trygg, Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry. Corporate Research, Sartorius AG, Umeå, Sweden.
    doepipeline: a systematic approach to optimizing multi-level and multi-step data processing workflows2019In: BMC Bioinformatics, ISSN 1471-2105, E-ISSN 1471-2105, Vol. 20, no 1, article id 498Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Selecting the proper parameter settings for bioinformatic software tools is challenging. Not only will each parameter have an individual effect on the outcome, but there are also potential interaction effects between parameters. Both of these effects may be difficult to predict. To make the situation even more complex, multiple tools may be run in a sequential pipeline where the final output depends on the parameter configuration for each tool in the pipeline. Because of the complexity and difficulty of predicting outcomes, in practice parameters are often left at default settings or set based on personal or peer experience obtained in a trial and error fashion. To allow for the reliable and efficient selection of parameters for bioinformatic pipelines, a systematic approach is needed.

    Results: We present doepipeline, a novel approach to optimizing bioinformatic software parameters, based on core concepts of the Design of Experiments methodology and recent advances in subset designs. Optimal parameter settings are first approximated in a screening phase using a subset design that efficiently spans the entire search space, then optimized in the subsequent phase using response surface designs and OLS modeling. Doepipeline was used to optimize parameters in four use cases; 1) de-novo assembly, 2) scaffolding of a fragmented genome assembly, 3) k-mer taxonomic classification of Oxford Nanopore Technologies MinION reads, and 4) genetic variant calling. In all four cases, doepipeline found parameter settings that produced a better outcome with respect to the characteristic measured when compared to using default values. Our approach is implemented and available in the Python package doepipeline.

    Conclusions: Our proposed methodology provides a systematic and robust framework for optimizing software parameter settings, in contrast to labor- and time-intensive manual parameter tweaking. Implementation in doepipeline makes our methodology accessible and user-friendly, and allows for automatic optimization of tools in a wide range of cases. The source code of doepipeline is available at https://github.com/clicumu/doepipeline and it can be installed through conda-forge.

  • Eid Rodríguez, Daniel
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Global Health. Department of Biomedical Sciences Research, Faculty of Medicine, San Simon University, Cochabamba, Bolivia.
    San Sebastian, Miguel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Pulkki-Brännström, Anni-Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Global Health.
    "Cheaper and better": Societal cost savings and budget impact of changing from systemic to intralesional pentavalent antimonials as the first-line treatment for cutaneous leishmaniasis in Bolivia2019In: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, ISSN 1935-2727, E-ISSN 1935-2735, Vol. 13, no 11, article id e0007788Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    INTRODUCTION: Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL), endemic in Bolivia, mostly affects poor people in rainforest areas. The current first-line treatment consists of systemic pentavalent antimonials (SPA) for 20 days and is paid for by the Ministry of Health (MoH). Long periods of drug shortages and a lack of safe conditions to deliver treatment are challenges to implementation. Intralesional pentavalent antimonials (ILPA) are an alternative to SPA. This study aims to compare the cost of ILPA and SPA, and to estimate the health and economic impacts of changing the first-line treatment for CL in a Bolivian endemic area.

    METHODS: The cost-per-patient treated was estimated for SPA and ILPA from the perspectives of the MoH and society. The quantity and unit costs of medications, staff time, transportation and loss of production were obtained through a health facility survey (N = 12), official documents and key informants. A one-way sensitivity analysis was conducted on key parameters to evaluate the robustness of the results. The annual number of patients treated and the budget impact of switching to ILPA as the first-line treatment were estimated under different scenarios of increasing treatment utilization. Costs were reported in 2017 international dollars (1 INT$ = 3.10 BOB).

    RESULTS: Treating CL using ILPA was associated with a cost-saving of $248 per-patient-treated from the MoH perspective, and $688 per-patient-treated from the societal perspective. Switching first-line treatment to ILPA while maintaining the current budget would allow two-and-a-half times the current number of patients to be treated. ILPA remained cost-saving compared to SPA in the sensitivity analysis.

    CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study support a shift to ILPA as the first-line treatment for CL in Bolivia and possibly in other South American countries.

  • Westin, Johan
    et al.
    Aleman, Soo
    Castedal, Maria
    Duberg, Ann-Sofi
    Eilard, Anders
    Fischlere, Björn
    Kampmann, Christian
    Lindahl, Karin
    Lindh, Magnus
    Norkrans, Gunnar
    Stenmark, Stephan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Microbiology, Infectious Diseases.
    Weiland, Ola
    Wejstål, Rune
    Management of hepatitis B virus infection, updated Swedish guidelines2019In: Infectious Diseases, ISSN 2374-4235, E-ISSN 2374-4243Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Despite access to effective antiviral drugs and vaccines, hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection remains a major health issue worldwide. HBV is highly infectious and may cause chronic infection, progressive liver damage, hepatocellular cancer (HCC) and death. Early diagnosis, proper management and timing of treatment are crucial. The Swedish Reference group for Antiviral Treatment (RAV) here provides updated evidence-based guidelines for treatment and management of HBV infection which may be applicable also in other countries. Tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) has been introduced as a novel treatment option and new principles regarding indication and duration of treatment and characterization of hepatitis B have been gradually introduced which justifies an update of the previous guidelines from 2007. Updated guidelines on HCC surveillance in HBV-infected patients, treatment and prophylaxis for patients undergoing liver transplantation as well as management of pregnant women and children with HBV infection are also provided.

  • Sundin, Olle
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Natural Language Content Generation for Computer Games2019Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The demand for engaging and fresh game content is steadily increasing in the modern computer game industry. However, the manual process of game content creation is expensive and unscalable which has led to an increased use of Procedural Content Generation methods.In this thesis we explore the possibilities of combining Natural Language Generation with Procedural Content Generation methods to produce natural language game content for the computer game Crusader Kings II. We present several theoretical proposals for Natural Language Generation techniques suitable for Crusader Kings II. Furthermore, we propose, implement and evaluate a new method, MergeTree, that is a variation on the traditional NLG pipeline. The new method combines the existing softwares CoreNLP and SimpleNLG into a new pipeline architecture in order to rewrite existing surface texts. The MergeTree parser is an intermediate tool which creates a Text Specification for a given surface text. This allows for additional microplanning in order to generate linguistic variations of the existing surface texts.Fifty sentences from existing event descriptions in Crusader Kings II were given as input to the MergeTree parser, which could correctly handle 30% of the inputs. Additionally, 26% of the inputs caused minor errors which could be resolved with future development of the MergeTree method.

  • Brignall, Robert
    et al.
    Sliacan, Jakub
    Combinatorial specifications for juxtapositions of permutation classes2019In: The Electronic Journal of Combinatorics, ISSN 1097-1440, E-ISSN 1077-8926, Vol. 26, no 4, article id P4.4Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We show that, given a suitable combinatorial specification for a permutation class C, one can obtain a specification for the juxtaposition (on either side) of C with Av(21) or Av(12), and that if the enumeration for C is given by a rational or algebraic generating function, so is the enumeration for the juxtaposition. Furthermore this process can be iterated, thereby providing an effective method to enumerate any 'skinny' k x 1 grid class in which at most one cell is non-monotone, with a guarantee on the nature of the enumeration given the nature of the enumeration of the non-monotone cell.

  • Public defence: 2019-12-13 10:00 KB.E3.01 (Lilla hörsalen), Umeå
    Phal, Sereilakhena
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Development of electrochemical sensor and biosensor platforms: detection of therapeutic drugs and heavy metal ions2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Electrochemical sensors and biosensors combine the sensitivity of electroanalytical methods with the selectivity of a sensor or biosensor surface. The chemical or biochemical component (receptor) in the sensor recognizes an analyte and produces an electrical signal which is proportional to the analyte concentration. Some of these sensors are routinely used in clinical applications and are known for their simplicity, portability, cost-effective, and miniaturization. The glucose sensor used in the management of diabetes is a good example of such biosensors.

    This thesis deals with the development of electrochemical biosensor and sensor platforms for the detection of therapeutic drugs, demonstrated using methotrexate (MTX) which is the most common drug used for the treatment of cancer patients, and heavy metal ions (Pb2+ and Cd2+).

    The biosensor surfaces were generated by immobilization of antibody (anti-MTX) on chemically modified gold electrodes using different surface modification protocols. Self-assemble monolayer (SAM) using alkanethiol (cysteamine) or electrografting with diazonium salt (4- carboxybenzenediaonium tetrafluoroborate, 4-CBD) was used for surface modification. The surface modification was monitored and characterized using electrochemical immittance spectroscopy (EIS) and cyclic voltammetry (CV) along with other complementary technique such as X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The biosensing surfaces were used for the detection of MTX in an electrochemical flow cell (paper I) and in a batch system (paper II). The detection was based on non-faradaic electrochemical immittance spectroscopy (EIS) and singular value decomposition (SVD) for data evaluation. Both electrochemical biosensors provided the lowest limit of detection, LOD (at picomolar level) compared to earlier reports.

    The electrografting of 4-CBD on glassy carbon electrode (GCE) using CV and the parameters that influence the number of monolayers that can be grafted on the surface are demonstrated (paper III). The CVs obtained during grafting showed one or two reduction peaks, and this was found to be related to the number of monolayers deposited on the electrode. One can increase the number of monolayers by increasing the concentration of 4-CBD or decreasing the scan rate. The GCE, grafted using 4-CBD, was incorporated with Bi by an in situ electrodeposition of Bi3+ and used as an electrochemical sensor for detection of Pb2+ and Cd2+ using square wave anodic stripping voltammetry, SWASV (paper IV). The sensor resulted in LOD of 10 μg L-1 for Pb2+ and 25 μg L-1 for Cd2+. The applicability of the sensor was tested for detection of Pb2+ and Cd2+ in tap water and compared with ICP-OES. The results were comparable, demonstrating the potential of the sensor as an alternative to ICP-OES for the detection of metal ions in water samples.

  • Belibasakis, Georgios N
    et al.
    Division of Oral Diseases, Department of Dental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, S-141 04 Huddinge, Sweden.
    Maula, Terhi
    Department of Biochemistry, University of Turku, FI-20014 Turku, Finland.
    Bao, Kai
    Division of Oral Diseases, Department of Dental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, S-141 04 Huddinge, Sweden.
    Lindholm, Mark
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology.
    Bostanci, Nagihan
    Division of Oral Diseases, Department of Dental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, S-141 04 Huddinge, Sweden.
    Oscarsson, Jan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology.
    Ihalin, Riikka
    Department of Biochemistry, University of Turku, FI-20014 Turku, Finland.
    Johansson, Anders
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology.
    Virulence and Pathogenicity Properties of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans2019In: Pathogens, ISSN 2076-0817, Vol. 8, no 4, article id E222Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans is a periodontal pathogen colonizing the oral cavity of a large proportion of the human population. It is equipped with several potent virulence factors that can cause cell death and induce or evade inflammation. Because of the large genetic diversity within the species, both harmless and highly virulent genotypes of the bacterium have emerged. The oral condition and age, as well as the geographic origin of the individual, influence the risk to be colonized by a virulent genotype of the bacterium. In the present review, the virulence and pathogenicity properties of A. actinomycetemcomitans will be addressed.

  • Hochrainer-Stigler, Stefan
    et al.
    Colon, Celian
    Boza, Gergely
    Brännström, Åke
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics.
    Linnerooth-Bayer, Joanne
    Pflug, Georg
    Poledna, Sebastian
    Rovenskaya, Elena
    Dieckmann, Ulf
    Measuring, modeling, and managing systemic risk: the missing aspect of human agency2019In: Journal of Risk Research, ISSN 1366-9877, E-ISSN 1466-4461Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It is problematic to treat systemic risk as a merely technical problem that can be solved by natural-science methods and through biological and ecological analogies. There appears to be a discrepancy between understanding systemic risk from a natural-science perspective and the unresolved challenges that arise when humans with their initiatives and interactions are included in systemic-risk considerations. It is therefore necessary to investigate possible fundamental differences and similarities of systemic risk with and without accounting for human involvement. Focusing on applied and implementation aspects of measuring, modeling, and managing systemic risks, we identify three important and distinct features characterizing such fundamental differences: indetermination, indecision, and responsibility. We contend that, first, including human initiatives and interactions in systemic-risk considerations must emphasize a type of variability that is especially relevant in this context, namely the role of free will as a fundamental source of essential indetermination in human agency. Second, we postulate that collective indecision generated by mutual uncertainty often leads to the suspension or alteration of rules, procedures, scripts, and norms. Consequently, the associated systemic risks cannot be incorporated into explanatory models, as the new causal rules cannot be predicted and accounted for. Third, analogies from biology and ecology, especially the idea of ‘contagion,’ downplay human agency, and therefore human responsibility, promoting the false belief that systemic risk is a merely technical problem. For each of these three features, we provide recommendations for future directions and suggest how measuring, modeling, and managing approaches from the natural-science domain can best be applied in light of human agency.

  • Hudson, Christine
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umea University.
    Nyseth, Torill
    Arctic University of Norway.
    Pedersen, Paul
    Tromsö.
    Dealing with difference: Contested place identities in two northern Scandinavian cities2019In: City, ISSN 1360-4813, E-ISSN 1470-3629Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In an era of culturally driven growth, urban identities are of central importance for the branding of cities. However, urban identities are under constant re-negotiation as cities’ populations become more diverse. In northern Scandinavia, some cities have developed on what were traditionally Indigenous lands but have failed to acknowledge the role these roots and histories have played in shaping the city’s identity. As the numbers of Indigenous people living in cities grow and they begin to assert their right to the city, the relationship between a city’s ‘majority population’ identity and its ‘Indigenous’ identity may become contested. Looking at the northern Scandinavian cities of Tromsø (Norway) and Umeå (Sweden), we study the conflicts that have arisen around the cities’ place identity. In Tromsø, the conflicts concerned joining the Sámi Administration Area. Whereas, in Umeå, the Sámi identity of the city was contested in relation to the inauguration of Umeå as European Capital of Culture 2014. Drawing on theories of place identity, social justice and the right to the city and analysing representations of place identity in the local media and public fora, we discuss the importance of change and reproduction of urban identities and power relations in the two cities. We conclude that contestation can open up space for change and challenge the city’s dominant power relations, encouraging a resurgent politics of recognition of Indigenous identities rather than a conciliatory form of settler-state recognition that (re)produces and maintains colonial relations.

  • Järvenson, Gustav
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Economics.
    Tillväxt och konvergens inom Sverige, 1996 - 20162019Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [sv]

    Inom tillväxtteori finns begreppet konvergens. Konvergens innebär att länder och regioner konvergerar mot gemensamma ekonomiska nivåer. Om konvergens existerar finns ett negativt samband mellan den initiala storleken på landets ekonomi samt dess tillväxttakt. Detta innebär att länder och regioner med till exempel initialt låga BNP-nivåer uppvisar en högre tillväxttakt än redan starka regioner. Syftet med denna uppsats är att undersöka om det går att urskilja någon form av ekonomisk konvergens mellan Sveriges län åren 1996 – 2016. För att undersöka detta estimeras en regressionsmodell där samtliga län inkluderas. Den beroende variabeln är BRP-tillväxt och den huvudsakliga förklarande variabeln är BRP-nivå. Resultatet uppvisar ett negativt samband mellan BRP-tillväxt och BRP-nivå för den studerade tidsperioden. Detta innebär att det finns belägg för att det mellan åren 1996 och 2016 fanns en ekonomisk konvergens mellan Sveriges 21 olika län. Resultatet ligger i linje med tidigare studier samt den teori som finns på området.

  • Schumann, Barbara
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Global Health. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Demographic and Ageing Research (CEDAR).
    Häggström Lundevaller, Erling
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Demographic and Ageing Research (CEDAR).
    Lena, Karlsson
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Demographic and Ageing Research (CEDAR). Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Weather extremes and perinatal mortality - Seasonal and ethnic differences in northern Sweden, 1800-18952019In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 14, no 10, article id e0223538Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Many studies have shown the impact of heat and cold on total and age-specific mortality, but knowledge gaps remain regarding weather vulnerability of very young infants. This study assessed the association of temperature extremes with perinatal mortality (stillbirths and deaths in the first week of life), among two ethnic groups in pre-industrial northern Sweden.

    METHODS: We used population data of indigenous Sami and non-Sami in selected parishes of northern Sweden, 1800-1895, and monthly temperature data. Multiple logistic regression models were conducted to estimate the association of cold (<10th percentile of temperature) and warmth (>90th percentile) in the month of birth with perinatal mortality, adjusted for cold and warmth in the month prior birth and period, stratified by season and ethnicity.

    RESULTS: Perinatal mortality was slightly higher in Sami than in non-Sami (46 vs. 42 / 1000 live and stillbirths), but showed large variations across the region and over time. Both groups saw the highest perinatal mortality in autumn. For Sami, winter was a high-risk time as well, while for non-Sami, seasonality was less distinct. We found an association between exposure to cold and perinatal mortality among winter-born Sami [Odds ratio (OR) 1.91, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.26-2.92, compared to moderate temperature], while there was little effect of cold or warmth during other seasons. Non-Sami, meanwhile, were affected in summer by warmth (OR 0.20, CI 0.05-0.81), and in autumn by cold (OR 0.39, CI 0.19-0.82).

    CONCLUSIONS: In this pre-industrial, subarctic setting, the indigenous Sami's perinatal mortality was influenced by extreme cold in winter, while non-Sami seemed to benefit from high temperature in summer and low temperature in autumn. Climate vulnerability of these two ethnic groups sharing the same environment was shaped by their specific lifestyles and living conditions.

  • Al-Tamprouri, Chaifa
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Paediatrics.
    Barman, Malin
    Hesselmar, Bill
    Bråbäck, Lennart
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Section of Sustainable Health.
    Sandin, Anna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Paediatrics.
    Cat and dog ownership during/after the first year of life and risk for sensitization and reported allergy symptoms at age 132019In: Immunity, Inflammation and Disease, E-ISSN 2050-4527Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Avoidance of pets as a strategy for preventing atopic diseases has been questioned. This study aimed to identify the risk of sensitization and allergic symptoms at age 13 in relation to dog‐ and cat‐keeping during and after the first year of life.

    Methods: The study included all children born at Östersund Hospital in Northern Sweden between February 1996 and January 1997 (n = 1231). At inclusion, parents were asked to answer questionnaires about lifestyle, including cat‐ and dog‐keeping. Dog allergy, cat allergy, hay fever, and asthma were diagnosed based on parental reported allergic symptoms at 13 years of age (n = 834). The risks of sensitization or allergy in relation to dog‐ and cat‐keeping during and after the first year of life were analyzed with logistic regression. To adjust for reverse causation, all subjects that had reported avoidance of pets due to allergic symptoms of the child or allergy in the family (n = 177) were excluded.

    Results: Dog‐ or cat‐keeping during the first year of life reduced the risk of sensitization to dog or cat allergens, respectively, and to birch and to at least one of the 10 allergens tested. Cat‐keeping, both during and after the first year of life, reduced the risk of cat allergy and hay fever. Having a dog at home during the first year of life reduced the risk of dog and cat allergy, whereas dog‐keeping after the first year of life did not affect allergic symptoms.

    Conclusions: Cat ownership, either during or after the first year of life, may be a strategy for preventing the development of cat allergy and hay fever later in life. Dog ownership reduced the risk of sensitization to dog and birch allergen, and also the risk of cat and dog allergy, but had no effect on hay fever.

  • Wijayatunga, Priyantha
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Statistics.
    Probability, Paradoxes and Human Thinking2019In: Proceedings of the 15th SweCog Conference / [ed] Linus Holm, Erik Billing, Skövde, Sweden: University of Skövde , 2019, p. 54-56Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Probability, related calculations and its interpretations are sometimes hard for people to grasp. This may be due to unreasonable or counterintuitive situations that they find in them. Here I take few probability and statistical paradoxes and discuss how people sometimes find them unreasonable, counterintuitive, etc. Often the problems and confusions are solved when the probabilities are interpreted correctly.

  • Carlsson, Jonas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Produktutveckling av repinfästning till marina förankringar2019Independent thesis Basic level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    This bachelor thesis called “Product development of rope attachment for marine mooring systems” is done in cooperation with Seaflex AB and is a product development of an already existing component in the company product range. The company who mainly targets mooring systems in marinas with flexibility and sustainability. They are looking for a more efficient way of attaching rope in the marina without compromising the products reliability.

     

    In agreement with the project supervisor at Seaflex AB the decision after presenting different concepts went towards a development of a tool that applies to the rope attachment. A concept in Solid Works 3D was created along with blueprints for a tool that was going to be easy to move from different rope attachments. The tool consists of two flaps that can rotate on axles supported by two frame blocks, one on each side of the rope attachment. To be able to get the dimensions necessary for blueprints of the wings a pressure test was done on the rope in a tensile testing machine. From this extracted data there is a coalition between force and how much the rope is pressed together.

    A function prototype adapted for the tensile testing machine was made to verify that the concept would work. The function prototype had to be tested with different dimensions than the concept blueprints. The tensile testing on the function prototype was run in two different tests with different dimensions and showed results indicating that the function of the concept was working and with the correct dimensions could live up to the specifications set for the project. During the manufacturing and testing of the function prototype there was improvements being done and resulted in a second concept. The biggest difference to this new concept is that instead of using two wings to lock the rope there is only one, this to improve working with the concept tool and having fewer lose parts.

     

    If one of these concepts is being put to work in the future, there will be improved installation time and more efficient installation on site. The product can also be sold to customers who choose to install the mooring systems themselves. I would recommend for further work on this project to proceed with the mono wing. This because of the more solid permanent rope attachment, less parts and probably easier to work with during installation.

  • Kivikoski, Lauri
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Sandberg, Robert
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Individual investors' preferences regarding green bonds: A survey of Swedish investors2019Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Green bonds are a type of bonds that are designated for investment projects that have a positive effect on the environment. Such projects could be preventing climate change by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, increasing energy-efficiency, or improving waste management. Green bonds have risen considerably in issued volume in recent years. Sweden has been one of the forerunners in this development and the interest towards these products seems to be high among individual Swedish investors. Initially, investors in green bonds have been mainly financial institutions, but there are an increasing number of mutual funds, which are aimed for retail banking customers as well. Previous research in socially responsible investing has not paid attention to green bonds from the perspective of the private, individual investor. This study is aimed to study potential individual green bond investors in Sweden. The purpose of this study was to answer the research question of who the typical Swedish green bond investors are, based on demographic characters. As research sub-questions, the thesis also answered questions regarding perceived risk and return on green bonds, and the effect of environmental attitude and behaviour on potential green bond investments. The study was carried out as an Internet survey by means of a questionnaire directed to Swedish investors. In total, 66 respondents answered the survey, which was analysed by bivariate and multivariate methods. Among the demographic factors, two were found statistically significant, age, and parenthood. In this sample younger investors (age less than 39), were found to prefer investing in green bonds, compared to older investors. Secondly, the fact of being a non-parent turned out to be a distinctive feature of current and potential investors in green bonds. The results regarding the first research sub-question, showed that the individual investors do not perceive green bonds to be more or less risky or give more or less return than comparable conventional bonds. The second research sub-question regarding environmental attitude and behaviour, showed a significant difference between those who showed a strong pro-environmental behaviour, as opposed to those who showed a weaker pro-environmental behaviour. The conclusion about the influence of environmental attitudes was that it did not have an effect on potential green bond investments.

  • Aripaka, Karthik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences.
    Studies on the biological functions of interaction between components in Wnt, TGF-β and HIF pathways for cancer progression2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Cancer is a disease that involves aggressive changes in the genome and aberrant signals between the living cells. Signalling pathways such as TGF-β (Transforming growth factor-β), Wnt, EGF (epidermal growth factor) and HIF (Hypoxia-inducible factor) evolved to regulate growth and development in mammals. These factors are also implicated for tumorigenesis due to failure or aberrant expression of components in these pathways. Cancer progression is a multistep process, and these steps reflect genetic alterations driving the progressive transformation of healthy human cells into highly malignant derivatives. Many types of cancers are diagnosed in the human population, such as head & neck, cervical, brain, liver, colon, prostate, uterine, breast, and renal cell cancer.

    Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer and one of the foremost leading cancer-related deaths in men in the world. Aberrant Wnt3a signals promote cancer progression through the accumulation of β-Catenin. In the first paper, we have elucidated intriguing functions for Tumour necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6) as a coregulatory factor for the expression of Wnt-target genes which was confirmed in vivo by using CRISPR/Cas9 genomic editing, in zebrafish. Our data suggest that Wnt3a promotes TRAF6 interaction with Wnt components, and TRAF6 is required for gene expression of β-Catenin as well as for the Wnt-ligand co-receptor LRP5. From the in vivo studies, we elucidated positive regulation of TRAF6, which is crucial for survival and development of zebrafish. This study identifies TRAF6 as an evolutionary conserved co-regulatory protein in the Wnt pathway that also promotes the progression of prostate and colorectal cancer due to its positive effects on Wnt3a signalling.

    Hypoxia is a condition due to O2 deprivation, and Hypoxia-inducible factors (HIF) transcription factors are responsible for the maintenance of oxygen homeostasis in living cells. Irregularities in these HIF transcription factors trigger pathological cellular responses for initiation and progression of malignant cancers. Renal cell carcinoma, malignant cancer arising in renal parenchyma and renal pelvis and, hypoxia plays a vital role in its progression. In the second paper, we have investigated the clinicopathological relevance of several hypoxic and TGF-β component proteins such as HIF-1α/2α/3α, TGF-β type 1 receptor (ALK5-FL) and the intracellular domain of ALK5 (ALK5-ICD), SNAI1 and PAI-1 with patient survival in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). We showed that HIF-2α associated with low cancer-specific survival. HIF-2α and SNAI1 positively correlated with ALK5-ICD, pSMAD2/3, PAI-1 and SNAI1 with HIF-2α; HIF-1α positively correlated with pSMAD2/3. Further, under normoxic conditions, our data suggest that ALK5 interacts with HIF-1α and HIF-2α, and promotes their expression and target genes such as GLUT1 and CA9, in a VHL dependent manner through its kinase activity. These findings shed light on the critical aspect of cross-talk between TGF-β signalling and hypoxia pathway, and also the novel finding of an interaction between ALK5 and HIF-α might provide a more in-depth understanding of mechanisms behind tumour progression

    In the third paper, an ongoing study, we investigated the role of HIF-3α in the progression of Renal cell carcinoma and its association with the components of TGF-β and HIF pathways. We have observed increased levels of HIF-3α in ccRCC and pRCC (papillary renal cell carcinoma) which are associated with advanced tumour stage, metastasis and larger tumours. Also, we found HIF-3α show a significant positive association with pro-invasive gene SNAI1, which is a crucial regulator of epithelial to mesenchymal transition. TRAF6 an E3 ligase known to be a prognostic marker in RCC and we observed HIF-3α associates with TRAF6.

  • Späth, Cornelia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Paediatrics.
    The impact of nutrition on growth, biomarkers, and health outcomes in preterm infants2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: Nutrients play a crucial role for growth and brain development after preterm birth. Meeting the nutritional needs of preterm infants is challenging. Particularly, the most immature infants have a high risk of malnutrition and poor growth during hospital care. To meet recommended energy and nutrient intakes during early postnatal life, a concentrated parenteral nutrition (PN) regimen was implemented in clinical use in 2012 at the neonatal intensive care unit at Umeå University Hospital (Umeå, Sweden). However, electrolyte homeostasis is labile after preterm birth and infants require an electrolyte supply that corresponds to their energy and protein intakes to avoid electrolyte disturbances. Although sodium imbalances such as hyper- and hyponatremia are common in the most immature preterm infants, there is limited knowledge to what extent these imbalances are affected by fluid volume and sodium supply. Furthermore, it is unclear whether the early high sodium concentrations lead to any adverse effects, including intraventricular hemorrhage, or simply reflect immediate adaptive processes after preterm birth.

    Aim: This thesis investigates the impact of nutrition on growth, nutritional biomarkers, and health outcomes in preterm infants born with a birth weight below 1500 g.

    Methods: We used data from two study populations. First, we collected data for all very low birth weight infants (< 1500 g) born between 2010 and 2013 and treated at Umeå University Hospital (Umeå, Sweden; n = 134). Second, we used data from the EXtremly PREterm infants in Sweden Study (EXPRESS). We included all infants born before 27 gestational weeks in Sweden between 2004 and 2007 who survived the first 24 h (n = 602). Data collection for both study populations included a) intakes of all parenteral and enteral nutritional products and other fluids during the first 28 postnatal days, b) all anthropometric measurements during hospital stay, c) perinatal data, and d) neonatal morbidity.

    Results: The concentrated PN regimen improved early energy and macronutrient intakes in very low birth weight infants. Furthermore, weight and length growth from postnatal week two to a postmenstrual age of 36 weeks improved in very low birth weight infants who received the concentrated PN regimen compared with infants who received the previous original PN regimen (Paper I). Increased parenteral energy and protein intakes provided by the concentrated PN regimen, did not induce a higher occurrence of electrolyte imbalances as electrolytes were supplied according to the current recommendations (Paper II). In the EXPRESS cohort, the majority of extremely preterm infants had hypernatremia during the first and hyponatremia during the second postnatal week. Gestational age and supply of sodium, rather than fluid volume, were the major factors determining the risks of hyper- and hyponatremia (Paper III). High total supply of sodium was significantly correlated with severe intraventricular hemorrhage if mostly mediated by blood product transfusions (Paper IV).

    Conclusions: Our results suggest that in very immature preterm infants a concentrated PN regimen improves early nutrient intakes and postnatal growth without causing electrolyte disturbances. Hyper- and hyponatremia are common and the supply of sodium is a major predictor. The impact of sodium on severe intraventricular hemorrhage needs further investigation.

  • Adjeiwaah, Mary
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences.
    Quality assurance for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in radiotherapy2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in the radiotherapy (RT) treatment planning workflow is increasing. MRI offers superior soft-tissue contrast compared to Computed Tomography (CT) and therefore improves the accuracy in target volume definitions. There are, however concerns with inherent geometric distortions from system- (gradient nonlinearities and main magnetic field inhomogeneities) and patient-related sources (magnetic susceptibility effect and chemical shift). The lack of clearly defined quality assurance (QA) procedures has also raised questions on the ability of current QA protocols to detect common image quality degradations under radiotherapy settings. To fully implement and take advantage of the benefits of MRI in radiotherapy, these concerns need to be addressed.

    In Papers I and II, the dosimetric impact of MR distortions was investigated. Patient CTs (CT) were deformed with MR distortion vector fields (from the residual system distortions after correcting for gradient nonlinearities and patient-induced susceptibility distortions) to create distorted CT (dCT) images. Field parameters from volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) treatment plans initially optimized on dCT data sets were transferred to CT data to compute new treatment plans. Data from 19 prostate and 21 head and neck patients were used for the treatment planning. The dCT and CT treatment plans were compared to determine the impact of distortions on dose distributions. No clinically relevant dose differences between distorted CT and original CT treatment plans were found. Mean dose differences were < 1.0% and < 0.5% at the planning target volume (PTV) for the head and neck, and prostate treatment plans, respectively. 

    Strategies to reduce geometric distortions were also evaluated in Papers I and II. Using the vendor-supplied gradient non-linearity correction algorithm reduced overall distortions to less than half of the original value. A high acquisition bandwidth of 488 Hz/pixel (Paper I) and 488 Hz/mm (Paper II) kept the mean geometric distortions at the delineated structures below 1 mm. Furthermore, a patient-specific active shimming method implemented in Paper II significantly reduced the number of voxels with distortion shifts > 2 mm from 15.4% to 2.0%.

    B0 maps from patient-induced magnetic field inhomogeneities obtained through direct measurements and by simulations that used MR-generated synthetic CT (sCT) data were compared in Paper III. The validation showed excellent agreement between the simulated and measured B0 maps.

    In Paper IV, the ability of current QA methods to detect common MR image quality degradations under radiotherapy settings were investigated. By evaluating key image quality parameters, the QA protocols were found to be sensitive to some of the introduced degradations. However, image quality issues such as those caused by RF coil failures could not be adequately detected.

    In conclusion, this work has shown the feasibility of using MRI data for radiotherapy treatment planning as distortions resulted in a dose difference of less than 1% between distorted and undistorted images. The simulation software can be used to produce accurate B0 maps, which could then be used as the basis for the effective correction of patient-induced field inhomogeneity distortions and for the QA verification of sCT data. Furthermore, the analysis of the strengths and weaknesses in current QA tools for MRI in RT contribute to finding better methods to efficiently identify image quality errors.

  • Lindholm, Elena
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies.
    Collective motherliness in Spain: Reception and Reformulation of Ellen Key’s ideas (1907–1936)2019In: Bergen Language and Lingustics Studies, ISSN 1892-2449, E-ISSN 1892-2449, Vol. 10, no 1Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    During the early 1900s, Ellen Key's ideas about pedagogy, feminism and child rearing were influential around Europe. The same was true of Spain, although Key herself never visited the country. This article examines how Key's concept of collective motherliness was received and reformulated by Spanish intellectuals from two different generations: the first during the first two decades of the 20th century (1907-1920) and the second during the third and fourth decades (1920-1936). The focus is on works by two authors, each representing their generation of interpreters of Ellen Key: Carmen de Burgos (1867–1932) and Federica Montseny (1905–1994). The interpretation of these authors' texts in the light of Ellen Key's ideas of collective motherliness shows the reception and reformulation of these ideas in Spain changed between the two generations. The first focused more on collective values, such as women's education and patriarchal oppression in society, while the second generation focused more on individual aspects, such as free love and personal development.

  • Matilda, Nilsson
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Conversion Rate Optimization Strategy in UX: Applying the Theory of Four Behavior Types Within E-Commerce Conversion Rate Optimization2019Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    This study uses the mindset of Bryan Eisenbergs four behavior types (Competitive, Spontaneous, Humanistic, and Methodical), to in- crease the conversion rate and the user experience while shopping online. Traditional retailers, i.e physical stores, are not a priority anymore and a challenge for an e-commerce site is to maintain a relationship to the customer online. The mindset of the four be- havior types is aimed to be used to target the universe of buyers. This mindset and theory will be applied to a CRO-design process, where the focus is to increase the conversion rate optimization of a website. An extensive literature study, an analysis phase, user tests and a questionnaire were used to decide whether this concept is worth using as a part of the process or not. The results indicate that the concept of the four behavior types can be used to target the audience. The thesis states that the concept could be used as a general foundation to further develop this mindset.

  • Truchy, Amelie
    et al.
    Göthe, Emma
    Angeler, David G.
    Ecke, Frauke
    Sponseller, Ryan A.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Bundschuh, Mirco
    Johnson, Richard K.
    McKie, Brendan G.
    Partitioning spatial, environmental, and community drivers of ecosystem functioning2019In: Landscape Ecology, ISSN 0921-2973, E-ISSN 1572-9761, Vol. 34, no 10, p. 2371-2384Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Context: Community composition, environmental variation, and spatial structuring can influence ecosystem functioning, and ecosystem service delivery. While the role of space in regulating ecosystem functioning is well recognised in theory, it is rarely considered explicitly in empirical studies.

    Objectives: We evaluated the role of spatial structuring within and between regions in explaining the functioning of 36 reference and human-impacted streams.

    Methods: We gathered information on regional and local environmental variables, communities (taxonomy and traits), and used variance partitioning analysis to explain seven indicators of ecosystem functioning.

    Results: Variation in functional indicators was explained not only by environmental variables and community composition, but also by geographic position, with sometimes high joint variation among the explanatory factors. This suggests spatial structuring in ecosystem functioning beyond that attributable to species sorting along environmental gradients. Spatial structuring at the within-region scale potentially arose from movements of species and materials among habitat patches. Spatial structuring at the between-region scale was more pervasive, occurring both in analyses of individual ecosystem processes and of the full functional matrix, and is likely to partly reflect phenotypic variation in the traits of functionally important species. Characterising communities by their traits rather than taxonomy did not increase the total variation explained, but did allow for a better discrimination of the role of space.

    Conclusions: These results demonstrate the value of accounting for the role of spatial structuring to increase explanatory power in studies of ecosystem processes, and underpin more robust management of the ecosystem services supported by those processes.

  • Wiklund, Krister
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Wave interactions by Hamiltonian methods2002Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis is devoted to the description of fluids and gases from a Hamiltonian point of view. The method we apply is a development of the theory invented by Hamilton (1805-1865). The original formulation is restricted to a certain family of dynamical variables; the canonical variables. In fluid dynamics, however, an extension to a noncanonical formulation is necessary, at least if we want to benefit from the Hamiltonian machinery and simultaneously want to use variables with a simple physical interpretation.

    The noncanonical Hamiltonian structure of the fluid equations can be utilized for several applications. We apply it to nonlinear wave interaction problems for fluid descriptions like the vorticity equation, the shallow-water equation, a family of Hasegawa-Mima-like equations and the equations describing dusty magnetoplasmas. The Hamiltonian structure is used to simplify the calculation of the strength of the coupling between the waves.

    Another important application concerns the question of finding fluid states that are stable against small perturbations. The Hamiltonian formulation is in this case an effective tool, and the derivation of explicit stability criteria is simplified.

    The first chapter of this thesis gives a brief and informal introduction to fluid dynamics. In chapter two we present, in a more formal way, some important fluid equations. Chapter three contains a discussion of variational principles and offers a first glance of Hamiltonian theory. The generalisation of this theory is the main subject of the first sections of chapter four, and we finish this chapter by presenting some applications of the general Hamiltonian theory. These applications which involve several different fluid systems are presented in the six papers included in this thesis. In the main, they concern the explicit calculation of symmetrical coupling coefficients and the derivation of sufficient conditions for stability. Some of the results, however, deals with the influence of boundaries in the vorticity equation and the construction of variational principles for the linearised system.

  • Lundberg, Mats
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Thermochemical model studies of some high temperature solar energy conversion processes1993Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis is a summary and discussion of five papers, mainly dealing with processes where solar thermal energy is utilized in the production of chemicals with high energy contents. The products considered in the present work are H2, Al, and Mg. The processes selected have been studied by computer simulation of the equilibrium conditions of the different reactions participating in the total process. Most effort has been devoted to studying two-step cyclic processes for the production of H2 through water splitting. As a result of these studies, it turned out that some supporting chemicals, especially the redox pair FeCl2-Fe304, have promising thermodynamic properties for this type of energy conversion.

    To obtain the necessary thermodynamic data for the candidate supporting redox systems with the solid solution phases ’(Fe,Co)0’ and (Fe,Co)304, experiments were carried out in the temperature range 970 - 1370 K. A mixture of these two phases, with pre-fixed compositions will generate a definite equilibrium oxygen pressure at a certain temperature. This oxygen pressure was determined, at various compositions and temperatures by using the solid state galvanic cell method. The results obtained were used to simulate the effects of this redox pair in a water splitting process.

  • Segerholm, Christina
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Hult, AgnetaUmeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.Lindgren, JoakimUmeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.Rönnberg, LindaUmeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    The governing-evaluation-knowledge nexus: Swedish higher education as a case2019Collection (editor) (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This Open Access book analyses the interplay between governing, evaluation and knowledge with an empirical focus on Swedish higher education. It investigates the origins, logics, and mechanisms of evaluation and quality assurance reforms and their dynamic interactions with institutional, national and European policy contexts. The chapters report findings from extensive empirical studies that offer detailed insight into the work of governing in higher education, by giving voice to actors at various levels and positions including the ministry, national agency and University employees. Central themes include the influence of European policy, changing system designs, media relations and quality assurance enactments in University institutions. The book also explores the ways in which an emerging professional cadre, labelled qualocrats, enacts and mediates evaluation and quality assurance policy and practice. Taken together, the expanding evaluation machinery in Swedish higher education highlights the pivotal role of knowledge as a governing resource, and points to special features of evaluation as a particular form of practice that makes knowledge work for governing.

  • Andersson, Victor
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Elektrifiering av personbilar på Tomtebo, Umeå: Electrifications of passenger cars at Tomtebo, Umeå2019Independent thesis Basic level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    In the future, new fuels will be sought to minimize the carbon footprint on Earth. With electric vehicles becoming a growing trend there is an annual increase in hybrid and electric cars, even electrified buses have become more convenient. The new electric vehicles will then be a load on the electricity grid when recharging is required, sometimes during the sensitive hours of the day where other power requirements are greater. The purpose of this thesis was to gain a deeper understanding of how the Swedish electricity grid is structured and also answer the questions if the area named Tomtebo will be able to handle an electrification of passenger cars, and also what the power forecast will look like. An excel model, developed by Sweco, is used for the calculations and later on there is an evaluation of this model if it can be applied to smaller areas and if any improvements can be made towards it. The electric car load on the electricity grid is based on three possible scenarios referred from a report by Sweco and using the excel model to calculate the power requirement of the three scenarios with different traffic works on electricity. Scenario one corresponds to today's electrification degree on traffic work, scenario two corresponds to double electrification degree on traffic work and in scenario three, a full electrification as well as a new traffic hierarchy with more public transports will be used, according to the report by Sweco, resulting in less power requirements for traffic. In all three scenarios, it is assumed that the electric car will be charged at night with a charging power of 2.3 kW, this corresponds to charging directly from power outlet. Tomtebo is a residential area that is being expanded and is expected to grow in the coming years and the population there are mostly younger families, which gives the probability of investment of a fossil-free passenger car increase. In order to estimate the proportion of electric cars for the area, Statistics Sweden and Region facts have been used to estimate the amount of cars at Tomtebo. In Umeå there is a total of 1,400 electric cars and 95 of these were likely to be at Tomtebo. Out of this amount there is plugin hybrids, PHEV, and pure electric cars, BEV, which gave a distribution 75/25 percent according to data from national statistics. With a known number of cars, an itinerary was required which could be probable around twenty kilometers. In the Excel model, values were applied for scenario one, which gave the power requirement for the 95 cars a total of 18 kW per hour. With a grid that has a total power up to 3.7 MW per hour then the cars' power requirements are a minimal burden towards it, furthermore an equivalent result came from both scenarios two and three. With these three results came the conclusion that with the amount of cars available there today no major load was done on the electricity grid and thus a greater number of cars were required. Umeå aims to reach 200,000 inhabitants by the year of 2050, which would then give Tomtebo 12,000 residents and this would result in an estimated 6,100 cars there. Of these with today's distribution there would then be 200 electric cars but since this scenario is so far ahead in the future it was assumed that all vehicles in 2050 would be an electric car, which then leads to it being fully electrified at Tomtebo. The 6,100 electric cars power provided 6 MW of total power demand for today's electricity grid, which means that it won’t work in the future. To find the breaking point for how many electric cars the gird can handle it was assumed that all Tomtebo's cars today, corresponding to 3,780 cars, would be electric cars and by moving the charge schedule to early morning, when the demand was much lower, the result gave that the grid could handle about that many cars. What is important to understand is that the electricity grid does not have a maximum ceiling for demand, but it all works about equilibrium where one strives for a consistent power balance on all

    iv hours of the day. If the consumers need more power then the electricity companies transfer it but an under-dimensioned infrastructure can put a stop to this which might be the case in the future. When the question whether Tomtebo's electricity grid can handle the load, the answer is that a full electrification of Tomtebo is entirely possible but that future investments are something that should be reviewed. This result from the excel model using the parameters and assumptions reflects the reality. The difficult thing about using the model in my opinion is the estimation of car numbers where in a city like Umeå where there does not exist any cameras or registers of which car type is moving where, which it does on others places, such as Gothenburg and Stockholm. Furthermore, there are thoughts about the design of the model as well also the question of the depth of battery but this is left out here but can be read under the relevant section. What controls how quickly a changeover from fossil-fueled to non-fossil vehicles is the result of instruments where subsidies and taxation come into focus, then of course laws and regulations. What makes it so difficult to estimate what the future will look like in theory is that tomorrow can have a new law leaving only non-fossil vehicles.