Browsing by Subject "CHALLENGES"

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  • Wannasarit, Saowanee; Wang, Shiqi; Figueiredo, Patricia; Trujillo Olvera, Claudia Ximenia; Eburnea, Francesca; Simón-Gracia, Lorena; Correia, Alexandra; Ding, Yaping; Teesalu, Tambet; Liu, Dongfei; Wiwattanapatapee, Ruedeekorn; Santos, Hélder A.; Li, Wei (2019)
    Achieving cellular internalization and endosomal escape remains a major challenge for many antitumor therapeutics, especially macromolecular drugs. Viral drug carriers are reported for efficient intracellular delivery, but with limited choices of payloads. In this study, a novel polymeric nanoparticle (ADMAP) is developed, resembling the structure and functional features of a virus. ADMAP is synthesized by grafting endosomolytic poly(lauryl methacrylate‐co‐methacrylic acid) on acetalated dextran. The endosomolytic polymer mimics the capsid protein for endosomal escape, and acetalated dextran resembles the viral core for accommodating payloads. After polymer synthesis, the subsequent controlled nanoprecipitation on a microfluidic device yields uniform nanoparticles with high encapsulation efficiency. At late endosomal pH (5.0), the ADMAP particles successfully destabilize endosomal membranes and release the drug payloads synergistically, resulting in a greater therapeutic efficacy compared with that of free anticancer drugs. Further conjugation of a tumor‐penetrating peptide enhances the antitumor efficacy toward 3D spheroids and finally leads to spheroid disintegration. The unique structure along with the synergistic endosomal escape and drug release make ADMAP nanoparticles favorable for intracellular delivery of antitumor therapeutics.
  • Kemppainen, Petri; Husby, Arild (2018)
    A fundamental assumption in quantitative genetics is that traits are controlled by many loci of small effect. Using genomic data, this assumption can be tested using chromosome partitioning analyses, where the proportion of genetic variance for a trait explained by each chromosome (h(c)(2)), is regressed on its size. However, as h(c)(2)-estimates are necessarily positive (censoring) and the variance increases with chromosome size (heteroscedasticity), two fundamental assumptions of ordinary least squares (OLS) regression are violated. Using simulated and empirical data we demonstrate that these violations lead to incorrect inference of genetic architecture. The degree of bias depends mainly on the number of chromosomes and their size distribution and is therefore specific to the species; using published data across many different species we estimate that not accounting for this effect overall resulted in 28% false positives. We introduce a new and computationally efficient resampling method that corrects for inflation caused by heteroscedasticity and censoring and that works under a large range of dataset sizes and genetic architectures in empirical datasets. Our new method substantially improves the robustness of inferences from chromosome partitioning analyses.
  • Jones, Marjaana; Pietilä, Ilkka Veikko (2020)
    Health policies and strategies promote the involvement of people with illness experiences in service development and production, integrating them into settings that have traditionally been domains of health professionals. In this study, we focus on the perspectives of people with personal illness experiences and explore how they justify involvement, position themselves as legitimate actors and forge collaborative relationships with health professionals. We have used discourse analysis in analysing individual interviews conducted with peer support workers and experts by experience (n = 17) who currently work in Finnish health services. The interviewees utilised discourses of empowerment, efficiency and patient-centeredness, aligning themselves with the justifications constructed by patient movements additionally to those found in current health policies. Both groups wanted to retain critical distance from professionals in order to voice criticisms of current care practices, yet they also frequently aligned themselves with professionals in order to gain legitimacy for their involvement. They adopted professional traits that moved them further from being lay participants sharing personal experiences and adopted an expert position. Although national-level policies provided backing and legitimacy for involvement, the lack of local-level guidance could hinder the practical implementation and make involvement largely dependent of professionals' discretion.
  • Foulds, Chris; Royston, Sarah; Berker, Thomas; Nakopoulou, Efi; Bharucha, Zareen Pervez; Robison, Rosie; Abram, Simone; Ancic, Branko; Arapostathis, Stathis; Badescu, Gabriel; Bull, Richard; Cohen, Jed; Dunlop, Tessa; Dunphy, Niall; Dupont, Claire; Fischer, Corinna; Gram-Hanssen, Kirsten; Grandclement, Catherine; Heiskanen, Eva; Labanca, Nicola; Jeliazkova, Maria; Jorgens, Helge; Keller, Margit; Kern, Florian; Lombardi, Patrizia; Mourik, Ruth; Ornetzeder, Michael; Pearson, Peter J. G.; Rohracher, Harald; Sahakian, Marlyne; Sari, Ramazan; Standal, Karina; Zivcic, Lidija (2022)
    Decades of techno-economic energy policymaking and research have meant evidence from the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH)-including critical reflections on what changing a society's relation to energy (efficiency) even means-have been underutilised. In particular, (i) the SSH have too often been sidelined and/or narrowly pigeonholed by policymakers, funders, and other decision-makers when driving research agendas, and (ii) the setting of SSH-focused research agendas has not historically embedded inclusive and deliberative processes. The aim of this paper is to address these gaps through the production of a research agenda outlining future SSH research priorities for energy efficiency. A Horizon Scanning exercise was run, which sought to identify 100 priority SSH questions for energy efficiency research. This exercise included 152 researchers with prior SSH expertise on energy efficiency, who together spanned 62 (sub-)disciplines of SSH, 23 countries, and a full range of career stages. The resultant questions were inductively clustered into seven themes as follows: (1) Citizenship, engagement and knowledge exchange in relation to energy efficiency; (2) Energy efficiency in relation to equity, justice, poverty and vulnerability; (3) Energy efficiency in relation to everyday life and practices of energy consumption and production; (4) Framing, defining and measuring energy efficiency; (5) Governance, policy and political issues around energy efficiency; (6) Roles of economic systems, supply chains and financial mechanisms in improving energy efficiency; and (7) The interactions, unintended consequences and rebound effects of energy efficiency interventions. Given the consistent centrality of energy efficiency in policy programmes, this paper highlights that well-developed SSH approaches are ready to be mobilised to contribute to the development, and/or to understand the implications, of energy efficiency measures and governance solutions. Implicitly, it also emphasises the heterogeneity of SSH policy evidence that can be produced. The agenda will be of use for both (1) those new to the energy-SSH field (including policyworkers), for learnings on the capabilities and capacities of energy-SSH, and (2) established energy-SSH researchers, for insights on the collectively held futures of energy-SSH research.
  • Wirehn, Lotten; Käyhkö, Janina; Neset, Tina-Simone; Juhola, Sirkku (2020)
    In light of the increased focus on climate change adaptation, there is a need to understand when and how adaptation decision-making generates trade-offs. This study presents a novel framework for adaptation trade-off assessments, which integrates (I) two trade-off mechanisms (direct and interactions) and (II) two types of trade-off characteristics (substantive and processual). Perspectives on adaptation trade-offs were collected from 37 Swedish and Finnish agricultural experts through semi-structured interviews supported by serious gaming and visualization. The data were thematically analysed based on the provided analytical framework. The results show that trade-offs in agricultural adaptation decision-making processes involve balancing a number of socio-ecological system aspects that are of different character and have different functions. The study identified 20 aspects generating trade-offs related to adaptation management in Swedish and Finnish agriculture, among which 'crop yield and profitability', 'farm economy', 'pest and weed robustness' and 'soil quality' were discussed as the most prominent by respondents. The framework enables an examination of complex trade-off structures that can have implications for adaptation management decisions. The results show that the identified aspects constitute different components and functions of trade-offs, including both processual and/or substantive ones. In conclusion, the 20 identified aspects and the framework together demonstrate the importance of the two types of adaptation trade-offs and the resulting complexity of climate change adaptation decision-making in Swedish and Finnish agriculture. Furthermore, the study asserts the potential of applying the framework for various strategic contexts-to recognize and cope with trade-offs in adaptation management.
  • Cardoso, Pedro; Branco, Vasco V.; Borges, Paulo A.; Carvalho, Jose C.; Rigal, Francois; Gabriel, Rosalina; Mammola, Stefano; Cascalho, Jose; Correia, Luis (2020)
    Ecological systems are the quintessential complex systems, involving numerous high-order interactions and non-linear relationships. The most used statistical modeling techniques can hardly accommodate the complexity of ecological patterns and processes. Finding hidden relationships in complex data is now possible using massive computational power, particularly by means of artificial intelligence and machine learning methods. Here we explored the potential of symbolic regression (SR), commonly used in other areas, in the field of ecology. Symbolic regression searches for both the formal structure of equations and the fitting parameters simultaneously, hence providing the required flexibility to characterize complex ecological systems. Although the method here presented is automated, it is part of a collaborative human-machine effort and we demonstrate ways to do it. First, we test the robustness of SR to extreme levels of noise when searching for the species-area relationship. Second, we demonstrate how SR can model species richness and spatial distributions. Third, we illustrate how SR can be used to find general models in ecology, namely new formulas for species richness estimators and the general dynamic model of oceanic island biogeography. We propose that evolving free-form equations purely from data, often without prior human inference or hypotheses, may represent a very powerful tool for ecologists and biogeographers to become aware of hidden relationships and suggest general theoretical models and principles.
  • Aalto, Juha; Scherrer, Daniel; Lenoir, Jonathan; Guisan, Antoine; Luoto, Miska (2018)
    Soil temperature (ST) has a key role in Arctic ecosystem functioning and global environmental change. However, soil thermal conditions do not necessarily follow synoptic temperature variations. This is because local biogeophysical processes can lead to a pronounced soil-atmosphere thermal offset (Delta T) while altering the coupling (beta Tau) between ST and ambient air temperature (AAT). Here, we aim to uncover the spatiotemporal variation in these parameters and identify their main environmental drivers. By deploying a unique network of 322 temperature loggers and surveying biogeophysical processes across an Arctic landscape, we found that the spatial variation in Delta T during the AAT 0 period, Delta T was controlled by soil characteristics, vegetation and solar radiation (Delta T = -0.6 degrees C +/- 1.0 degrees C). Importantly, Delta T was not constant throughout the seasons reflecting the influence of beta Tau on the rate of local soil warming being stronger after (mean beta Tau = 0.8 +/- 0.1) than before (beta Tau = 0.2 +/- 0.2) snowmelt. Our results highlight the need for continuous microclimatic and local environmental monitoring, and suggest a potential for large buffering and non-uniform warming of snow-dominated Arctic ecosystems under projected temperature increase.
  • Lyytikainen, Minna; Yadav, Punam (2022)
    This article explores a narrative of peacebuilding best practice: the national efforts to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325 in Nepal. We demonstrate how the contested realities of post-conflict gender politics are skilfully transformed into internationally transferable policy knowledge. We argue that in order to construct a peacebuilding best practice, policy entrepreneurs draw on their social capital to make claims about policy as simultaneously local and context-specific as well as global and universally applicable. The credibility of the claims is based on the extent to which they can be presented to international policy audiences in formats suitable for their consumption.
  • Kaikkonen, Laura; Helle, Inari; Kostamo, Kirsi; Kuikka, Sakari; Törnroos, Anna; Nygård, Henrik; Venesjärvi, Riikka; Uusitalo, Laura (2021)
    Mineral deposits containing commercially exploitable metals are of interest for seabed mineral extraction in both the deep sea and shallow sea areas. However, the development of seafloor mining is underpinned by high uncertainties on the implementation of the activities and their consequences for the environment. To avoid unbridled expansion of maritime activities, the environmental risks of new types of activities should be carefully evaluated prior to permitting them, yet observational data on the impacts is mostly missing. Here, we examine the environmental risks of seabed mining using a causal, probabilistic network approach. Drawing on a series of expert interviews, we outline the cause-effect pathways related to seabed mining activities to inform quantitative risk assessments. The approach consists of (1) iterative model building with experts to identify the causal connections between seabed mining activities and the affected ecosystem components and (2) quantitative probabilistic modeling. We demonstrate the approach in the Baltic Sea, where seabed mining been has tested and the ecosystem is well studied. The model is used to provide estimates of mortality of benthic fauna under alternative mining scenarios, offering a quantitative means to highlight the uncertainties around the impacts of mining. We further outline requirements for operationalizing quantitative risk assessments in data-poor cases, highlighting the importance of a predictive approach to risk identification. The model can be used to support permitting processes by providing a more comprehensive description of the potential environmental impacts of seabed resource use, allowing iterative updating of the model as new information becomes available.
  • PRACTICAL Consortium; Bouras, Emmanouil; Karhunen, Ville; Gill, Dipender; Ahola-Olli, Ari; Mannikko, Minna; Auvinen, Juha; Herzig, Karl-Heinz; Keinanen-Kiukaanniemi, Sirkka; Lehtimäki, Terho; Salomaa, Veikko; Raitakari, Olli; Salmi, Marko; Jalkanen, Sirpa; Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta; Tsilidis, Konstantinos K. (2022)
    Background Epidemiological and experimental evidence has linked chronic inflammation to cancer aetiology. It is unclear whether associations for specific inflammatory biomarkers are causal or due to bias. In order to examine whether altered genetically predicted concentration of circulating cytokines are associated with cancer development, we performed a two-sample Mendelian randomisation (MR) analysis. Methods Up to 31,112 individuals of European descent were included in genome-wide association study (GWAS) meta-analyses of 47 circulating cytokines. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) robustly associated with the cytokines, located in or close to their coding gene (cis), were used as instrumental variables. Inverse-variance weighted MR was used as the primary analysis, and the MR assumptions were evaluated in sensitivity and colocalization analyses and a false discovery rate (FDR) correction for multiple comparisons was applied. Corresponding germline GWAS summary data for five cancer outcomes (breast, endometrial, lung, ovarian, and prostate), and their subtypes were selected from the largest cancer-specific GWASs available (cases ranging from 12,906 for endometrial to 133,384 for breast cancer). Results There was evidence of inverse associations of macrophage migration inhibitory factor with breast cancer (OR per SD = 0.88, 95% CI 0.83 to 0.94), interleukin-1 receptor antagonist with endometrial cancer (0.86, 0.80 to 0.93), interleukin-18 with lung cancer (0.87, 0.81 to 0.93), and beta-chemokine-RANTES with ovarian cancer (0.70, 0.57 to 0.85) and positive associations of monokine induced by gamma interferon with endometrial cancer (3.73, 1.86 to 7.47) and cutaneous T-cell attracting chemokine with lung cancer (1.51, 1.22 to 1.87). These associations were similar in sensitivity analyses and supported in colocalization analyses. Conclusions Our study adds to current knowledge on the role of specific inflammatory biomarker pathways in cancer aetiology. Further validation is needed to assess the potential of these cytokines as pharmacological or lifestyle targets for cancer prevention.
  • Hällfors, Maria H.; Vaara, Elina M.; Hyvärinen, Marko; Oksanen, Markku; Schulman, Leif E.; Siipi, Helena; Lehvävirta, Susanna (2014)
    Intentional moving of species threatened by climate change is actively being discussed as a conservation approach. The debate, empirical studies, and policy development, however, are impeded by an inconsistent articulation of the idea. The discrepancy is demonstrated by the varying use of terms, such as assisted migration, assisted colonisation, or managed relocation, and their multiple definitions. Since this conservation approach is novel, and may for instance lead to legislative changes, it is important to aim for terminological consistency. The objective of this study is to analyse the suitability of terms and definitions used when discussing the moving of organisms as a response to climate change. An extensive literature search and review of the material (868 scientific publications) was conducted for finding hitherto used terms (N = 40) and definitions (N = 75), and these were analysed for their suitability. Based on the findings, it is argued that an appropriate term for a conservation approach relating to aiding the movement of organisms harmed by climate change is assisted migration defined as follows: Assisted migration means safeguarding biological diversity through the translocation of representatives of a species or population harmed by climate change to an area outside the indigenous range of that unit where it would be predicted to move as climate changes, were it not for anthropogenic dispersal barriers or lack of time. The differences between assisted migration and other conservation translocations are also discussed. A wide adoption of the clear and distinctive term and definition provided would allow more focused research on the topic and enable consistent implementation as practitioners could have the same understanding of the concept.
  • Syyrilä, Tiina; Vehviläinen-Julkunen, Katri; Härkänen, Marja (2020)
    Abstract Aim To identify the types and frequencies of communication issues (communication pairs, person related, institutional, structural, process, and prescription-related issues) detected in medication incident reports and to compare communication issues that caused moderate or serious harm to patients. Background Communication issues have been found to be amongst the main contributing factors of medication incidents, thus necessitating communication enhancement. Design A sequential exploratory mixed-method design. Methods Medication incident reports from Finland (n=500) for the year 2015 in which communication was marked as a contributing factor were used as the data source. Indicator phrases were used for searching communication issues from free texts of incident reports. The detected issues were analysed statistically, qualitatively, and considering the harm caused to the patient. Citations from free texts were extracted as evidence of issues and were classified following main categories of indicator phrases. The EQUATOR?s SRQR checklist was followed in reporting. Results Twenty-eight communication pairs were identified, with nurse-nurse (68.2%; n=341), nurse-physician (41.6%; n=208), and nurse-patient (9.6%; n=48) pairs being the most frequent. Communication issues existed mostly within unit (76.6%, n=383). The most commonly identified issues were digital communication (68.2%; n=341), lack of communication within a team (39.6%; n=198), false assumptions about work processes (25.6%; n=128) and being unaware of guidelines (25.0%; n=125). Collegial feedback, and communication from patients and relatives were the preventing issues. Moderate harm cases were often linked with lack of communication within the unit, digital communication and not following guidelines. Conclusions The interventions should be prioritized to (a) enhancing communication about work-processes, (b) verbal communication about digital prescriptions between professionals, (c) feedback among professionals, and (f) encouraging patients to communicate about medication. Relevance to clinical practice Upon identifying the most harmful and frequent communication issues, interventions to strengthen medication safety can be implemented.
  • Olafsson, Anton Stahl; Purves, Ross S.; Wartmann, Flurina M.; -Martin, Maria Garcia; Fagerholm, Nora; Torralba, Mario; Albert, Christian; Verbrugge, Laura N. H.; Heikinheimo, Vuokko; Plieninger, Tobias; Bieling, Claudia; Kaaronen, Roope; Hartmann, Maximilian; Raymond, Christopher M. (2022)
  • Olafsson, Anton Stahl; Purves, Ross S.; Wartmann, Flurina M.; -Martin, Maria Garcia; Fagerholm, Nora; Torralba, Mario; Albert, Christian; Verbrugge, Laura N. H.; Heikinheimo, Vuokko; Plieninger, Tobias; Bieling, Claudia; Kaaronen, Roope; Hartmann, Maximilian; Raymond, Christopher M. (2022)
  • Bauwens, Thomas; Vaskelainen, Taneli; Frenken, Koen (2022)
    Community enterprises may play pivotal roles in sustainability transitions but have received limited attention in the transitions literature. This paper proposes a framework for theorising the challenges that community enterprises face as they scale up due to the rising institutional complexity of their organisational model, combining the institutional logics of community, market, and corporation. We conceptualise the upscaling processes of community enterprises by distinguishing between the community volunteerism phase, the niche creation phase and the niche expansion phase. We formulate nine propositions on how institutional complexity arises and on possible mechanisms to manage it in each phase of the upscaling process. Our theoretical framework is supported by empirical research on carsharing and renewable energy initiatives in Western Europe. The paper concludes with some avenues for further research on community enterprises in sustainability transitions.
  • Gurarie, Eliezer; Fleming, Christen H.; Fagan, William F.; Laidre, Kristin L.; Hernandez-Pliego, Jesus; Ovaskainen, Otso (2017)
    Background: Continuous time movement models resolve many of the problems with scaling, sampling, and interpretation that affect discrete movement models. They can, however, be challenging to estimate, have been presented in inconsistent ways, and are not widely used. Methods: We review the literature on integrated Ornstein-Uhlenbeck velocity models and propose four fundamental correlated velocity movement models (CVM's): random, advective, rotational, and rotational-advective. The models are defined in terms of biologically meaningful speeds and time scales of autocorrelation. We summarize several approaches to estimating the models, and apply these tools for the higher order task of behavioral partitioning via change point analysis. Results: An array of simulation illustrate the precision and accuracy of the estimation tools. An analysis of a swimming track of a bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) illustrates their robustness to irregular and sparse sampling and identifies switches between slower and faster, and directed vs. random movements. An analysis of a short flight of a lesser kestrel (Falco naumanni) identifies exact moments when switches occur between loopy, thermal soaring and directed flapping or gliding flights. Conclusions: We provide tools to estimate parameters and perform change point analyses in continuous time movement models as an R package (smoove). These resources, together with the synthesis, should facilitate the wider application and development of correlated velocity models among movement ecologists.
  • Tedersoo, Leho; Kungas, Rainer; Oras, Ester; Köster, Kajar; Eenmaa, Helen; Leijen, Ali; Pedaste, Margus; Raju, Marju; Astapova, Anastasiya; Lukner, Heli; Kogermann, Karin; Sepp, Tuul (2021)
    Data sharing is one of the cornerstones of modern science that enables large-scale analyses and reproducibility. We evaluated data availability in research articles across nine disciplines in Nature and Science magazines and recorded corresponding authors' concerns, requests and reasons for declining data sharing. Although data sharing has improved in the last decade and particularly in recent years, data availability and willingness to share data still differ greatly among disciplines. We observed that statements of data availability upon (reasonable) request are inefficient and should not be allowed by journals. To improve data sharing at the time of manuscript acceptance, researchers should be better motivated to release their data with real benefits such as recognition, or bonus points in grant and job applications. We recommend that data management costs should be covered by funding agencies; publicly available research data ought to be included in the evaluation of applications; and surveillance of data sharing should be enforced by both academic publishers and funders. These cross-discipline survey data are available from the plutoF repository.
  • Lias, Noora; Lindholm, Tanja; Pohjanoksa-Mantyla, Marika; Westerholm, Aleksi; Airaksinen, Marja (2021)
    Background New competence requirements have emerged for pharmacists as a result of changing societal needs towards more patient-centred practices. Today, medication review competence can be considered as basic pharmaceutical competence. Medication review specific competence criteria and tools for self-assessing the competence are essential in building competences and a shared understanding of medication reviews as a collaborative practice. The aim of this study was to develop and pilot a self-assessment tool for medication review competence among practicing pharmacists in Finland. Methods The development of the self-assessment tool was based on the national medication review competence criteria for pharmacists established in Finland in 2017 and piloting the tool among practicing pharmacists in a national online survey in October 2018. The pharmacists self-assessed their medication review competence with a five-point Likert scale ranging from 1 for "very poor/not at all" to 5 for "very good". Results The internal consistency of the self-assessment tool was high as the range of the competence areas' Cronbach's alpha was 0.953-0.973. The competence areas consisted of prescription review competence (20 items, Cronbach's alpha 0.953), additional statements for medication review competence (11 additional items, Cronbach's alpha 0.963) and medication review as a whole, including both the statements of prescription review and medication review competence (31 items, Cronbach's alpha 0.973). Competence items closely related to routine dispensing were most commonly self-estimated to be mastered by the practicing pharmacists who responded (n = 344), while the more clinical and patient-centred competence items had the lowest self-estimates. This indicates that the self-assessment tool works logically and differentiates pharmacists according to competence. The self-assessed medication review competence was at a very good or good level among more than half (55%) of the respondents (n = 344). Conclusion A self-assessment tool for medication review competence was developed and validated. The piloted self-assessment tool can be used for regular evaluation of practicing pharmacists' medication review competence which is becoming an increasingly important basis for their contribution to patient care and society.
  • Rochette, Anne-Julie; Akpona, Jean Didier T.; Akpona, Hugues Adeloui; Akouehou, Gaston S.; Kwezi, Blanchard Mayundo; Djagoun, Chabi A. M. S.; Habonimana, Bernadette; Idohou, Rodrigue; Legba, Ingride S.; Nzigidahera, Benoit; Matilo, Augustin Orou; Taleb, Mohammed Sghir; Bamoninga, Benjamin Toirambe; Ivory, Sarah; de Bisthoven, Luc Janssens; Vanhove, Maarten P. M. (2019)
    There is an increasing need for monitoring schemes that help understand the evolution of the global biodiversity crisis and propose solutions for the future. Indicators, including temporal baselines, are crucial to measure the change in biodiversity over time, to evaluate progress towards its conservation and sustainable use and to set conservation priorities. They help design and monitor national and regional policies on biodiversity; they also feed into national reporting on international agreements such as the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Sustainable Development Goals. We analyse the methodological approach of five small African projects resulting from a call to promote indicator development, improve monitoring capacity and strengthen the science-policy interface in the field of biodiversity. We compared their approach to existing guidance provided by the international community, specifically the Biodiversity Indicators Partnership. To this end, we assess whether internationally recommended steps are effectively applied to national/local biodiversity monitoring in selected developing countries. We also present lessons learnt from workshop interactions between partners involved in these projects. Through our pilot projects we identified data availability and data accessibility, together with the involvement of stakeholders, as critical steps in indicator development. Moreover, there is a need for a better awareness and a wider application of the indicator concept itself. Hence, training of key actors both in the policy and science spheres is needed to operationalize indicators and ensure their continuity and sustainability. We hope that these case studies and lessons learnt can stimulate and support countries in the Global South to formulate policy-relevant biodiversity indicators.
  • Elf, Sonja; Auvinen, Pauliina; Jahn, Lisa; Liikonen, Karoliina; Sjöblom, Solveig; Saavalainen, Päivi; Mäki, Minna; Eboigbodin, Kevin E. (2018)
    Isothermal nucleic acid amplification methods can potentially shorten the amount of time required to diagnose influenza. We developed and evaluated a novel isothermal nucleic acid amplification method, RT-SIBA to rapidly detect and differentiate between influenza A and B viruses in a single reaction tube. The performance of the RT-SIBA Influenza assay was compared with two established RT-PCR methods. The sensitivities of the RT-SIBA, RealStar RT-PCR, and CDC RT-PCR assays for the detection of influenza A and B viruses in the clinical specimens were 98.8%, 100%, and 89.3%, respectively. All three assays demonstrated a specificity of 100%. The average time to positive result was significantly shorter with the RT-SIBA Influenza assay (90 min). The method can be run using battery-operated, portable devices with a small footprint and therefore has potential applications in both laboratory and near-patient settings. (C) 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.