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    Introductory commentary: Marine conflicts and pathways to sustainability in an era of Blue Growth and climate change

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    Worldwide, marine conflicts are growing in frequency and intensity due to increasing global demands for resources (Blue Growth) and climate change. This article introduces a collection in Maritime Studies on marine conflicts and pathways to sustainability in an era of Blue Growth and climate change. We posit that while conflict can be problematic, it can also play a positive role in bringing about societal change, by highlighting unsustainable and unjust practices and be a trigger for sustainability transformation. However, left unattended, festering marine conflict can hinder just and equitable sustainability transformation. We present two distinct, yet arguably complementary, lenses through which researchers working with sustainability engage with marine conflicts. First, a social-ecological systems approach engages in conflicts by examining the interdependencies between human and ecological systems and related governance arrangements, promoting collaborative learning and action, and exploring adaptive governance strategies that seek sustainability conflict resolution. Second, a political ecology approach addresses conflicts by examining power dynamics and resource (mal)distributions, arguing for fair governance, and emphasizing the need to address historical and current injustices that are at the root of conflicts. Next, we present insights on diverse sustainability transformational pathways, including the importance of searching for common ground and the need for the reconfiguration of power relations as key steps to understand and inform sustainability conflict research. We conclude by indicating that more sustainability research in marine conflict settings is needed and by forwarding intersectionality as a promising approach to productively reframe and disrupt the debilitating effects of deep-rooted marine sustainability conflicts

    Global Transcriptome Analysis Reveals Distinct Phases of the Endothelial Response to TNF

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    The vascular endothelium acts as a dynamic interface between blood and tissue. TNF-α, a major regulator of inflammation, induces endothelial cell (EC) transcriptional changes, the overall response dynamics of which have not been fully elucidated. In the present study, we conducted an extended time-course analysis of the human EC response to TNF, from 30 min to 72 h. We identified regulated genes and used weighted gene network correlation analysis to decipher coexpression profiles, uncovering two distinct temporal phases: an acute response (between 1 and 4 h) and a later phase (between 12 and 24 h). Sex-based subset analysis revealed that the response was comparable between female and male cells. Several previously uncharacterized genes were strongly regulated during the acute phase, whereas the majority in the later phase were IFN-stimulated genes. A lack of IFN transcription indicated that this IFN-stimulated gene expression was independent of de novo IFN production. We also observed two groups of genes whose transcription was inhibited by TNF: those that resolved toward baseline levels and those that did not. Our study provides insights into the global dynamics of the EC transcriptional response to TNF, highlighting distinct gene expression patterns during the acute and later phases. Data for all coding and noncoding genes is provided on the Web site (http://www.endothelial-response.org/). These findings may be useful in understanding the role of ECs in inflammation and in developing TNF signaling–targeted therapies

    Editorial: Environmental impacts and risks of car tire and styrene-butadiene rubber: microplastic pollution and contaminant transport

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    Every year, almost 2 billion new vehicle tires are produced world-wide. At the same time >1 billion tires reach their end of life. During use, tire wear particles (TWPs) form through abrasion of the rubber material, and in contact with the road surface composites of both materials form tire and road wear particles (TRWPs). These emissions represent a large fraction of total microplastic pollution, and thus a pressing environmental challenge that cannot be counteracted by “green” urbanization through the electrification of car, truck, and airplane fleets. In fact, heavier electric cars may emit even more TWPs and increase the frequency of tire replacements. In addition to TWPs and TRWPs, crumb rubber (CR) produced from end-of-life tires has been a popular low-cost product as infill on artificial grass for outdoor sports pitches, where it has become a substitute for natural grass, sand, or gravel, but is prone to runoff into the surrounding environment

    When Modality and Tense Meet. The Future Marker budet ‘will’ in Impersonal Constructions with the Modal Adverb možno ‘be possible’

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    This paper examines Russian impersonal constructions with the modal word možno ‘can, be possible’ with and without the future copula budet ‘will be,’ i.e., možno + budet + inf and možno + inf. My contribution can be summarized as follows. First, corpus-based evidence reveals that možno + inf constructions are vastly more frequent than constructions with copula. Second, the meaning of constructions without the future copula is more flexible: while the possibility is typically located in the present, the situation denoted by the infinitive may be located in the present or the future. Third, I show that the možno + inf construction is more ambiguous and can denote present, gnomic or future situations. Fourth, I identify a number of contextual factors that unambiguously locate the situation in the future. I demonstrate that such factors are more frequently used with the future copula, and thus motivate the choice between the two constructions. Finally, I illustrate the interpretations in a straightforward manner by means of schemas of the type used in cognitive linguistics

    Microbial Adaptation - Responses to External Cues

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    Bacteria can adapt to various environments because they efficiently sense and respond to external cues. This is exemplified by antibiotic resistance, a leading cause for death on a global scale. Antibiotics exert a selection pressure on bacteria, where improper use can inadvertently select for antibiotic resistance. Dissemination of antibiotic resistance throughout bacterial populations can occur via horizontal gene transfer. Bacteria can also take up genetic material from the environment and incorporate it into their genome. This is known as natural transformation and is dependent on bacteria entering a state of competence to take up environmental DNA. Induction of competence involves an extensive network of signaling, that involves sensing and responding to external cues such as population density, and nutrient availability. The external cues are then converted into a phenotypic response. The cell surface is critical to regulate this activity and occurs via an intricate tapestry of membrane proteins, lipids and more. The orchestration of these components is vital for appropriate signal processing and proper adaptation. This thesis explores bacterial adaptation in response to external cues such as antibiotics and environmental DNA. As well as activity and localization of membrane proteins.Bakterier har en enorm evne til å tilpasse seg ulike miljøer som innebærer å tolke eksterne stressfaktorer. Et eksempel på dette er antibiotikaresistens, som er en ledende dødsårsak på global basis. Antibiotika utsetter bakterier for et seleksjonspress, ved feil bruk vil man ubevisst selektere for resistente bakterier. Resistensgener kan så overføres ved horisontal genoverføring. På den måten kan resistens fordeles i populasjonen. Bakterier kan også ta opp fremmed DNA fra miljøet og inkorporere det i sitt genom. Dette kalles naturlig transformering og krever at bakteriene blir kompetente til å kunne ta opp fremmed DNA. Dette innebærer som regel et innviklet nettverk av signalering. Eksterne faktorer som populasjonstetthet og tilgang på næring blir da konvertert til en phenotypisk respons. Celleoverflaten er kritisk for å regulere denne aktiviteten og foregår via ett tettpakket vev av blant annet membranproteiner og lipider. Dette er essensielt for å kunne registrere og videreføre informasjon fra miljøet. Denne avhandlingen utforsker tilpasningsevnen til bakterier i henhold til stressfaktorer, som antibiotika og DNA fra miljøet, og samspillet mellom aktivering av membranproteiner, som nevnt ovenfor

    Local management of the COVID-19 pandemic in Norway: a longitudinal interview study of municipality chief medical officers

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    Objective - To explore the experiences and views of Norwegian Municipality Chief Medical Officers (MCMOs) on preparedness, collaboration, and organization during the COVID-19 pandemic to gain insight into local crisis management of value for future pandemic responses. Design - Longitudinal qualitative interview study. We conducted semi-structured digital interviews with nine MCMOs working in different municipalities in Norway from September to December 2020. Five MCMOs were re-interviewed from January to April 2021. We used thematic analysis to analyze the data. Results - Through the analysis, three major themes were identified in the material; 1) The view of preparedness changed from being low-priority and dormant to the desire to strengthen preparedness as a permanent measure; 2) The nature of the pandemic forced a change in internal and external communication and collaboration for the MCMOs towards direct dialogue, teamwork and digital networking; 3) The pandemic changed the role and position of the MCMO within the municipal organization. Although most MCMOs were given a leading role in the municipal pandemic response, some MCMOs experienced that they were not positioned to fully exercise their intended role. In our material, de-authorization of the MCMO role seemed to coincide with the increasing size and organizational complexity of the municipality. Conclusions - The Norwegian pandemic response and outcome have been regarded as successful internationally. Although the MCMOs managed to implement flexible and quick responses facilitated by teamwork, dialogue, and joint sensemaking, they also identified several challenges and shortcomings of the Norwegian pandemic preparedness requiring organizational and financial changes to sustain future health system resilience

    “Det er kult å lære samisk” – om investering og affekt i samisk språkutdanningspolitikk

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    Gjennom offisiell språkpolitikk har skolen i Norge fått en viktig rolle i prosessen med å revitalisere og ta tilbake samiske språk. Tema i denne artikkelen er samisk språkutdanningspolitikk og skolen som språklæringsarena for barn og unge utenfor forvaltningsområdet for samisk språk som ønsker å lære samisk, men som har liten tilgang til språket i familien eller i lokalsamfunnet. Målet er å gå i dybden på en elevs erfaringer med å velge og velge bort samisk som fag på skolen i disse omstendighetene. Eleven, som jeg kaller Sunniva, hadde nordsamisk som andrespråk i fem år på grunnskolen, og i analysen ser jeg nærmere på hva som gjorde hennes valg om å få opplæring i samisk ønskelig og mulig, og etter hvert også vanskelig. Forskningsspørsmålet er hvilke sosiale og historiske diskurser som sirkulerer i Sunnivas valg om å lære samisk på skolen og seinere velge bort samisk som skolefag. Datainnsamling og analyse av hennes språkutdanningsvalg er gjort innenfor ramma av neksusanalyse, og sentrale teoretiske perspektiv er i tillegg investering og affekt. Analysen viser at til tross for at Sunniva ville investere i å lære samisk på skolen, skaper forhold rundt opplæringa negative opplevelser, og hun velger til slutt å slutte med samiskopplæring. Det er særlig organisatoriske forhold som skaper affektive reaksjoner, og disse forholdene viser i neste omgang hvordan samiskfaget er merka av fornorskingspolitikken

    Healthcare Delivery and Emergency Preparedness on Svalbard: A Study of Norwegian and Russian Practices and Cooperation

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    The aim of this thesis is to explore Norwegian and Russian approaches to healthcare delivery and emergency preparedness on Svalbard and to examine potential effects from a closer cooperation. The methods were interdisciplinary. A systematic review was performed to assess studies about health on Svalbard (article 1). Thereafter, a literary analysis explored concepts of health and illness in Norwegian and Russian fiction (article 2). Finally, through a semi-structured interview study, Norwegian and Russian stakeholders were questioned about approaches to and potential for cooperation in healthcare and emergency preparedness (article 3). Overall, the findings show no evidence of an increased risk for specific diseases on Svalbard but indicate particular challenges in terms of local fauna and occupational health. Examples include a small possibility of being attacked by polar bears and an increased risk of mining- and snowmobile accidents. The health challenges on Svalbard are otherwise comparable to mainland Norway. Furthermore, the findings show that Norway and Russia experience roughly the same challenges related to healthcare delivery and emergency preparedness, and that there is a certain level of cooperation between the countries in these fields. Factors such as existing relations and communication systems facilitate further cooperation, while different systems for healthcare delivery and emergency preparedness and differences in language and culture are potential obstacles. Expanding cooperation between the countries is considered to entail positive effects. However, the war in Ukraine and consequent EU sanctions against Russia are substantial obstacles to extended cooperation between Norway and Russia on Svalbard.Målet med denne avhandlingen er å utforske norsk og russisk tilnærming til helsetjenester og beredskap på Svalbard, og å undersøke mulige effekter av tettere transnasjonalt samarbeid på disse områdene. For å oppnå dette målet, er tverrfaglige metoder benyttet. En systematisk litteraturgjennomgang ble utført for å kartlegge vitenskapelige studier om helse på Svalbard (artikkel 1). En litteraturanalyse utforsket begrepene helse og sykdom i fiksjonsskildringer med handling lagt til Svalbard (artikkel 2). I en semistrukturert intervjustudie ble norske og russiske aktører utspurt om tilnærminger til og muligheter for samarbeid innen helse og beredskap på Svalbard (artikkel 3). Resultatene viser samlet sett at det ikke er økt risiko for spesifikke sykdommer på Svalbard. Samtidig medfører Svalbards geografiske beliggenhet enkelte helseutfordringer knyttet til fauna og yrkesliv. Det er for eksempel en liten mulighet for å bli angrepet av isbjørn og risiko for gruve- og snøscooterulykker. Helseutfordringene på Svalbard er ellers sammenlignbare med fastlands-Norge. Videre viser funnene at Norge og Russland opplever omtrent de samme utfordringene knyttet til helse og beredskap på Svalbard, og at det finnes endel samarbeid mellom landene på disse områdene. Faktorer som eksisterende relasjoner og systemer for kommunikasjon fasiliterer videre samarbeid, mens ulike helse- og beredskapssystemer og forskjeller i språk og kultur kan være til hinder. Utvidelse av samarbeid på tvers av nasjonene kan gi positive effekter. Imidlertid er krigen i Ukraina og medfølgende EU-sanksjoner mot Russland substansielle hindringer for helse- og beredskapssamarbeid mellom Norge og Russland.Цель данной диссертации – исследовать норвежские и российские подходы к оказанию медицинской помощи и обеспечению готовности к чрезвычайным ситуациям на Шпицбергене, а также обсудить возможные последствия более близкого сотрудничества. Методы были междисциплинарными. Осуществлен систематический обзор научных статей о здравоохранении на Шпицбергене (статья 1). Историко-литературный анализ был сосредоточен на освещении представлений о здоровье и болезни в норвежской и советской художественной литературе о Шпицбергене (статья 2). Проведены полуструктурированные интервью c норвежскими и российскими респондентами, чтобы осветить возможности сотрудничества в сферах здравоохранения и обеспечения готовности к чрезвычайным ситуациям (статья 3). Систематический обзор не выявил доказательств повышенного риска или распространенности определенных заболеваний на Шпицбергене. Историко-литературный анализ показал, что практически одни и те же проблемы со здоровьем были актуальны как для советских, так и для норвежских жителей Шпицбергена в 1950-е годы и что географическое положение Шпицбергена оказывает известное влияние на здоровье жителей архипелага. Результаты последней статьи демонстрируют, что существуют и предпосылки, и препятствия для дальнейшего сотрудничества в области оказания медицинской помощи и обеспечения готовности к чрезвычайным ситуациям, и что такое сотрудничество может принести дополнительные преимущества, если оно будет расширено. Риски для здоровья на Шпицбергене представляются такими же, как и в материковой части Норвегии. Есть как сходства, так и различия в том, как Норвегия и Россия подходят к этим рискам. Сотрудничество двух стран в оказании медицинской помощи и обеспечении готовности к чрезвычайным ситуациям работает достаточно хорошо, но может принести дополнительные преимущества, если его развивать. Война в Украине и международные санкции против России являются главными препятствиями для любого сотрудничества на Шпицбергене в ближайшем обозримом будущем

    ‘PISA effects’ on Norwegian education. A critical realist perspective

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    The objective of the thesis is to examine, from a critical realist perspective and by using Margaret Archer’s conceptual framework, possible effects that the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) test has on the Norwegian education system and on school personnel. The intention has been to reconceptualise the notion of ‘PISA effects’ both at the systemic (macro) and individual (micro) level. The thesis is based on a total of five cases (art. I = 1, art. II = 1, art. III = 3) that represent entities at different levels: the national education system (the macro-level); an individual mathematics teacher (the micro-level); and school leaders (micro-level). Two of the articles employ qualitative methodology (art. I and art. III), while article II employs both a qualitative and quantitative methodology, i.e., method triangulation. The data consist of relevant policy documents and secondary literature (art. I), and semi-structured interviews (art. II, art. III) with a mathematics teacher (n=1) and three school leaders (n=3), the former in combination with a Likert scale measuring modes of reflexivity. My investigation of educational reforms and other state interventions for two decades, since the beginning of the 1990s, before and after the PISA–shock (art. I) indicated that basic system characteristics, internal structures, and processes in the system, were maintained. Contrary to what some previous research has claimed, the PISA shock did not fundamentally change the Norwegian educational system. This analysis employs Archer’s definition of educational systems, centralized and decentralized, her specification of internal structures and processes in state educational systems, and her model of morphogenetic cycles. The four micro-level case studies presented in article II and III, employ Archer’s concepts reflexivity and reflexive modes, which can explain differences among school personnel (teachers and school leaders) in how they react to the PISA test. The use of reflexivity and reflexive modes as analytical concepts enables the alignment of teaching staffs’ personal concerns and values with their reactions to the PISA test and shows how agents mediate the effects of external systemic structures. Picking up on Xavier Pons quest for a new theoretical framework for the study of PISA effects, which could establish it as a ‘normal science’, I argue that critical realism and Archer’s conceptual framework satisfies his basic requirements, i.e., ontological realism, epistemic relativism, and judgemental rationality.Målet med oppgaven er å undersøke, fra et kritisk realistisk perspektiv og ved å bruke Margaret Archers konseptuelle rammeverk, mulige effekter som PISA-testen har på det norske utdanningssystemet og på skolepersonell. Hensikten har vært å rekonseptualisere forestillinger om ‘PISA-effekter’ både på systemisk (makro) og individuelt (mikro) nivå. Arbeidet er basert på totalt fem case-studier (art. I = 1, art. II = 1, art. III = 3) som representerer enheter på ulike nivåer: det nasjonale utdanningssystemet (makronivået), en individuell matematikk lærer (mikronivå) og tre skoleledere (mikronivå). To av artiklene benytter kvalitativ metodikk (art. I og art. III), og artikkel II benytter både en kvalitativ og kvantitativ metode, dvs. metodetriangulering. Dataene består av relevante policydokumenter og sekundærlitteratur (art. I) og semistrukturerte intervjuer (art. II, art. III) med en matematikklærer (n=1) og tre skoleledere (n=3). Førstnevnte i kombinasjon med en Likert-skala som måler refleksivitetsmoduser. Min undersøkelse av utdanningsreformer og andre nasjonale tiltak i skolen i løpet av to ti-år, fra begynnelsen av 1990-årene, det vil si før og etter PISA-sjokket (art. I), viser at de grunnleggende egenskapene ved utdanningssystemet, forble de samme, til tross for PISA-begrunnede tiltak. Analysen anvender Archers definisjon av utdanningssystemer, sentraliserte og desentraliserte, begreper knyttet til interne strukturer og prosesser og dessuten hennes modell for morfogenetiske sykluser. De fire case-studiene fra mikro-nivået (matematikklærer og skoleledere) i artikkel II og III anvender Archers begreper om refleksivitet og refleksive moduser, som er egnet til å forklare hvorfor enkeltpersoner har ulike reaksjoner, selv om de befinner seg i den samme strukturelle konteksten og hvordan disse reaksjonene henger sammen med personenes personlige verdioppfatninger og anliggender. Jeg hevder at ønsket om et nytt teoretisk rammeverk for studiet av PISA effekter, fremsatt av Xavier Pons, som kan etablere feltet som en ‘normalvitenskap’, innfris av kritisk realisme og Archers konseptuelle rammeverk som baserer seg på prinsippene ontologisk realisme, epistemologisk relativisme og vurderingsrasjonalitet

    Guilt and Grievability at War: Military Accountability and the Other in 'Mark of Cain' and 'Battle for Haditha'

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    This article conducts a critical reading of the British war films Mark of Cain (Munden, 2007) and Battle for Haditha (Broomfield, 2007). Establishing the significance of cultural representations for politics and collective memory, I first locate both films in their historical and cultural contexts before I offer analyses that focus on the representation of US and British soldiers, Iraqi insurgents, and Iraqi civilians. I argue that Mark of Cain dissects how misunderstood loyalty, peer-pressure, and military organization facilitated abuses by British soldiers against Iraqi prisoners, but at the same time narrowly frames the Iraqi other as either largely invisible threat or hyper-visible helpless victim. In contrast, Battle for Haditha draws a more sophisticated picture of the Iraq war focusing on structural aspects of the conflict. In presenting the Iraq theater of war as a complex political economy with shifting allegiances and blurring loyalties, Broomfield offers insights in the backgrounds and rationalities of US soldiers, Iraqi civilians, and insurgents and this way alerts the viewer to structural aspects of evil in war as a system that reduces the paradigm of possible actions on all sides until only wrong decisions can be made. This, I conclude, makes Battle for Haditha an anti-war film proper

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