Browsing by Subject "development"

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  • Rotgers, E.; Cisneros-Montalvo, S.; Jahnukainen, K.; Sandholm, J.; Toppari, J.; Nurmio, M. (2015)
    Accurate analysis and quantification of different testicular cell populations are of central importance in studies of male reproductive biology. The traditional histomorphometric and immunohistochemical methods remain the gold standard in studying the complex dynamics of the testicular tissue. Through past years advances have been made in the application of flow cytometry for the rapid analysis of testicular cell populations. Detection of DNA content and of surface antigens and fluorescent reporters have been widely used to analyze and sort cells. Detection of intracellular antigens can broaden the possibilities of applying flow cytometry in studies of male reproduction. Here, we report a detailed protocol for the preparation of rat testicular tissue for detection of intracellular antigens by flow cytometry, and a pipeline for subsequent data analysis and troubleshooting. Rat testicular ontogenesis was chosen as the experimental model to validate the performance of the assay using vimentin and gamma H2AX as intracellular markers for the somatic and spermatogenic cells, respectively. The results show that the assay is reproducible and recapitulates the rat testis ontogenesis.
  • Quitt, Pia R.; Bruehschwein, Andreas; Matiasek, Kaspar; Wielaender, Franziska; Karkamo, Veera; Hytonen, Marjo K.; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andrea; Dengler, Berett; Leeb, Tosso; Lohi, Hannes; Fischer, Andrea (2021)
    Background Shaking puppy syndrome is commonly attributed to abnormal myelination of the central nervous system. Hypothesis/Objectives To report the long-term clinical course and the imaging characteristics of hypomyelinating leukodystrophy in German Shepherd dogs. Animals and Methods Three related litters with 11 affected dogs. Results The 11 affected dogs experienced coarse, side-to-side tremors of the head and trunk, which interfered with normal goal-oriented movements and disappeared at rest. Signs were noticed shortly after birth. Nine dogs were euthanized, 3 dogs underwent pathological examination, and 2 littermates were raised by their breeder. Tremors improved gradually until 6 to 7 months of age. Adult dogs walked with severe residual pelvic limb ataxia. One dog developed epilepsy with tonic-clonic seizures at 15 months of age. Conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) disclosed homogenous hyperintense signal of the entire subcortical white matter in 3 affected 7-week-old dogs and a hypointense signal in a presumably unaffected littermate. Subcortical white matter appeared isointense to gray matter at 15 and 27 weeks of age on repeated MRI. Abnormal white matter signal with failure to display normal gray-white matter contrast persisted into adulthood. Cerebellar arbor vitae was not visible at any time point. Clinical signs, MRI findings, and pathological examinations were indicative of a hypomyelinating leukodystrophy. All parents of the affected litters shared a common ancestor and relatedness of the puppies suggested an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance. Conclusion We describe a novel hypomyelinating leukodystrophy in German Shepherd dogs with a suspected inherited origin.
  • Parviainen, Tiina; Helenius, Päivi; Salmelin, Riitta (2019)
    Auditory cortex in each hemisphere shows preference to sounds from the opposite hemifield in the auditory space. Besides this contralateral dominance, the auditory cortex shows functional and structural lateralization, presumably influencing the features of subsequent auditory processing. Children have been shown to differ from adults in the hemispheric balance of activation in higher-order auditory based tasks. We studied, first, whether the contralateral dominance can be detected in 7- to 8-year-old children and, second, whether the response properties of auditory cortex in children differ between hemispheres. Magnetoencephalography (MEG) responses to simple tones revealed adult-like contralateral preference that was, however, extended in time in children. Moreover, we found stronger emphasis towards mature response properties in the right than left hemisphere, pointing to faster maturation of the right-hemisphere auditory cortex. The activation strength of the child-typical prolonged response was significantly decreased with age, within the narrow age-range of the studied child population. Our results demonstrate that although the spatial sensitivity to the opposite hemifield has emerged by 7 years of age, the population-level neurophysiological response shows salient immature features, manifested particularly in the left hemisphere. The observed functional differences between hemispheres may influence higher-level processing stages, for example, in language function.
  • Reichhardt, Martin P.; Lundin, Karolina; Lokki, A. Inkeri; Recher, Gaëlle; Vuoristo, Sanna; Katayama, Shintaro; Tapanainen, Juha S.; Kere, Juha; Meri, Seppo; Tuuri, Timo (2019)
    It is essential for early human life that mucosal immunological responses to developing embryos are tightly regulated. An imbalance of the complement system is a common feature of pregnancy complications. We hereby present the first full analysis of the expression and deposition of complement molecules in human pre-implantation embryos. Thus, far, immunological imbalance has been considered in stages of pregnancy following implantation. We here show that complement activation against developing human embryos takes place already at the pre-implantation stage. Using confocal microscopy, we observed deposition of activation products on healthy developing embryos, which highlights the need for strict complement regulation. We show that embryos express complement membrane inhibitors and bind soluble regulators. These findings show that mucosal complement targets human embryos, and indicate potential adverse pregnancy outcomes, if regulation of activation fails. In addition, single-cell RNA sequencing revealed cellular expression of complement activators. This shows that the embryonic cells themselves have the capacity to express and activate C3 and C5. The specific local embryonic expression of complement components, regulators, and deposition of activation products on the surface of embryos suggests that complement has immunoregulatory functions and furthermore may impact cellular homeostasis and differentiation at the earliest stages of life.
  • Torres Mora, Álvaro Germán (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This master thesis addresses the concentration of land ownership and land use in Colombia. I focus especially on unallocated state lands, which are called Baldíos. The study on the usage of these lands is important for many reasons, one being the lack of critical studies on their grabbing by elites. Officially, Baldíos should be used in land redistribution programs for landless peasants and other rural poor populations. This should take through an administrative process wherein the State issues property titles to landless peasants; however, as the research done for this thesis uncovered, there are serious problems and wrongdoings in this process. Theoretically, the thesis criticizes the overall development model that is seen as explaining the problematic land grabbing of the Baldíos in the studied Colombian Altillanura region. The crippling effects of the 50 years of armed conflict and the increasing demand for agrofuels receive also critical analysis, given their centrality as processes that are intermeshed with the overall, problematic developmental process. The outcomes of this master thesis are derived from fieldwork conducted in Colombia during July, 2017. The research material consists of 1) various interviews with representatives of land administrative offices, 2) a database that I collected on the extension of different types of cash crops, allocation of property rights, distribution of Baldíos, and numbers on forced displacement. This database was systematically analyzed using various methods and statistical software programs. I also produced a cartography that geographically opens up the key relations between the variables. Thereafter, qualitative, quantitative and geographical methods support the findings of this research. The key analytical concepts used are primitive accumulation, accumulation by dispossession and social capital. I explain how the use of these concepts is fruitful for critical understanding a so-called ‘modern’ dynamics that result however in violent scenarios of land grabbing and sophisticated but predatory practices, such as legal trickery, creation of shell companies and the illegitimate use of public resources. Through these analytical concepts, I relate my findings with important, contemporary global dynamics, such as the promotion of agroindustries in places formerly dominated by family farming. Such projects require considerable investment and use of natural resources. As I show, this may imply the acquisition of land or its control through mechanisms other than ownership. The findings suggest that the processes of expanding cash crops, forced displacement and grabbing Baldíos are interrelated. This holds true especially in the Altillanura region, where I found that: 1. Large investors are prone to take advantage of forced displacement by purchasing the dispossessed lands at low prices and thereby making large profits. 2. Agroindustrial actors have been grabbing former Baldíos; a practice that is completely prohibited. This is made possible by using complex extra-legal mechanisms, such as the creation of various fictional juridical identities to purchase these lands. And finally, that 3. Social influence and status are still valuable assets for accessing lands in Colombia, also illegally. The conclusions explain how these circumstances are due to pervasive armed confrontation and pressures from international markets. These are developmental problems resulting from a model that sees small farmers as an inconvenient and incapable mass of people that uses obsolescent and ineffective methods of agriculture. Currently, agroindustries turn these peasants’ social status and possibilities to that of mere salaried workers. This is unfortunate, as I explain, since small-scale agriculture can be profitable, and should be given more priority in the developmental policies allocating state lands.
  • Segercrantz, Beata (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2007)
    Working Papers
    We all have fresh in our memory what happened to the IT sector only a few years ago when the IT-bubble burst. The upswing of productivity in this sector slowed down, investors lost large investments, many found themselves looking for a new job, and countless dreams fell apart. Product developers in the IT sector have experienced a large number of organizational restructurings since the IT boom, including rapid growth, downsizing processes, and structural reforms. Organizational restructurings seem to be a complex and continuous phenomenon people in this sector have to deal with. How do software product developers retrospectively construct their work in relation to organizational restructurings? How do organizational restructurings bring about specific social processes in product development? This working paper focuses on these questions. The overall aim is to develop an understanding of how software product developers construct their work during organizational restructurings. The theoretical frame of reference is based on a social constructionist approach and discourse analysis. This approach offers more or less radical and critical alternatives to mainstream organizational theory. Writings from this perspective attempt to investigate and understand sociocultural processes by which various realities are created. Therefore these studies aim at showing how people participate in constituting the social world (Gergen & Thatchenkery, 1996); knowledge of the world is seen to be constructed between people in daily interaction, in which language plays a central role. This means that interaction, especially the ways of talking and writing about product development during organizational restructurings, become the target of concern. This study consists of 25 in-depth interviews following a pilot study based on 57 semi-structured interviews. In this working paper I analyze 9 in-depth interviews. The interviews were conducted in eight IT firms. The analysis explores how discourses are constructed and function, as well as the consequences that follow from different discourses. The analysis shows that even though the product developers have experienced many organizational restructurings, some of which have been far-reaching, their accounts build strongly on a stability discourse. According to this discourse product development is, perhaps surprisingly, not influenced to a great extent by organizational restructurings. This does not mean that product development is static. According to the social constructionist approach, product development is constantly being reproduced and maintained in ongoing processes. In other words stable effects are also ongoing achievements and these are of particular interest in this study. The product developers maintain rather than change the product development through ongoing processes of construction, even when they experience continuous extensive organizational restructurings. The discourse of stability exists alongside other discourses, some which contradict each other. Together they direct product development and generate meanings. The product developers consequently take an active role in the construction of their work during organizational restructurings. When doing this they also negotiate credible positions for themselves
  • Anttonen, Tommi; Belevich, Ilya; Laos, Maarja; Herranen, Anni; Jokitalo, Eija; Brakebusch, Cord; Pirvola, Ulla (2017)
    Wound healing in the inner ear sensory epithelia is performed by the apical domains of supporting cells (SCs). Junctional F-actin belts of SCs are thin during development but become exceptionally thick during maturation. The functional significance of the thick belts is not fully understood. We have studied the role of F-actin belts during wound healing in the developing and adult cochlea of mice in vivo. We show that the thick belts serve as intracellular scaffolds that preserve the positions of surviving cells in the cochlear sensory epithelium. Junctions associated with the thick F-actin belts did not readily disassemble during wound healing. To compensate for this, basolateral membranes of SCs participated in the closure of surface breach. Because not only neighboring but also distant SCs contributed to wound healing by basolateral protrusions, this event appears to be triggered by contact-independent diffusible signals. In the search for regulators of wound healing, we inactivated RhoA in SCs, which, however, did not limit wound healing. RhoA inactivation in developing outer hair cells (OHCs) caused myosin II delocalization from the perijunctional domain and apical cell-surface enlargement. These abnormalities led to the extrusion of OHCs from the epithelium. These results demonstrate the importance of stability of the apical domain, both in wound repair by SCs and in development of OHCs, and that only this latter function is regulated by RhoA. Because the correct cytoarchitecture of the cochlear sensory epithelium is required for normal hearing, the stability of cell apices should be maintained in regenerative and protective interventions.
  • Dekoninck, Sophie; Hannezo, Edouard; Sifrim, Alejandro; Miroshnikova, Yekaterina A.; Aragona, Mariaceleste; Malfait, Milan; Gargouri, Souhir; de Neunheuser, Charlotte; Dubois, Christine; Voet, Thierry; Wickström, Sara A.; Simons, Benjamin D.; Blanpain, Cédric (2020)
    Summary During embryonic and postnatal development, organs and tissues grow steadily to achieve their final size at the end of puberty. However, little is known about the cellular dynamics that mediate postnatal growth. By combining in vivo clonal lineage tracing, proliferation kinetics, single-cell transcriptomics, and in vitro micro-pattern experiments, we resolved the cellular dynamics taking place during postnatal skin epidermis expansion. Our data revealed that harmonious growth is engineered by a single population of developmental progenitors presenting a fixed fate imbalance of self-renewing divisions with an ever-decreasing proliferation rate. Single-cell RNA sequencing revealed that epidermal developmental progenitors form a more uniform population compared with adult stem and progenitor cells. Finally, we found that the spatial pattern of cell division orientation is dictated locally by the underlying collagen fiber orientation. Our results uncover a simple design principle of organ growth where progenitors and differentiated cells expand in harmony with their surrounding tissues.
  • Solitander, Nikodemus (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2011)
    Economics and Society - 229
    The thesis focuses on one of the most dominant articulations of the relation between geographical place and development, clusters - internationally competing place-bound economic system of production in related industries. The dominant articulation of cluster discourse represents the subnational region as a system of production, and as a means for competitiveness for Western countries. Its reproduction in theories has become one of the most prolific exports of economic geography to other disciplines and for policymaking. By analysing cluster discourse the thesis traces how the languages and processes of globalization have over time altered the understandings of the relation between geographical place and the economy. It shows how in its latest incarnation of the cluster discourse, the language of mainstream economics is combined with ‘softer’ elements (e.g. community, learning, creativity) in the economic geographic discourse. This is typical for the idea of soft capitalism, wherein it is assumed that economic success emanates from soft characteristics, such as knowledge, learning and creativity, rather than straightforward technological or cost advantages. A reoccurring critique against the dominant understanding of the relationship between competitiveness and regions, as articulated in cluster discourse, has pinpointed the perspective’s inability to reconcile the respective and reciprocal roles of local standard of living with firm competitiveness. The thesis traces how such critique is increasingly appropriated through the fusion of the economic, social and cultural landscape into the language of capitalism. It shows how cluster discourse has appropriated its critique, by focusing on creativity, with its strong associations to arts, individual artists and the cultural sphere in general, while predominantly creating its meaning in relation to competitiveness. The thesis consists of six essays that each outlines the development of the cluster discourse. The essays show how meaning systems and strategies are created, accepted and naturalized in cluster discourse, how this affects individuals, the economic landscape and society at large, as well as showing which understandings are marginalized in the process. The thesis argues that clusters are a) inseparable from ideology and politics and b) they are the result of purposeful social practice. It calls for increased reflexivity within corporate and economic geographic research on clusters, and underlines the importance of placing issues of power at the centre of analysis.
  • Koponen, Juhani (2020)
    This article provides an alternative reading of the history of development by tracing how the concept of development has accumulated its present power. It starts from the premise that whatever development is, it is also a concept which is deeply ingrained in our 'Western' habitus and can inform and guide our actions. Contrary to suggestions that it was 'invented' once - at whatever date - and then spread elsewhere, I argue that it emerged gradually by being born and reborn several times in different contexts. Thus, its history is not of direct genealogical continuities from a single origin but rather of parallels generated by similar structural circumstances. Although development is commonly criticised for its ambiguity, I argue that much of its power actually stems from its linguistic polyvalence: its different meanings make it useful for many different purposes. Yet the concept is held together by a more coherent structural frame which combines three main senses: ideal, processual and intentional. Building on research on colonial history, I locate a birth of development in European colonialism, where it worked as an unacknowledged condition of colonial exploitation. It also has other antecedents that remain insufficiently understood. Having been introduced in the South as a notion for colonial exploitation of local resources, after World War II its function changed again. At the dissolution of the colonial empires, it was taken into its present use as soft power by Western powers and anti-colonial nationalists alike and was transformed into the foundational concept of developmentalism. But its power has limits. Ultimately, while concepts can and do affect people's behaviour, they work within the dynamics of material and mental interests.
  • Österinen, Kaisu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This study looks at the way in which the good works inspired by religious motives are related to the secular understanding of development. The aim is to better understand how development workers with religious worldview define the concept of development and how their faith influences their thinking. Faith is understood as the source of values based on which the ideas of development are shaped. The task is approached by interviewing the Finnish staff members of a Pentecostal development organization, Fida International. Their staff members’ understanding of development is studied. Development as a religious concept is formulated based on the interviews. The background chapters give the context of the study by introducing the debate and connections between the concepts of religion and development. Also an introduction of the capability approach developed by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum is provided since in this study it represents the secular understanding of development. The key concepts of the approach: functionings, agency and development are used to analyze how religious values influence the understanding of development. Chapter four introduces the research material, the methods and the process of analysis. The data consist of 16 interviews carried out in East Africa by the author in the spring of 2016. In chapter five the results of the analysis are presented. The valued functionings that emerge from faith were: fulfilling God’s call, living out one’s faith, deliverance and trusting God, spiritual growth, freedom from guilt through God’s forgiveness and mercy, and achieving balance and harmony. The results are brought together to formulate a definition of development as religious concept. Chapter six reflects on the results in relation to the literature focusing on the religious perception of development. The elements that faith brings to the secular understanding of development are intertwined around the holistic approach in which the economic, political, social and spiritual dimensions of development cannot be viewed separately. Therefore, the relationship between God and the human becomes central. The human finds his ultimate purpose and thus the aim of development within God in his Kingdom. Therefore, faith widens the time perspective of development from this life into eternity. According to the interviewees of the study God has called the human to love him by loving his neighbors. Solidarity, equality and just world become the aim of development within the time frame of this life. To reach there, to have Shalom in this life already, was seen as too idealistic. Therefore, the aim of the man-made development process within this time frame emerges with the ultimate aim of development, the life in God’s Kingdom in the eternity.
  • Eriksson, Johan G. (2019)
    Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a major, rapidly increasing global public health challenge. The major risk factors for T2D include overweight and obesity, lifestyle-related factors and genetic factors. Early life exposures shape the developmental trajectories and alter susceptibility to T2D. Based on epidemiological studies it has been suggested that fetal undernutrition plays a role in the etiology of T2D. A low birth weight has been considered a proxy for fetal undernutrition. A meta-analysis reported that a 1 kg increase in birth weight is associated with a roughly 20% lower risk of T2D. Although fetal life is of major importance for future health, the period spanning the first 1000 days of life, is characterized by great plasticity and largely influencing later health. Different growth trajectories during this time period have also been associated with an increased risk of T2D. Studies assessing the association between age at BMI rebound in childhood and later risk for T2D have reported a fivefold difference in T2D according to age at BMI rebound. Developmental and epidemiological cohort studies focusing on T2D have major public health implications supporting a paradigm shift; a shift from focusing upon risk factor modification in adult life to adopting a life course perspective when studying T2D. This paradigm shift will not only help us in getting a better understanding of the pathophysiology underlying T2D, but it will also open new possibilities and opportunities in the prevention of T2D and related disorders.
  • Malkamäki, Katariina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Chinese infrastructural investments in Africa have increased significantly. In mainstream development studies, such investments are strongly encouraged due to their potential to create economic growth and modernisation. Because of controversies around such projects, regarding their impacts on the economy and locals, they require continuing political-economic analysis. Using Lamu Port in Kenya as a case study, this thesis provides a critical analysis of the justification, planning, implementation and construction processes of the project are examined especially from the point of view of local artisanal fishermen. Framed around the theory of social costs developed by K.W.Kapp, as a critique of neoliberal modernisation, fieldwork was carried out in Lamu to systematically analyse both the official justification of the project and the perceptions of local fishers and other locals on the impacts of the port construction on their lives. Data collected from one-on-one interviews have been systematised using Attride-Stirling’s thematic networks analysis. Along with a textual analysis of original official documents by the Government of Kenya and the LAPSSET authority, the thesis avoids earlier problems of methodological nationalism and, instead, develops a holistic analysis of social costs. The results show that, while some local jobs have been created, they are temporary and marginal and are nowhere near significant enough to make up for the undermining of local livelihoods through the reduction of fish stocks. A wider question of food security and long-term job security needs to be raised. The local economy before the construction of the port was stagnant, but it was stable. New jobs related to port construction proved not to be available. Widespread discrimination against locals further complicates the social costs of public-private enterprise. These results show a lack of congruence between the statements by the Government of Kenya, the optimism by international development agencies, and modernisation theorists on the one hand and the lived realities of fishers on the other. The transnational corporations constructing the port in this case the China Communications Construction company have, in the meanwhile, continued to make more profit and increased the price of their share on the world market. This disconnect indicates one way in which development projects are socially constructed and justified, while the dominance of a profit-oriented capitalistic system shifts costs of production to third parties and the environment in order to continue to extract profit from the Global South. As these social costs are systemic, their remedy would require restructuring the institutional foundations of the local, national, and global political economy of development and change
  • Alin, Ella (Helsingfors universitet, 2017)
    This study discusses the importance of artistic practices and community arts centres for development understood as a process of social and individual emancipation. Specifically, the study looks at emancipation from the point of view of overcoming social and psychological hindrances to the autonomy of an individual. The empirical case under scrutiny is a community centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, its arts and crafts project (ACP) and one of its drama projects. The study asks, what is the role of the projects in project participants’ lives, and what kinds of spaces the projects are. Initially, I assumed that the role of the creative action taking place in the projects, as critical theory suggests, would be substantial for the participants, because of the “learning by doing” taking place in the projects, and because of bigger “ownership” of one’s own doing, when compared to, for example, school environments. The research material is derived from 18 interviews, observations, written products of the projects, and my field and research diaries, which compose the text for hermeneutic analysis. The research questions were developed and further answered through a hermeneutic process of dialogue with this text. The analysis results in new ‘facts’ that answer the research questions, as is the nature of results in hermeneutic studies. These facts, or, the findings, support the assumption about the importance of the method of learning by doing, and ownership of one’s doing, but turn the emphasis towards the social context of the projects. The projects had a great impact in the project participants’ lives in two intertwined spheres. These are: 1) sphere of learning, and 2) sphere of “feeling at home”. The projects enhanced the participants’ feeling of freedom. One of the main reasons for this was the non-discriminatory social environment of the projects, especially regarding non-discrimination based on socio-economic class. In the study, I argue that both projects contributed to the emancipation of their participants. The theoretical framework of development as emancipation, which is discussed with the empirical part of the study, is founded on the Freirean concept of humanisation, the capabilities approach as developed by Martha Nussbaum, and the idea of orienting towards objects formulated by Sara Ahmed. The study is an addition to the recent body of research on community arts centres in South Africa, conducted by South African researchers such as Gerard Hagg, Eben Lochner, Thamsanqa Mzaku, and Zanele Madiba.
  • Sablok, Gaurav; Powell, Jonathan J.; Kazan, Kemal (2017)
    Plants use a wide range of mechanisms to adapt to different environmental stresses. One of the earliest responses displayed under stress is rapid alterations in stress responsive gene expression that has been extensively analyzed through expression profiling such as microarrays and RNA-sequencing. Recently, expression profiling has been complemented with proteome analyses to establish a link between transcriptional and the corresponding translational changes. However, proteome profiling approaches have their own technical limitations. More recently, ribosome-associated mRNA profiling has emerged as an alternative and a robust way of identifying translating mRNAs, which are a set of mRNAs associated with ribosomes and more likely to contribute to proteome abundance. In this article, we briefly review recent studies that examined the processes affecting the abundance of translating mRNAs, their regulation during plant development and tolerance to stress conditions and plant factors affecting the selection of translating mRNA pools. This review also highlights recent findings revealing differential roles of alternatively spliced mRNAs and their translational control during stress adaptation. Overall, better understanding of processes involved in the regulation of translating mRNAs has obvious implications for improvement of stress tolerance in plants.
  • Sepers, Bernice; Erven, Jolijn A. M.; Gawehns, Fleur; Laine, Veronika N.; van Oers, Kees (2021)
    Early developmental conditions are known to have life-long effects on an individual's behavior, physiology and fitness. In altricial birds, a majority of these conditions, such as the number of siblings and the amount of food provisioned, are controlled by the parents. This opens up the potential for parents to adjust the behavior and physiology of their offspring according to local post-natal circumstances. However, the mechanisms underlying such intergenerational regulation remain largely unknown. A mechanism often proposed to possibly explain how parental effects mediate consistent phenotypic change is DNA methylation. To investigate whether early life effects on offspring phenotypes are mediated by DNA methylation, we cross-fostered great tit (Parus major) nestlings and manipulated their brood size in a natural study population. We assessed genome-wide DNA methylation levels of CpG sites in erythrocyte DNA, using Reduced Representation Bisulfite Sequencing (RRBS). By comparing DNA methylation levels between biological siblings raised in enlarged and reduced broods and between biological siblings of control broods, we assessed which CpG sites were differentially methylated due to brood size. We found 32 differentially methylated sites (DMS) between siblings from enlarged and reduced broods, a larger number than in the comparison between siblings from control broods. A considerable number of these DMS were located in or near genes involved in development, growth, metabolism, behavior and cognition. Since the biological functions of these genes line up with previously found effects of brood size and food availability, it is likely that the nestlings in the enlarged broods suffered from nutritional stress. We therefore conclude that early life stress might directly affect epigenetic regulation of genes related to early life conditions. Future studies should link such experimentally induced DNA methylation changes to expression of phenotypic traits and assess whether these effects affect parental fitness to determine if such changes are also adaptive.
  • Jäntti, Heli-Noora (Helsingfors universitet, 2019)
    Farmasian ammattilaiset ovat lääkealan asiantuntijoita, joilta vaaditaan uudenlaista osaamista muun muassa teknologiakehityksen myötä. Nykypäivän asiantuntijuus edellyttää alakohtaisen eli sisällöllisen osaamisen lisäksi geneerisiä eli yleisiä taitoja ja ammatti-identiteetin muodostumista. Geneerisillä taidoilla tarkoitetaan yleishyödyllisiä taitoja, kuten ongelmanratkaisu- ja kommunikointitaitoja. Ammatti-identiteetillä tarkoitetaan käsitystä omasta työminästä, jonka avulla omaa roolia ja työnkuvaa järkeistetään. Näiden elementtien muodostamaa osaamisen kokonaisuutta kutsutaan kompetenssiksi. Asiantuntijoilta vaadittavan osaamisen muutos on ohjannut yliopistoja vastaamaan paremmin työelämän tarpeisiin. Helsingin yliopistossa toteutettiin Iso Pyörä -koulutusuudistus, jossa koulutusohjelmia uudistettiin komeptenssilähtöisesti. Kaikkiin koulutusohjelmiin ja opintojaksoihin lisättiin osaamistavoitteet, jotka opiskelijoiden tulisi saavuttaa valmistumiseensa mennessä. Osaamistavoitteiden täyttymistä edistää esimerkiksi portfoliotyöskentely, minkä avulla opiskelijat pääsevät hyödyntämään ja kehittämään reflektiotaitojaan. Opiskelijat voivat tuoda opetuksen kehittämiseen aivan uudenlaista näkökulmaa avatessaan käsityksiään esimerkiksi hyvistä opetusmenetelmistä, mitkä ovat auttaneet heitä saavuttamaan laaditut osaamistavoitteet. Toisaalta opiskelijoiden näkökulmasta saadaan tietoa, mikä osaaminen voidaan kokea puutteelliseksi, jolloin opetuksen kehittäminen on mahdollista. Tutkimuksen tavoitteena oli selvittää opiskelijoiden käsityksiä omasta osaamisestaan ja ammatti-identiteetistään sekä millä tasoilla opiskelijat reflektoivat osaamistaan. Tutkimuksessa analysoitiin vuoden 2017 kolmannen vuosikurssin kandiportfolion loppureflektioesseet käyttäen aineistolähtöistä sisällönanalyysimenetelmää. Esseissä opiskelijat reflektoivat osaamistaan suhteessa farmaseutin tutkinnolle asetettuihin osaamistavoitteisiin ja pohtivat omaa ammatti-identiteettiään. Tulosten mukaan opiskelijat saavuttivat monipuolista osaamista lääkkeiden ja lääkehoitojen näkökulmasta sekä kehittivät geneerisiä taitojaan. Puutteellisesti hallittiin useimmiten kielitaito sekä yrityksen ja yhteiskunnan taloudelliset periaatteet. Opiskelijoiden mukaan farmaseutin ammatti-identiteettiä määrittelevät erityisesti lääkeosaaminen ja terveydenhuolto sekä ammatin arvostaminen. Opiskelijoiden pohtimat valmiudet mukailivat osaamistavoitteita. Opiskelijat osasivat arvioida omaa osaamistaan ja nostaa esille vahvuuksiaan ja heikkouksiaan. Opetussuunnitelmaan on onnistuttu sisällyttämään geneeristen taitojen opetus, sillä opiskelijat kokivat saavuttaneensa näitä taitoja pääasiassa hyvin. Opetusta tulisi kehittää kielitaidon ja liiketalouden kohdalla, sillä nämä koettiin usein puutteellisesti hallituksi. Ammatti-identiteettikäsitykset mukailivat kirjallisuutta, sillä muissa tutkimuksissa on saatu samankaltaisia tuloksia.
  • Al-Eryani, Yasmeen (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    This thesis discusses Yemeni civil society in the context of development aid using Bourdieu’s social theory. It examines the hypothesis that Yemeni aid-civil society comprises a distinct social class in the Bourdieuan sense. It is an analysis of restrictive and asymmetrical structures and the possibilities for social movement and repositioning. Often times Yemeni civil society is studied through a strictly local lens and is pinned down in normative terms; does it represent a popular base, is it donor-driven, is it democratic -in other words, does it fit into the pre-cut mould of civil society as envisioned by development aid or by society at large? Instead this thesis studies aid-civil society as a social class and attempts to understand how this social class is constituted by its members and how, in turn, it constitutes its members. The thesis also presents an initial attempt to broaden the framework and shed light on the position of Yemeni aid-civil society in relation to broader civil society trends and shifting relations between state and society - a phenomenon that is not exclusive to Yemen. The analysis of the social space is done in three stages; the first is through determining the perceptible distinctions that mark the outer boundary of the social space from other social groups; the second is through analysing legitimation practices articulated in the form of putative roles and functions of aid-civil society; and the third is the relational tensions and hierarchies which lead to the clustering of practices in different fields within the social space. Together these three dimensions provide an outline of the social space and allow for a discussion on the possible forms of social movement through which agents assert their subjectivity.
  • Hartung, Henrike; Cichon, Nicole; De Feo, Vito; Riemann, Stephanie; Schildt, Sandra; Lindemann, Christoph; Mulert, Christoph; Gogos, Joseph A.; Hanganu-Opatz, Ileana L. (2016)
    Cognitive deficits represent a major burden of neuropsychiatric disorders and result in part from abnormal communication within hippocampal-prefrontal circuits. While it has been hypothesized that this network dysfunction arises during development, long before the first clinical symptoms, experimental evidence is still missing. Here, we show that pre-juvenile mice mimicking genetic and environmental risk factors of disease (dual-hit GE mice) have poorer recognition memory that correlates with augmented coupling by synchrony and stronger directed interactions between prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. The network dysfunction emerges already during neonatal development, yet it initially consists in a diminished hippocampal theta drive and consequently, a weaker and disorganized entrainment of local prefrontal circuits in discontinuous oscillatory activity in dual-hit GE mice when compared with controls. Thus, impaired maturation of functional communication within hippocampal-prefrontal networks switching from hypo- to hyper-coupling may represent a mechanism underlying the pathophysiology of cognitive deficits in neuropsychiatric disorders.