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  • Åkesson, Anna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Offpistskidåkning i svenska fjällen: - Om topptursutrustning och riskbeteende2018Independent thesis Basic level (university diploma), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this study was to determine whether ski tourers in the Swedish mountains have enough knowledge and experience to perform the activity safely. Adventure oriented activities that demands equipment has over the last years increased among outdoor practitioners in Sweden. Because of the growth, ski touring equipment have had a rapid development and made the activity more accessible. In the northern parts of Sweden a survey- and a field study, were examine risk behavior, avalanche equipment and techbindings. The results shows that ski touring has increased over the last years and that the activity is mainly performed by young men that are experienced downhill skiers. According to the result men seems to have a higher risk acceptance and many off-piste skiers are prepared to take risks to get good skiing/ski touring. Nearly everyone from the study are carrying avalanche equipment, but it seems like some are not sufficiently prepared in case of an accident. The results also indicates that some ski tourers dis-trust the retention function of techbindings and some manually lock out the release mechanism of the binding exposing themselves to a high risk of lower leg injury. 

  • Krantz, Viktor
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Do you need a guide, Sir?: En studie om turisters behov av naturguider vid naturbaserade aktiviteter2018Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The tourism industry keeps growing every year, even in times of economic crises. Tourism is was the most important source of income for some countries and regions. Almost every tourism destination offer guided tours, from old quarters in capital cities to remote mountain areas. The best way for nature-based tourism companies to make a revenue is to charge for accommodation and guided tours.

     

    This paper examined at which nature-based activities the demand for guided tours are at highest and if demographic groups differed in their view of when a nature guide was needed. The paper also examined what qualities tourists seek in a nature guide. In order to examine these fators a survey was created. The focus group of the survey was people who had participated in nature-based tours. 100 persons answered the demographic questions, hypothetical questions about guided tours and questions regarding the nature guides abilities and knowledge in different fields. The participants had the option of completing the survey in paper form or online. The survey showed that older people was more keen to hire a nature guide, they also demanded more of the nature guide in the fields of organization, knowledge about nature and safety aspects. The results showed that a nature guide was most needed in activities that were potentially dangerous and where a lot of equipment was required, such as diving and snowmobiling. With more experience the contestants felt less inclined to hire a guide. However, the participants who regard themself as beginners in outdoor life were very inclined to hire a nature guide even at simple activities like forest hikes. The conclusion is that tourist hire a guide when they feel unsafe or do not own the equipment needed.

     

    Key words: Guided tour, guiding, nature guiding, package tours, organized tours

  • Bremer, Edith
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Ingen katastrof: Om naturguidning i brandområden i skyddad västlig taiga2018Independent thesis Basic level (university diploma), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Fire is a vital part of the taiga ecosystems and as the amount of prescribed fires increases, it is also likely that public awareness and interest in fire increases and thereby also the need for nature interpreters who can perform guided tours in these areas. This report aims to provide guidance for nature interpreters as to what information they should convey while guiding groups of people in taiga forests where fire has occurred. The methods used to study this were: 1) Interviews with conservationists who work with forest fire in some way on what information they think is important to convey and 2) a web survey in which respondents answered questions about their knowledge and feelings about forest fire. Based on the results of the interviews it is concluded that the focus of the guided tour should be on explaining fire as a natural phenomenon of the taiga and its role in the dynamics of the taiga. Based on the result of the web survey it is also concluded that the guide should bear in mind that though the participants of the tour may well be aware that fire is beneficial for the taiga they may not know how and why that is, nor what happens if the taiga does not burn, and some effort should thus be put into explaining those mechanisms. 

  • Jakobsson, Ellinor
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Status för den vanliga tumlaren (Phocoena phocoena): En analys av tumlarens rödlistning och hot samt av betalningsviljan för att bevara tumlare2018Independent thesis Basic level (university diploma), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this report was to establish what category the harbour porpoise is listed as on the Swedish national redlist as well as analyze what potential sub-criteria the species fulfills besides criteria already established. The aim was also to evaluate the willingness to pay for conservation of the harbour porpoise for the first time and make a comparison of the willingness to pay between geographic places where the harbour porpoise is currently existing and where it is not. The subpopulation of the harbour porpoise in Skagerrak-Kattegat is listed as vulnerable (VU) on the national redlist and the subpopulation in the Baltic sea is listed as critically endangered (CR). Actions and precautions which have been made for conservation and protection of the harbour porpoises in Swedish waters are new Swedish laws and law proposals as well as formations of organizations such as ASCOBANS and further research. The results from the survey showed that the mean of the single time payment sum those questioned were prepared to pay to retain the porpoises at a stable population level was 273 SEK. Geographically the study showed no significant difference in geographic position and where the harbour porpoise exists but showed that the inhabitants of the south-east coast were willing to pay about half the sum, 165 SEK, of the mean sum that the north-east coast were willing to pay, 335 SEK. The results regarding the populations’ conjecture of historical threats and threats nowadays showed a significant difference from reality. Overfishing of prey had the highest amount of answers as a threat both historically and nowadays. Bycatch, which is accepted as todays biggest threat by researchers and organizations, came third place in the results from the survey study with a percentage of 14.5 %.

  • Bergman, Tobias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Resursen orrspel: En studie om kunskap och möjligheter för orrspelsguidning, generellt och specifikt vid turistanläggningen Granö beckasin2018Independent thesis Basic level (university diploma), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this report was to investigate how much people in general know about the bird black grouse and the possibilities for guiding on black grouse lek. I wanted to know how the possibilities where generally and specific at the tourist-facility Granö beckasin, which is situated in municipality of Vindeln in north of Sweden. I also wanted to get a better understanding about how the black grouse lek works and how the guiding would be best performed. Two different questionnaires were laid out, one with aim to reach a wide public and discover the knowledge and interest among people in general about black grouse lek. The aim with the second questionnaire was to reach people who is interested in bird- watching and get more quality answers about guiding on black grouse lek. While the questionnaires were collecting answers, market research about guiding and investigation of black grouse lekking spots possible for guiding around Granö was done. Most of the participants in the questionnaires showed a high level of awareness when it came to know what black grouse lek is, the majority also describe an active outdoorlife. The study showed a high level of black grouse lekking spots around Granö. Research and questionnaires showed that the target group for this type of guiding is small. The people in target for the type of guiding have big interest for birds and nature but doesn´t always have the time to research black grouse lekking spots themselves, therefore could a guide be helpful.  

  • Leonora, Fältström
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Invasiva arter i botaniska trädgårdar: En studie av botaniska trädgårdar i Stockholm, Uppsala och Göteborg2018Independent thesis Basic level (university diploma), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this study was to investigate if botanical gardens in Stockholm, Uppsala and Gothenburg could be a source for spread of invasive species in Sweden. The method consisted of visits to each garden with inventory of the collections and interviews with the staff. The species included in the study were either on or suggested for the list in the EU regulation 1143/2014 or listed by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency as invasive or potentially invasive species in Sweden. 16 of the 34 species included in the study were found within or around one or more gardens and of those are 8 already established in Sweden and 6 could establish and become invasive with climate change. The study showed that the invasive species could outcompete other organisms by being fast growing and persistent as well as highly reproductive and sometimes harmful to other plants, animals or humans. It also suggests that high seed production and vegetative reproduction from small plant fragments may facilitate spread from botanical gardens in general. By creating awareness of invasive species, the gardens could prevent spread from other sources. Whether or not the gardens’ management of their collections could lead to spread and introduction of invasive species in Sweden is still unexplored and suitable for further studies. The species’ traits however do pose a risk of spread from the botanical gardens in the study, as well as other gardens, and establishment in the Swedish nature.

  • Svensson, Linnéa
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Law. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Forum for Studies on Law and Society.
    Violence against women with temporary residence permit: An analysis of judgements from the Migration Court2017Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The Swedish government has an equality goal that men´s violence against women must stop, the government has also signed several international obligations to eliminate discrimination and violence against women. The number of people that moves to Sweden due to family ties is steadily increasing and research has shown that foreign born women have an increased risk of being exposed to male partner violence. How the question about violence against women with temporary residence permit is handled in the alien law has been criticised by women’s organisations and in a government inquiry for being oppressive towards women. The aim in this thesis is to examine how the alien law is applied in the practical work and since the Migration Court generally is the final instance that decides in cases regarding continued residence permit, 16 judgments from the Migration Court are analysed. The aim is to examine how violence against women with temporary residence permit is handled by the Migration Court, which discourses about violence and immigrant women that can be identified in the judgements and how this relate to the gender equality goal to eliminate violence against women. To analyse the judgements discourse analysis is used, to analyse how the law is applied a dogmatic approach and a critical perspective is also partly used. The analysis of the judgments suggest that the interpretation of the alien law is more generous than the legislator might has intended, however the assessments in the judgements varies, especially the question of the duration of the cohabitation. The consequence is that the interpretation of the alien law is unpredictable. Findings also suggest that a woman´s credibility is dependent on that she has made the violence probable. Two discourses are identified “the seeking help discourse” that shows that a lot of responsibility is placed on the individual woman to seek help and protection. And “the discourse of the invisibility of the violence” which points to that if the woman has any other reasons to be granted a residence permit, the Migration Court in many cases fail to discuss or even mention the claimed violence or violation, which creates a notion about what the Court values. It can be stated from this study that how the Migration Court handles the question about men´s violence against women is not compatible to national obligations and to that Swedish government gender equality goal about ending men´s violence against women.

  • Sjöquist, Anna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Law. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Forum for Studies on Law and Society.
    Crime as Process: An Exploratory Inquiry2017Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of the thesis is to theoretically discuss and problematizing the influence of gender and sex throughout the crime as process in Sweden. The issue of gender, criminality and a system for justice will be discussed from different angles to identify, understand and problematize the different parts of the process.The research question has been: In what way may theories, research and knowledge give understanding regarding the socially constructed gender within the crime as process in an overall perspective?Different theories and examples of research and other knowledge for each step in crime as process is presented in order to understand the impact of gender. The context is delimited to Sweden, Swedish law, crime fighting and courts as well as corrective instances in Sweden. In this project, the model used for the reflection is first and foremost allowing a systematic work through of the crime as process in order to identify and formulate patterns of interest. The model is used to drive the theoretical discussion forward.The moving between sex and gender considering crime and criminality opens several challenges. They contest perceptions on crime and criminality, on its development, its extent and its appearance. The constructed systems and ideas on the importance of gender is probably of importance but are at the same time questioning, at a fundamental level, a strong tradition. Since the queries are at fundamental level it is probably hard to address theories’ accuracy built on these premises. There are too many, simultaneously effecting processes, of different directions, to understand neither good or bad nor right or wrong. What could be said is that biological sex does not suffice to understand neither crime, criminality, crime fighting nor its descriptions. If we assume the society creates all the above mentioned: how would it look if we fully accepted gender as a key variable?

  • Norman Kujat, Christopher
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Law. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Forum for Studies on Law and Society.
    GENDERED VIOLENCE I N THE SOCIO-LEGALCONTEXT: WHEN YOUR SEX DEFINES WHETHER YOU CAN BE A PERPETRATOR OR A VICTIM: THE PROBLEM OF HETERONORMATIVITY & MASCUL INTY IN THE CONTEXT OF “MALE RAPE” IN INDIA2017Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    India has a heteronormative rape legislation that is also based on notions of masculinity in the contextof rape. This means only women can be survivors or victims of rape, while men can solely be theperpetrators per definition. The Indian Penal Code 375 relates to rape and states “A man is said tocommit rape...”. This only allows for a man to be defined as the one who commits rape. The doctrinallaw is deeply connected with hegemonial interests of certain parts of society that aim to reinforceheteronormative gender relations as well as to reinforce notions of masculinity. This study analysedthe online media discourse relating to the socio-legal problem of “male rape” in India through the lensof a critical discourse analysis. The study found the strong stance for a gender-neutral rape legislationacross articles. The feminist opposition is named as the major hindering force who counters theadoption of a gender-neutral rape legislation. Generally, the legislation is deeply connected toheteronormative assumptions of relations between men and women. The societal notions ofmasculinity do not “allow” men to be victims or survivors of rape and men raping men/boys can onlyby punished under the sodomy related Indian Penal Code 377 that criminalises “unnatural offences”,like homosexuality.

  • Karnouskos, Stamatis
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Law. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Forum for Studies on Law and Society.
    The Interplay of Law, Robots and Society,in an Artificial Intelligence Era2017Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The rapid advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics will have a profound impacton the society and its laws. Robots, humanoid / anthropomorphic or not, e.g., selfdrivingcars, will have physical presence, take autonomous decisions and interact with allstakeholders in the society. While already some AI robots are available, e.g., self-driving cars,their intelligence is expected to skyrocket in the next decades, and many prominent scientistspredict that they will reach (and potentially surpass) human intelligence. The symbiosiswith robots, may lead to a civilizational change with far reaching effects. In a future society,where robots and humans are in a symbiotic relationship, philosophical, legal and societalquestions on consciousness, citizenship, rights and legal entity of robots are raised such as:Should robots be recognized as a legal entity? How should criminal and civil law deal withtheir decisions? What are the societal implications? etc. This work, starts from the theoreticalviewpoints pertaining law and society, is inspired by intersectional approaches, andutilizes existing literature in order to analyze the interplay of law, robots and society via differentangles such as law, social, economic, gender and ethical perspectives. In addition,a discussion, especially pertaining core elements of law and society provides new insightsand challenges that may emerge. The analysis and discussions presented here make it evidentthat although robots are inexorably integrated, the law systems as well as society arenot prepared for their prevalence. What is clear is that robots and AI will create a new erafor humanity. What that era might be, is still under discussion and not well understood. AsStephenHawking put it “The rise of powerful AI will be either the best or the worst thing everto happen to humanity. We do not yet know which”. Overall one has to consider that law ismeant to be proactive in nature and ideally be in place to prevent problems before they happen,and therefore it is now the time to start a detailed discussion, involving all stakeholders,and derive the necessary policies and frameworks, for the key issues that pertain law, robotsand society. This work makes a contribution towards the multi-faceted aspects that such adiscussion pertains.

  • Karhu, Evelina
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Law. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Forum for Studies on Law and Society.
    How rape myths are used in Swedish child rape court cases in comparison with adults: A critical discourse analysis2017Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    A commonality in rape trials is that the legal system is colored by myths and norms – more specifically ‘rape myths’. These myths includes the perception of ‘men as more sex needing’, ‘rape victim brought the offense on themselves’ and so forth. A new law on sex crimes was introduced in 2005 in Sweden in order to create a stronger protection when it comes to rape and sexual assaults of different kinds – especially the removal of violence in child rape cases. Previous research conclude that rape myths are still routinely used at trial in adult rape and sexual assault cases. Rape myths in court often relates to a specific ‘rational’ behavior as the ‘normal’ or ‘right’ way to act, which relates to a masculinized view of reasoning colored by the patriarchal society. The overall purpose of this paper is to examine how rape myths appear in trials involving children; if children are viewed in the same way as adults according to these myths in rape cases – or differently, and how these myths are manifested. Also, a certain focus is on gender similarities and differences when it comes to rape myths. The paper is based upon 20 Swedish court cases from 2005 to 2017. Five cases within each group of victims: girls, boys, women and men. The thesis uses critical discourse analysis along with feminist studies to analyze these rape myths. This study shows that rape myths also are used in child rape cases, and thus, that children are no exception. Moreover, victimized females are often found in a disadvantaged position within court, as opposed to males. Girls seem to be most disadvantaged due to their position as both young and female. The results further indicates that legislation can be a useful tool to create rape myth busters.

  • Hövik, Caroline
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Law. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Forum for Studies on Law and Society.
    The gendered wage gap in the blue-collar sector: An urging to the collective organization of the blue-collar unions2017Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis will handle the gendered wage gap in the blue-collar sectors and how the blue-collar unions collective organization (from here on referred to as LO) has handled this issue. In the Swedish labour market the unions and the employers’ organizations negotiate terms and conditions of employment that result in legally binding collective agreements. Within the blue-collar sector wages are to a large extent negotiated on this level and the blue-collar unions coordinate within LO on which questions to focus on in the negotiations with the employers. But during 2015 the unions within LO were not able to agree and the coordination failed (Medlingsinstitutet, MI, 2017). The main issue was disagreement on how to handle low wages and value discrimination. To understand the split during 2015, the reader needs to understand the background and the deeply rooted norms within LO and how the Swedish labour market is organized. Therefore this thesis is divided into three parts. The first part describes historical aspects of how the Swedish labour market has developed with focus on women’s salaries. The second part looks at how LO has chosen to handle the gendered wage gap during the years 2004-2012. The last part will be a critical discourse analysis of articles handling the failed coordination in 2015.

  • Dabbagh, Zahran
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Law. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Forum for Studies on Law and Society.
    The Discrimination in Workplaces: A Critical Discourse Analysis of the European Court of Justice Judgment about the Islamic Veil Prohibition2017Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The issue of the Islamic headscarf has been in the centre of the political debate whether it fits into the Western culture or not. Several member-states in the European Union have issued laws and regulations that impose restrictions on wearing the Islamic headscarf in the public sphere. Even some EU courts have ruled such restrictions imposed by member-states. Recently, this issue has been discussed in the context of the occupational life. In a dispute before the European Court of Justice, the ban was considered as legitimate. In this research, I analyse the judgment from a socio-legal perspective and analyse the intersectional identity of Mrs. Achbita who is a party in the dispute, considering that she belongs to the social category of veiled working Muslim women.

  • Bernelf, Fredrik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Law. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Forum for Studies on Law and Society.
    Same-sex parental leave: Legislation and equality2017Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Sweden is known to have one of the world's most generous parental insurances, both inlength and flexibility which has led to a high maternity rate and more women in paidwork. The political work on equality in Sweden has the goal that women and men shallhave the same power to shape society and their own lives. This has led to legislationaimed at getting fathers to stay more at home with their children. There has been plenty ofresearch on this subject so this study goes off the main track and looks at how legislationaround parenthood works for same-sex couples and if paternal leave is shared moreequally between same-sex parents than heterosexual parents. Discourse analysis of thelegislation and a survey with same-sex families followed by interviews indicate that samesexcouples share parental leave more equally than heterosexual couples. Legislationworks well for most same-sex families except for the process of related adoption. Reasonsfor more equal sharing of parental leave is hard to find but could depend on the fact thatsame-sex couples have been couples for a longer time, than heterosexual couples, beforedeciding to have children. Wage gap between men and women is a reason whyheterosexual couples do not share equally and it could be vice versa for same-sex couples.

  • Holmberg, Jacob
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Law.
    Övertidskompensation och EU-rättens miniminormer - En krock? Om förhållandet mellan den svenska övertidsregleringen och arbetstidsdirektivets krav på kompensationsledighet eller annat lämpligt skydd.2018Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
  • Jonsson, Katrin
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics. Swedish Center for Digital Innovation.
    Mathiassen, Lars
    Georgia State University.
    Holmström, Jonny
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics. Swedish Center for Digital Innovation.
    Representation and mediation in digitalized work: evidence from maintenance of mining machinery2018In: JIT. Journal of information technology (Print), ISSN 0268-3962, E-ISSN 1466-4437, Vol. 33, no 3, p. 216-232Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The increased digitalization of work results in practices that are increasingly networked and knowledge-based. As such, we need to continuously inquire how digital technology leads to changes in work and not be content knowing that it leads to change. This paper contributes to advancing such knowledge through an analysis of digitalized condition-based maintenance of machinery in a Swedish iron ore mine. Drawing on the distinction between digital representation and digital meditation figurations of human and material agency, we analyze how the distributed network of workers used a diverse portfolio of digital technologies to make complex knowledge-based decisions on when and how to maintain the mining machinery. We combine these empirical insights with extant literature to advance a new theoretical perspective on how key characteristics of digital technologies are implicated in networked, knowledge-based work practices.

  • Vidmark, Stefan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Röstigenkänning med Movidius Neural Compute Stick2018Independent thesis Basic level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Omicron Ceti AB company had an Intel Movidius Neural Compute Stick (NCS), which is a usb device that may be loaded with neural networks to process data. My assignment was to study how NCS is used and to make a guide with examples. Using TensorFlow and the TFLearn help library a test network was made for the purpose of trying the work pipeline, from network training to using the NCS. After that a network was trained to classify 14 different words. Many different configurations of the network were tried, until a good example was found that was expanded upon until an accuracy of 86% with the test data was reached. The accuracy when speaking into a microphone was a bit worse at 67%. To process data with the NCS took a longer time than with TFLearn but used a lot less CPU power. However it’s not even possible to use TensorFlow/TFLearn in smaller systems like a Raspberry Pi, so whether it’s worth using the NCS depends on the specific usage scenario.

  • Saleeb, Michael
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Towards novel antibacterials: Synthesis and identification of natural product inspired inhibitors of Chlamydia trachomatis and development of chemical probes targeting virulence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Antibiotic resistance has evolved significantly to become one of the serious threats to public health today. Yet, the pipeline of new antibiotics is drying up and is lagging behind the challenging needs. As a contribution to this recurrent need for novel antibacterials, we applied multidisciplinary strategies to identify small-molecule antibacterials against Chlamydia trachomatis and antivirulence agents against Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections. These strategies included:

    1. Synthesis of a focused compounds library inspired by natural product scaffolds followed by phenotypic screening against Chlamydia trachomatis. (Paper I)

    (-)-Hopeaphenol is a polyphenol natural product that was identified as an antivirulence agent against Y. pseudotuberculosis and P. aeruginosa. Hopeaphenol core scaffold, 2,3-diaryl-2,3-dihydrobenzofuran, is ubiquitous in polyphenolic phytochemicals. In this thesis, a focused library of forty-eight compounds was synthesized based on 2,3-diarylbenzofuran and 2,3-diaryl-2,3- dihydrobenzofuran. The library was then explored for antibacterial properties in a number of screening assays and resulted in five novel antichlamydial compounds with inhibition potency down to sub-micromolar. The identified molecules also inhibited the growth of different clinical presentations of C. trachomatis, one of the most common sexually transmitted disease worldwide.

    2. Target-based screening against the P. aeruginosa virulence factor using enzymatic and biophysical assays. (Paper II-IV)

    P. aeruginosa is a Gram-negative opportunistic pathogen with remarkable antibiotic resistance that is associated with a wide range of clinical infections. An alternative strategy to develop novel and selective antibacterials is to target the bacterial virulence factors, i.e. the ability of the bacteria to promote disease, thus ‘disarming’ the pathogens instead of killing them. P. aeruginosa employs its virulence factor, the type III secretion system (T3SS), to inject toxins (e.g. ExoS) into the eukaryotic cytosol. In one part of this thesis, we utilized enzymatic assay and identified inhibitors against the P. aeruginosa T3S toxin (ExoS). A follow up structure-activity relationship analysis was established and resulted in five (low micromolar) inhibitors of ExoS ADP-ribosylation enzymatic activity. In another part, we used surface plasmon resonance biophysical assay and identified small molecule binders of T3S translocation protein (PcrV). The primary SAR analysis was established and showed the antivirulence properties of these molecules and the potential to expand them further as novel antibacterials.

  • Juneblad, Kristina
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Rheumatology.
    Psoriatic arthritis: a complex disease: analyses on genetic and serological biomarkers and of comorbidity2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) is a heterogonous inflammatory arthritis associated with psoriasis. The disease leads to inflammation of peripheral joints, axial skeleton and/or enthesites, and can result in severe destruction of affected joints. In contrast to rheumatoid arthritis (RA), most individuals with PsA are seronegative for rheumatoid factor (RF) and/or anti-citrullinated protein/peptide antibodies (ACPA) and the distal interphalangeal (DIP) joints are often involved. Dactylitis, a diffuse swelling of an entire digit (finger or toe), is also common. Traditional markers of systemic inflammation, such as erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and/or C-reactive protein (CRP) are elevated in only 50% of the individuals with PsA.

    Underlying genetic factors are considered important for the aetiology, disease expression and prognosis of PsA. To date no specific biomarker for PsA disease or disease activity/severity is available and there is a need for diagnostic and prognostic tools to meet the challenge of early diagnosis and assessment of disease severity.

    An increased risk of co-morbidity, particularly cardiovascular disease (CVD), has been demonstrated in patients suffering from different rheumatic diseases, e.g. systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Corresponding data for patients with PsA are more limited, but evidence exists for an increased risk of mortality and cardiovascular morbidity. However, published results are conflicting and heterogeneity among studies makes interpretation of data difficult.

    The aim of this study was to investigate genetic and serological biomarkers, and also mortality and cardiovascular comorbidity, in different phenotypes of PsA and in comparison with healthy controls. Patients with PsA were included between 1995 and 2015, the majority from the county of Västerbotten, except for two cohorts from Örnsköldsvik (n=55) and Östersund (n=98).

    The genetic polymorphism PTPN22+1858C/T, previously found to be associated with several autoimmune diseases, was also found associated with PsA, the results were later confirmed in a genome wide association study (GWAS). Additionally, among PsA patients, the minor allele, T, was associated with the number of deformed joints and dactylitis (Paper I). 

    Genetic polymorphisms in genes related to the inflammasome were also investigated, both in comparison with healthy controls and in relation to different phenotypes of PsA (Paper II). An association was identified between patients with PsA and the polymorphism CARD8-C10X in comparison with controls. In addition, associations between various inflammasome polymorphisms and different clinical phenotypes of PsA were detected.

    To investigate the relation of serological biomarkers and PsA, individuals with blood samples collected in conjunction with clinical investigation were selected (Paper III).  Associations with different biomarkers and different clinical phenotypes of PsA were identified In addition, associations were found with different biomarkers and patients with moderate/high disease activity at clinical investigation, confirming the inflammatory nature of the disease.

    Mortality and incidence of acute cardiovascular disease were investigated with standardized mortality rateratio (SMR) and standardized incidence ratio (SIR) compared with the general population of Västerbotten (Paper IV). An increased SMR for diseases of the circulatory system in PsA compared with controls was found. Among PsA patients, death was associated with a composite disease activity index (DAI) and with a disease phenotype including both axial- and peripheral joint involvement. 

    In conclusion, associations were found with different clinical phenotypes of PsA, both with genetic polymorphisms and serological biomarkers that confirm the inflammatory nature of the disease and illustrate the disease heterogeneity. As in many other inflammatory diseases, an increased cardiovascular mortality was found that highlights the importance of considering cardiovascular risk factors in patients with PsA.

  • Junuzovic, Mensura
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Forensic Medicine.
    Firearm deaths in Sweden: epidemiology with emphasis on accidental deaths and prevention2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Prevention of firearm deaths and injuries is an important public health issue that may save human lives. The aim of this thesis was to investigate the epidemiology and attributes of accidental firearm fatalities in Sweden, and to provide a basis for further preventive measures. Data were obtained from the database of the National Board of Forensic Medicine, the National Patient Register, the Prescribed Drug Register, the Firearm Register, and from questionnaire responses.

    All 48 accidental firearm fatalities that involved hunting in 1983-2008 were investigated (Paper I). The victims’ mean age was 50 years, 96% were males. During moose hunting, most victims were mistaken for game (41%), whereas during small game hunting, fatalities were mostly related to falls (31%) and improper weapon handling (15%). Hunters’ habits and attitudes towards preventive measures and their experience of firearm incidents were investigated through a questionnaire, which was sent to 1,000 hunters (Paper II). The response rate was approximately 50%. The mean age of the respondents was 54 years and females accounted for 5%. One quarter of the respondents stated that they had witnessed a firearm incident caused by another hunter, of which more than half suggested that improper handling of the weapon and inappropriate hunting strategies were the main causes of these events.

    All 43 accidental non-hunting firearm deaths in Sweden 1983-2012 were investigated (Paper III). In 56% of cases, the fatality was caused by another person. Victims were mostly young males (mean age 25 years). The main cause of the incidents was human error. The majority of cases (63%) involved legal firearm. Most victims killed by illegal firearm (85%) were under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs at the time of death. Both the risk of being killed as a result of hunting (Paper I) and non-hunting accidental firearm injury (Paper III) decreased after the introduction of the mandatory hunter’s exam in 1985 (p < 0.001).

    Firearm deaths in Sweden including 52 accidental fatalities and 3 cases with undetermined manner of death in 1987-2013, as well as 213 suicides and 23 solved homicides in 2012-2013, were studied (Paper IV). The number of firearm suicides was positively correlated to the number of licensed firearm owners. Legal firearm use predominated in firearm suicides and accidental deaths, illegal in firearm homicides. The majority of the shooters in accidental deaths and suicides had no registered visits to inpatient care or specialized outpatient care. Less than half (42%) of all suicide victims had had a health care contact due to mental health problems. Physician’s mandatory reporting to the police of patients deemed unsuitable for possessing a firearm license did not include any of the suicide victims and the shooters in accidental deaths.

    This thesis confirmed that accidental firearm deaths are rare, and indicates that the firearm law changes in 1985 contributed to a decline of such fatalities. Human error was the main “cause” of the fatalities and future prevention measures should target improper weapon handling. Physician’s mandatory reporting to the police was suboptimal and barely contributed to the decline of accidental firearm deaths. If streamlined it may, however, represent an important prevention strategy in firearm suicides, claiming most lives among firearm deaths. A significant fraction of non-hunting fatalities, firearm suicides and homicides was associated with illegal firearm use, a fact calling for prevention issues targeting such firearm use.

  • Bollig, Solveig
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies.
    Magi, makt och mytologi: Beskrivningen av samiska personer i fornvästnordisk litteratur2018Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    This master’s degree essays aim was to analyse and to compare the descriptions of Sami people in three different types of sagas: Legendary Sagas, Sagas of Icelanders and Kings’ sagas. For this contribution, four Legendary Sagas, two Sagas of Icelanders and two Kings’ sagas were examined. The working hypothesis was, that sagas that were written closer to the narrative time were to be more realistic than episodes in sagas that were written significantly later. The results of the analysis of these sagas indicate that there are no significant differences between the different types of sagas and that the presentation of Sami people in these sagas is more affected by the writers worldview and intentions than the time they were written.

  • Connor, S.
    et al.
    Edvardsson, Kristina
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Obstetrics and Gynecology. Judith Lumley Centre, School of Nursing and Midwifery, La Trobe University, Vic, Bundoora 3086, Australia.
    Spelten, E.
    Male adolescents' role in pregnancy prevention and unintended pregnancy in rural Victoria: health care professional's and educators' perspectives2018In: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, ISSN 1471-2393, E-ISSN 1471-2393, Vol. 18, article id 245Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: While there has been a steady decline in adolescent pregnancies worldwide and in Australia over the last three decades, Australian rates still lank third highest among developed countnes. Adolescent pregnancies are defined as those that occur to girls between the ages of 15 and 19. The current pregnancy rate of 15 to 19 year old females rural Victoria is 21.19%, this is more than double the Victorian state rate of 8.2% and almost double the national Australian rate at 13.1% The aim of this study was to explore Health Care Professionals and Educator perspectives on these high adolescent pregnancy rates, with particular focus on the role of adolescent males, in a rural region in Victoria, Australia. Methods: A qualitative descriptive study using focus group discussion was undertaken with Health Care Providers and Educators (N = 8) in 2016. Data was analysed using thematic analysis. Results: Four themes emerged from analysis. The first, 'Gender Stereotyping' focused on the acceptance of traditional masculinities; the second 'Adolescent males as health consumers' was based on the consensus that adolescent males are poor consumers of health and 'invisible'; the third 'Complexity of Issues' identified that, particularly in a rural region, contributing issues are varied and complex; and the fourth 'Focus on Fatherhood', saw the participants diverge from the discussion about pregnancy prevention and the adolescent males' role in unintended pregnancy, and focus on the role adolescent males may have as unintended fathers. Conclusions: Participants did not consider young males to be of importance in the prevention of adolescent pregnancy. There is a need to further explore the role of young males in pregnancy prevention, including what role traditional gender stereotyping, from health professionals' and young males' perspectives, plays in provision of adolescent sexual health services.

  • Zhao, Charlie W.
    et al.
    Daley, Mark J.
    Pruszynski, J. Andrew
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB). Dept. of Computer Science, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada; Brain and Mind Institute, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada; Dept. of Physiology and Pharmacology, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada; Dept. of Psychology, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada; Robarts Research Institute, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada.
    Neural network models of the tactile system develop first-order units with spatially complex receptive fields2018In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 13, no 6, article id e0199196Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    First-order tactile neurons have spatially complex receptive fields. Here we use machine-learning tools to show that such complexity arises for a wide range of training sets and network architectures. Moreover, we demonstrate that this complexity benefits network performance, especially on more difficult tasks and in the presence of noise. Our work suggests that spatially complex receptive fields are normatively good given the biological constraints of the tactile periphery.

  • Public defence: 2018-09-27 13:00 MA121, Umeå
    Yan, Chunli
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Developing digital support for learning and diagnostic reasoning in clinical practice2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The two main purposes of clinical decision-support systems (CDSSs) are to provide healthcare professionals decision-making support based on evidence-based medical knowledge, and a continuing medical education. This thesis focuses on both purposes and shows how fundamental theory in the field of artificial intelligence can be developed, adapted and implemented in a CDSS for supporting learning and diagnostic reasoning in clinical practice. The main research problems addressed in this thesis are how to represent and manage uncertain, incomplete, inconsistent and distributed knowledge in automated reasoning and decision-making with the clinicians in the loop, how to facilitate the knowledge engineering and maintenance process, and how to detect and support learning and skill development in CDSS users.

    Research contributions include theories, methods, and algorithms based on possibilistic logic and formal argumentation for representing and managing uncertain, incomplete, inconsistent and distributed medical knowledge, and for supporting reasoning and decision-making when using a CDSS. The clinician is provided potentially conflicting arguments and their strength based on different diagnostic criteria and the available patient information in order to make an informed decision. The theoretical results were implemented in the Dementia Diagnosis and Management Support System - Web version (DMSS-W), in a multi-agent hypothesis-driven inquiry dialogue system, and in an inference engine serving as a module of ACKTUS.

    CDSS maintenance is challenging since new knowledge about diseases and treatments are continuously developed. Typically, knowledge and software engineers are needed to bridge medical experts and CDSSs, leading to time-consuming system development. ACKTUS (Activity-Centered Knowledge and Interaction Tailored to Users) was, as part of this research, further developed as a generic web-based platform for knowledge management and end-user development of CDSSs. It includes the inference engine and a content management system that the medical expert can use to manage knowledge, design and evaluate CDSSs. A graphical user interface generator synchronizes the interface to the ontology serving as the knowledge base. ACKTUS was used for developing DMSS-W, and facilitated the system development and maintenance.

    To offer person-tailored support for the clinician's learning, reasoning and decision-making, the CDSS design was based on theories of how novices and experts reason and make decisions. Pilot case studies involving physicians with different levels of expertise who applied DMSS-W in patient cases were conducted in clinical practice to explore methods for detecting skill levels and whether learning is taking place. The results indicated that the skill levels can be detected using the method. The novice was seen to develop reasoning strategies similar to an expert's, indicating that learning was taking place. In future work, tailored educational support will be developed, and evaluated using the methods.