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Coming theses from other universities

  • Different is cool! Self-efficacy and participation ofstudents with and without disabilitiesin school-based Physical Education Author: Karin Bertills Link: Publication date: 2019-10-18 10:04

    Background: Self-efficacy predicts school achievement. Participation is important for life outcomes. Functioning affects to what degree you can participate in everyday life situations. Participation-related constructs such as self-efficacy and functioning work both as a means of participation and as an end outcome. Learning takes place in this interrelationship. How relationships between participation and these constructs vary, depending on whether impacted by disability or not, how they develop over time and outcomes of these processes need to be explored.

    Method: In this three-year longitudinal study developmental processes of student self-efficacy (PE specific and general), aptitude to participate and functioning were explored. The context is school-based Physical Education (PE) in mainstream inclusive secondary school in Sweden. Data was collected from student and teacher questionnaires and observations of PE lessons. Students self-rated their perceived self-efficacy, aptitude to participate and functioning in school years seven and nine. Teachers self-rated their teaching skills. Student engagement, teaching behaviors, interactions and activities in Swedish school-based PE were observed in year eight. Relationships between the constructs and how they develop over time were studied in a total sample of 450 students (aged 12,5-15,5). Specifically focusing on three student groups, students with diagnosed disabilities (n=30), students with low grades in PE (n=36), and students with high grades (n=53) in PE.

    Results: Adapted instruments to measure self-efficacy (PE specific and general), aptitude to participate in PE, and functional skills (physical and socio-cognitive were developed and validated. PE specific self-efficacy is closely related to the aptitude to participate and has effects on student engagement and general self-efficacy. Over time PE specific self-efficacy increase in adolescents, but students with disabilities initially responded negatively if their PE teachers rated their teaching skills high. They were also more sensitive to the social environment, which was associated with PE grades over time. During this time the relationship between perceived physical functional skills and PE specific self-efficacy accelerated for students with disabilities. They were observed to be equally highly engaged in PE lessons as their peers. However, students with disabilities were observed to be closer to their teacher and tended to be less social and alone than their peers. Observed teaching skills as measured by level of alignment with syllabus, and affective tone when giving instructions showed differences in complexity and efficiency. Students in the study sample were more engaged in high-level teaching and were more frequently in communicative proximity to their teacher. In conditions of high-level teaching, teachers gave more instructions and used more materials for teaching purposes. Lessons were more often structured into whole group activities and lessons were more focused.

    Conclusion: PE specific self-efficacy measures students’ perceived knowledge and skills in PE and is related to students’ aptitude to participate, general self-efficacy and functioning. The overall findings imply that the developmental processes of perceived self-efficacy (PE specific and general), aptitude to participate and functioning differ between the student groups. PE specific self-efficacy and socio-cognitive functioning improve over time in all groups. Stronger associations of PE specific self-efficacy with aptitude to participate and functional skills, and weaker with general self-efficacy were found in students with disabilities compared to their typically functioning peers. Individual factors are vital to learning, but students with disabilities seem to be more sensitive to environmental factors than their peers. The aptitude to participate declines in students with disabilities, probably due to their experience of having physical restrictions. However, while participating in PE, they were similarly relatively highly engaged as their typically functioning peers. Instructions in PE indicate differences in complexity and efficiency of PE teaching. More complex lesson content requires more  instructions and more purposeful materials. Time was used more efficiently in high-level teaching conditions. Lessons were more focused and had more flow, leaving students with less time to socialize. Space was also used more efficiently, and teachers were closer to their students. Indicating that more individual support, feed-back and feedforward was provided. Students with disabilities were more frequently close to their teacher than their typically functioning peers. The use of more whole group formats indicate that teaching is more differentiated in high-level teaching. When activating students physically, teachers may choose simpler self-sustaining activities, i.e. sports games. Small group formats may be used for individual development of motor skills or drills.

  • Integrating multi-omics for type 2 diabetes : Data science and big data towards personalized medicine Author: Klev Diamanti Link: Publication date: 2019-10-18 08:49

    Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a complex metabolic disease characterized by multi-tissue insulin resistance and failure of the pancreatic β-cells to secrete sufficient amounts of insulin. Cells recruit transcription factors (TF) to specific genomic loci to regulate gene expression that consequently affects the protein and metabolite abundancies. Here we investigated the interplay of transcriptional and translational regulation, and its impact on metabolome and phenome for several insulin-resistant tissues from T2D donors. We implemented computational tools and multi-omics integrative approaches that can facilitate the selection of candidate combinatorial markers for T2D.

    We developed a data-driven approach to identify putative regulatory regions and TF-interaction complexes. The cell-specific sets of regulatory regions were enriched for disease-related single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), highlighting the importance of such loci towards the genomic stability and the regulation of gene expression. We employed a similar principle in a second study where we integrated single nucleus ribonucleic acid sequencing (snRNA-seq) with bulk targeted chromosome-conformation-capture (HiCap) and mass spectrometry (MS) proteomics from liver. We identified a putatively polymorphic site that may contribute to variation in the pharmacogenetics of fluoropyrimidines toxicity for the DPYD gene. Additionally, we found a complex regulatory network between a group of 16 enhancers and the SLC2A2 gene that has been linked to increased risk for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Moreover, three enhancers harbored motif-breaking mutations located in regulatory regions of a cohort of 314 HCC cases, and were candidate contributors to malignancy.

    In a cohort of 43 multi-organ donors we explored the alternating pattern of metabolites among visceral adipose tissue (VAT), pancreatic islets, skeletal muscle, liver and blood serum samples. A large fraction of lysophosphatidylcholines (LPC) decreased in muscle and serum of T2D donors, while a large number of carnitines increased in liver and blood of T2D donors, confirming that changes in metabolites occur in primary tissues, while their alterations in serum consist a secondary event. Next, we associated metabolite abundancies from 42 subjects to glucose uptake, fat content and volume of various organs measured by positron emission tomography/magnetic resonance imaging (PET/MRI). The fat content of the liver was positively associated with the amino acid tyrosine, and negatively associated with LPC(P-16:0). The insulin sensitivity of VAT and subcutaneous adipose tissue was positively associated with several LPCs, while the opposite applied to branch-chained amino acids. Finally, we presented the network visualization of a rule-based machine learning model that predicted non-diabetes and T2D in an “unseen” dataset with 78% accuracy.

  • Exposure and body burden of environmental pollution and risk of cancer in a historically contaminated areas Author: Ingela Helmfrid Link: Publication date: 2019-10-17 08:07

    There are many villages where environmental contamination is substantial due to historical industrial activities. According to the European Environment Agency, there are about 2.5 million potentially contaminated sites in the European member states. In Sweden, there are about 80 000 more or less contaminated areas. About 1000 of them are classified into the highest risk category, Hazard Class 1, and should be remediated. Population exposure due to these industrially contaminated sites may contribute to adverse health effects and is a global environmental problem.

    The general aim of this thesis was to evaluate the occurrence of cancer in populations residing in contaminated areas in relation to indirect exposure via the long-term consumption of locally produced food, taking into account residential, occupational and lifestyle factors. Associations between reported local food consumption frequencies, biomarker concentrations and environmental and lifestyle factors were explored. The Swedish national cancer registers and questionnaire information was used to identify cancer risk groups in the study population. The questionnaire was evaluated regarding how well it reflected measured levels of biomarkers in human biological samples, and how the consumption of local food from contaminated areas contributed to the total body burden of contaminants.

    Despite historically high environmental levels of contaminants in the soil and sediments, current contaminant exposure in the studied population living in the contaminated areas was similar to or only moderately higher than that of the general population.

    No significant associations with increased cancer risk were detected in the highest tertile of metals concentrations in blood or PAH in urine.

    Reported long-term high consumption of certain local foods was associated with higher cadmium (vegetarian food) and lead (fish, meat) concentrations in blood and urine. Long-term high consumption of non-local food from places outside the study areas was not associated with increased concentrations of metals compared with consumers of local food. It was concluded that the questionnaire information on consumption of locally produced food describes differences in food consumption in the study population reasonably well.

    An increased risk of cancer was associated with smoking, family history of cancer and obesity. Residing in a contaminated area during the first five years of life was associated with an increased risk of cancer, which may indicate exposure to contaminants in early life. Also, long-term high consumption of particular local foods (fish, chicken, lamb, game meat) was associated with an increased risk of various forms of cancer, while reported high consumption of these foods from non-local sources was not associated with increased risk of cancer. The associations between habitual consumption of local food and different types of cancer may reflect a higher exposure in the past, and thus, if consumption of local food contributes to the risk of acquiring cancer, that contribution is probably lower today than previously. Furthermore, it cannot be ruled out that other contaminants in the food contribute to the increased cancer risks observed.

    In conclusion, the questionnaire that was developed for the present thesis can identify risk groups within populations and can be used as a tool in a health-risk assessment.