E-thesis

Recent Submissions

  • Rolando, Sara (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The aim in this study is to narrow the gap in knowledge about how young people understand their direct (personal) and indirect (others ) drinking experiences by investigating images of alcohol (Sulkunen, 2007) among Italian and Finnish adolescents and young people on the threshold of adulthood. Italy and Finland are considered examples of geographies (Sulkunen, 2013) characterised by different social values and socialisation practices, but also facing common global challenges (Beck, 2005). The concept of individualistic and collectivistic cultures is used as a framework to describe the variations observed in young people s images of the risks related to alcohol consumption and responsible drinking. Individualistic cultures represent a socio-cultural system in which individuals are expected to develop an independent personality, and autonomy and self-maximisation are the prominent values, whereas collectivistic cultures encourage adherence to norms, values, roles and familial authority (Dwairy 2002). Within this framework, Finnish and Italian cultures are perceived as exemplifying individualism and family-oriented collectivism, respectively. The six published research articles, which together with this summary comprise the whole work, were co-authored by various Italian and Finnish researchers and are based on three main sets of data collected in focus-group (FG) interviews: 1) 32 FGs involving 191 participants from four different cohorts organised in Helsinki (FI) and Turin (IT); 2) 40 mixed-gender FGs involving 220 pupils aged 15-16 organised in Turin and Cosenza (IT) and Helsinki, and 10 FGs involving 30 parents and 32 teachers organised in Italy; 3) 32 FGs including 105 male and female pupils aged 13-14 and 15-16 and living in urban (Milan and Helsinki) and rural areas (Ciriè and Orivesi). The Reception Analytical Group Interview (RAGI) technique was used for collecting most of the data (sets 2 and 3), with visual images as stimuli, the aim being to enhance comparability in qualitative research (Sulkunen and Egerer 2009). Data set 1) was collected by means of verbal questioning and photographic stimuli. The results indicate that collectivistic, and particularly family-oriented cultures have thus far contributed to shaping less risky drinking patterns among young people. There are many reasons for this, including the more coherent and active role of parents in the socialisation process, the presence of shared social norms, and a greater awareness of the risks of drinking that are beyond the individual s control. Conversely, a parenting model that places more emphasis on independence and self-efficacy, which is typical of the more individualistic geographies, conveys trust in an individual s own competence to handle drinking, which in turn leads to a lack of attention to risks that are beyond the individual s control, in other words risks that are contextual, social and inherent in the substance. However, the global trend towards individualisation and the complex nature of the transition to adulthood could soon undermine the more protective collectivist images of alcohol.
  • Birge, Traci (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    ABSTRACT Traditional rural biotopes are high nature value (HNV) farmlands that include grazed forests, woodlands, and semi-natural meadows formed through traditional agricultural practices. Agricultural intensification and associated changes in demographics and land use have resulted in a decline in traditional rural biotopes throughout Europe. Despite the downward trend, some farmers still do manage traditional rural biotopes. Literature in farmer behavior variously suggests that agency and structural factors determine farmer decision-making and conservation behavior, and that farmers engage in farming styles according to their own values. The objectives of this research are to 1) understand what motivates farmers and landowners to manage traditional rural biotopes, 2) test whether managers differ in motivation, knowledge or structural factors according to whether the traditional rural biotopes are used in the farming system or managed separately from it as conservation sites or landscape elements, and 3) explore conservation tools and frameworks that might be used to improve policy and agri-extension services for conservation and management of traditional rural biotopes. The purpose of this thesis is to provide support to traditional rural biotope conservation in agriculture by furthering knowledge about manager behavior and motivations and to add to the literature on farmer conservation behavior more broadly with management of traditional rural biotopes as a focus for understanding farmer conservation related decision-making. The thesis is based on a two-part study in which research was carried out via postal questionnaires and interviews with farmers in Raasepori Municipality, on the southern coast of Finland. In the first part of the study, I sent postal questionnaires to all farms in Raasepori to identify farms with managed traditional rural biotopes. I asked farmers about activities on their farms to determine whether farmers managing traditional rural biotopes differed from other farmers according to nature-based activities or entrepreneurship and to determine whether non-agricultural activities take place on traditional rural biotopes. I considered the results in the context of existing extension services and agri-environmental schemes and explored how holistic conservation tools and approaches, including adaptive management, and social-ecological systems could be used to improve services for farmers engaged in TRB management. In the second part of the study, I conducted in-depth semi-structured interviews with TRB managers to determine whether sites were managed as part of the farming system or apart from it, motivations for managing traditional rural biotopes, interest and knowledge of conservation of traditional rural biotopes and experiences with extension and inspection services. I tested whether managers who used traditional rural biotopes in their farming system differed from those who did not and examined farmer engagement in traditional rural biotope management according to two sociological theories used in studying farmer behavior: theory of planned behavior and farming styles. I also compare summary findings of management activities to an inventory carried out by Pykälä and Bonn (2000) and present evidence of non-agricultural direct-use benefits (direct use ecosystem services) provided by traditional rural biotopes. Results indicate that farmers mainly manage traditional rural biotopes for intrinsic values, especially of open landscape, and are less motivated by extrinsic values such as fodder production or collecting special agri-environmental subsidies. Farmers with managed traditional rural biotopes are more likely to engage in entrepreneurship activities that bring the public to their farms or result in branding of their products. Findings support the theory of planned behavior insofar as agency and personal values are important to decision-making. Managers of traditional rural biotopes do not form a distinct farming style, but a group of farmers was identified whose farming system is based on managing traditional rural biotopes and direct sale of the traditional rural biotope products, was identified as a distinct farming style. We called it TRB entrepreneurship . Implications of the findings for extension services and policy development are that farmers and landowners engaged in management should be viewed as partners in conservation and that adaptive management and understanding of manager heterogeneity should be used to develop and target extension services and conservation strategies.
  • del Amo Páez, Eva María (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Drug discovery and development is a long process: it takes usually 12 to 15 years before a drug candidate reaches the market. The pharmacokinetics of the drug is an important aspect of drug discovery and development, because the drug must reach its target site and exert the therapeutic response. The pharmacokinetic parameters of new compounds should be investigated early in drug discovery. Pharmacokinetic predictions can be made with Quantitative Structure-Property Relationships (QSPR) which are computational models that correlate chemical features with pharmacokinetic properties. The correlations are based on in vivo or in vitro pharmacokinetic data and molecular descriptors. QSPR models can be used to predict the pharmacokinetic parameters even before any actual drug synthesis and can be exploited to guide drug discovery. Pharmacokinetic models can also simulate concentration profiles of drugs during the drug discovery and development process. It was decided to develop QSPR models of pharmacokinetic parameters of drugs to be delivered by the systemic or ocular routes. A combination of Principal Component Analysis and Partial Least Square multivariate statistical methods was used to obtain QSPR equations for volume of drug distribution and fraction of unbound drug in plasma. Parallel modelling of these parameters resulted in acceptable R2 (0.58 - 0.77) and Q2 values (0.55 - 0.58). These models are based on a large set of structurally unrelated compounds, they are open and they have a defined applicability domain. Charge and lipophilicity related descriptors were the relevant ones which influenced the volume of distribution and free fraction of drug in plasma. Pharmacokinetics is an important factor in the development of ocular medications, because the ocular drug targets are difficult to reach, particularly in the posterior tissues such as retina and choroid. Therefore, drugs need to be injected intravitreally in the treatment of retina and choroid diseases (e.g. in exudative age-related macular degeneration) and thus prediction of intravitreal pharmacokinetics would be especially advantageous in ocular drug discovery and development. The first comprehensive collection of intravitreal volume of distribution and clearance values of compounds was collated based on extensive rabbit eye data from the literature. Moreover, predictive QSPR models for intravitreal clearance and half-life were created which had R2 and Q2 values of 0.62 0.84 for clearance and 0.61 - 0.80 for half-life. LogD7.4 and hydrogen bonding capacity defined the intravitreal clearance and half-life of compounds with a molecular weight below 1500 Da. The intravitreal volumes of drug distribution lay within a narrow range (80% within 1.18 - 2.28 ml). The QSPR models for intravitreal clearance and the typical values for intravitreal volumes of distribution were implemented in pharmacokinetic simulation models; the simulated profiles based on the real and predicted pharmacokinetic parameter values were similar. Thus, a combination of QSPR and pharmacokinetic models can be used in drug discovery and development to aid in the design of drugs and drug delivery systems. A comprehensive comparison of intravitreal pharmacokinetic data between rabbit and human was carried out to clarify the translational value of the rabbit model. The analysis revealed that the rabbit can be considered as a clinically predictive animal model for intravitreal pharmacokinetics of small molecules (18 Da - 1500 Da) and macromolecules (7.1 kDa - 149 kDa). There was a correlation between the intravitreal clearance values in human patients and healthy rabbits; they showed similar, but not identical, absolute values. The intravitreal pharmacokinetics of small molecules is mainly governed by permeability-limited clearance across blood-ocular barriers and occurs via the posterior route, whereas large molecules are cleared mostly via the anterior route. Although the literature contains some claims about the significance of the viscosity of the vitreous, it seems that this is not a major factor in drug elimination from the eye. In conclusion, new in silico tools were generated for systemic and ocular pharmacokinetics and drug delivery. These models can be exploited in industrial drug discovery and will hopefully speed up the development of new medications.
  • Markula-Patjas, Kati (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) are predisposed to compromised bone health and alterations in body composition because of chronic inflammation, nutritional and hormonal disturbances, limited physical activity and glucocorticoid (GC) therapy. Compromised bone health may present as pathological vertebral compression fractures, but data on their prevalence and risk factors in children are limited. Excess fat, and especially adipose tissue-derived adipokines leptin and adiponectin, may also contribute to impaired bone health. Furthermore, adipokines modulate immunity and inflammation in adults with rheumatic diseases, but their role in JIA has not been explored. We evaluated bone health in patients with severe JIA and investigated body composition and adipokines and their contribution to bone health and disease activity in JIA. We recruited two cohorts of patients for cross-sectional studies. The Severe JIA Cohort comprised 50 patients with severe polyarticular or systemic JIA. The GC-treated Cohort included 50 patients with JIA with mostly mild to moderate disease severity and at least three months' exposure to systemic GC. The results were compared with those of sex-and age-matched healthy controls. The study protocol included clinical and laboratory assessments, evaluation of bone mineral density (BMD) and body composition by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), spinal radiography and spinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Spinal radiography showed vertebral compression fractures in 22% of the patients with severe JIA. Patients with fractures had higher weight-adjusted cumulative GC dose, higher disease activity and higher body mass index than those without fractures. Bone age-corrected BMD Z-scores for lumbar spine and whole body were similar between those with and without fractures. On spinal MRI, altogether 28% of patients with severe JIA showed vertebral fractures and several other vertebral changes, including end plate irregularities in 26%, anterior vertebral corner lesions in 16% and disc changes in 46%. Based on concentrations of bone turnover markers, the patients with severe JIA had increased bone resorption, but normal bone formation. Further, patients with severe JIA had increased body adiposity, and their serum leptin was increased even independently of fat mass. Leptin showed an inverse association with bone turnover markers in patients, while in controls the association was dependent on fat mass. In the GC-treated Cohort, fat mass, lean mass and serum leptin and adiponectin were similar to those of controls, but patients had slightly lower BMD values than controls. Those patients with lumbar spine BMD Z-score -1.0 tended to have higher serum leptin values than those with higher BMD Z-scores, but in regression analysis leptin was not associated with BMD. Adipokines did not correlate with current disease activity in either patient cohort. Patients with severe JIA have compromised bone health based on high prevalence of compression fractures. Risk factors include high GC exposure, high disease activity and high body mass index. BMD, as measured by DXA, is unable to differentiate between those with and without compression fractures. According to spinal MRI findings, patients with severe JIA have, besides compression fractures, several other changes involving intervertebral discs and vertebral end plates; the clinical relevance of these remains uncertain. Patients with severe JIA are prone to high adiposity, whereas those with less severe disease have normal body composition despite previous GC exposure. Leptin may negatively contribute to bone metabolism in severe JIA, but larger and longitudinal studies are needed to prove causality and to evaluate whether these preliminary findings are generalizable to other JIA groups. We did not observe a correlation between leptin or adiponectin and disease activity in either JIA cohort. The possible role of adipokines as a modulator of immunity and inflammation in JIA remains to be evaluated.
  • Ma, Hairan (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, 2015)
    Milk proteins, sodium caseinate (CN) and whey protein isolate (WPI) are used in food industries as emulsifiers. The stability of an O/W emulsion is dependent on the electrostatic and steric repulsion provided by the interfacial proteins against droplet aggregation or lipid oxidation. Therefore, modifications of the surface charge or the interfacial conformation of protein emulsifiers are expected to enhance their emulsifying properties and emulsion stability. In this present work, sodium caseinate and whey protein isolate were modified by different chemical and enzymatic approaches. The modified proteins were characterized using multiple techniques, and the effect of these modifications on emulsifying properties of proteins and emulsion stability was investigated. Succinylation converts the positively charged amino groups into negatively charged carboxyl groups, lowering the isoelectric point (pI) of protein. The ethylene diamine (EDA) modification worked in the opposite way, leading to an increased pI. The extent of these two modifications was studied using SDS-PAGE and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. The pI of succinylated and EDA modified milk proteins was studied using zeta-potential measurement. As a result, the succinylation to full extent altered the pI of CN from 4.2 to 2.7, and the EDA modification shifted the pI of CN and WPI from 4.2 to 9.4 and from 4.9 to 9.5 respectively. The pH stability of emulsion made with the modified milk proteins was monitored by following the increase of particle size during storage. The results suggested that succinylation and EDA modification could enhance the emulsion stability at pH 4 7 by increasing the electrostatic repulsion between droplets. Regarding the enzymatic modification of milk proteins, the laccase and transglutaminase (Tgase) catalyzed cross-linking were applied on WPI and CN respectively. In order to improve the reactivity of WPI towards the laccase, a vanillic acid modification was carried out to incorporate additional methoxyphenol groups into the protein surface. The cross-linking of vanillic acid modified WPI (Van-WPI) by laccase was studied using SDS-PAGE. The extent of cross-linking of Van-WPI was found to be significantly higher compared to the unmodified WPI and the combination of WPI and free phenolic compound as a mediator. The effect of laccase catalyzed cross-linking on storage stability of emulsions was investigated by visual observation and confocal microscopy. The post-emulsification cross-linking was proven to enhance the stability of the emulsions prepared with Van-WPI during the storage. The reduced droplet coalescence could be most likely attributed to an extended interfacial protein layer formed via the interaction between the adsorbed proteins and non-adsorbed proteins in the water phase. In contrast with the limited extent of cross-linking of WPI by laccase, CN was extensively cross-linked by Tgase. The physical stability of emulsions was studied by measuring the increase of particle size during storage, and the oxidative stability was evaluated by following the formation of fatty acid hydroperoxides and volatile compounds in different stages of the lipid oxidation. The pre-emulsification cross-linking showed no obvious influence on the physical stability of CN emulsion but significantly improved its stability against lipid oxidation. The improvement of oxidative stability of emulsions could be contributed to a thicker and denser interfacial protein layer, which thus increases the amount of anti-oxidative groups located at the interface and provides a stronger barrier against competitive adsorption by oil oxidation products.
  • Nevanen, Saila (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    This research focuses on one arts education project which was carried out in Helsinki in early childhood education centres and schools. This study is an evaluation research which concentrates on art education s connections to learning, wellbeing and communality; it views kindergarten and school as arts learning environments and at arts education as a multiprofessional col-laboration between teachers and artists. The arts education project, which was started in Helsinki in 2000, was offered to children who were under school age (3 6 years old) and at ele-mentary school age (7 9 years old). The data consists of interviews of the teachers, artists and principals of the kindergartens (N=23), the narratives of the closing report (N=9) and the follow-up materials of the project. The method of the research was multidimensional evaluation. The research includes five independent articles and a summary that con-nects the entirety of the research. Each theme is included in one independ-ent article, each of which was published in international peer-reviewed journals. Article I analyses the multiprofessional collaboration between teachers and artists. Article II focuses on the possibilities of arts education in developing learning abilities. Article III explores kindergarten and school as learning environments of arts education. Article IV highlights the evalua-tion of the arts education project through a multidimensional evaluation method. The last article, number V, analyses the long-term impacts of the arts education project in kindergartens and schools. The results show that well-executed, long-lasting arts education projects may support and promote children s wellbeing and their learning abilities. It was easy to motivate and direct the children in activities that connected target-oriented work with natural play. Arts education can also be used to strengthen the unity of the community between early childhood education centres, schools and neighbourhoods. The multiprofessional collaboration between the teachers and artists con-nected their skills and professional abilities, but successful cooperation also required the ability to handle additional interests and tensions. The long-term impact evaluation showed that five out of ten participating kindergartens still continue the developmental work started in the project. The project work was also seen as an excellent way to continue or update training.
  • Eränpalo, Tommi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Abstract This dissertation deals with young people s civic skills and how these competences can be developed particularly in civics education at school by means of gamification. The dissertation consists of four sub-studies written in article form as well as a summary. The articles examine young people s civic behaviour from the perspective of conceptions of democracy, civic competence and civic identity. The current generation of youth and young adults seems to be shunning the traditional structures of civic participation and political decision making. Young people are re-evaluating their own roles in civic discussion and are often choosing methods that are outside the official channels. To further develop civic activism, this state of affairs should be changed, since our future decision makers will ultimately emerge from this group of people. The role of the school is seen as essential in scientific debate on the subject. The dissertation commences with the question of how deceptive the suggestion is that young people are passive, and how civic education didactics need new ways to recognise students involvement in civic matters. This query is addressed by means of finding new methods for civics education, using, for example, gamification and dialogue education. The intention of the dissertation is to answer the following questions: a) What aspects of young people s civic skills can be detected in the deliberation resulting from game playing? b) How should civics education at school be developed to strengthen young people s inclusion in civic affairs? The Grounded theory method is applied in the study. Each dissertation article introduces a new perspective on the research phenomenon, and the analysis of the research material proceeds in stages revealing new information on young people s civic competence. The theoretical conclusions of the study are presented in the summary. The first article focuses on the public image of young people s civic competence, which has been marked by pessimism in the early 21st century. This negative image has been publicly debated in conjunction with international surveys indicating young people s passive behaviour in civic orientation (CIVED 1999 and ICCS 2009). The article looks for a new perspective by ques-tioning the pessimistic interpretations of these surveys. It also presents new research evidence of a more active youth culture. The second and third articles venture deeper into the world of young people s civic competence. The image of young people being passive is often maintained by the conventional discussion culture in schools, one that avoids open ideological and political debate and does not particularly encourage deliberation on civic matters. The articles raise issues concerning the atmosphere in the classroom as well as the role of the student in education and society as a whole. It also presents the Act now! game, developed by the author and the author s students. The game aims to provide a framework for dealing with civic issues by means of deliberation. The fourth article introduces the concept of dialogue in education, and a comparative Scandinavian example of it. The Act now! game was played in Finland, Sweden and Norway. The article focuses on dialogue education as part of young people s civics education, and examines the features that emerge from analysing civic identity among Scandinavian youth. The summary presents the results in a way that is typical to the Grounded theory method. It then provides a summarizing analysis of them. The results justify claiming that teaching methods involving deliberation in civic education stimulate and strengthen young people s participatory civic orientation as well as their civic competence. The summary also speculates on the possibilities of increasing young people s motivation to participate in civic issues. The competences that arise from young people s deliberation indicate how the young are capable of responding to civic responsibility. The results also high-light the democratic-political need to create a forum in which young people may engage in civic deliberation. The ongoing curricular reform in Finnish primary and secondary schools will emphasise student involvement as well as creating a new and more active role for students. Accordingly, the results of this study can be implemented in civics teaching. They also suggest that deliberation instruments such as the Act Now! game could be used as a solution to didactic needs on a wider scale. A game-like method offers an example of dialogical teaching that enables a path to deliberation. Keywords: Civic competence, deliberation, gamification, inclusion
  • Heikkilä Astrid (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The starting point of this research is the relationship between food and religion. The subject of the study is the school's religious education and in particularly textbooks of schools. The religious meanings of food looked through the myths, rites and ritual. Selected investigations of rituals and rites were sacrificing food, food regulations, fasting, alms, asceticism, communion and sacrifice of food. Selected investigations of myths were Biblical stories. The study was intended to answer the questions: What kind of meaning the religion gives to food? How do these meanings appear in religious rites, rituals and myths? What kind of differences and similarities can be found in textbooks related to the religious meanings of food? Methods: The study is qualitative and the research material is three publishing textbooks (Sanoma Pro, WSOY and Edita) from classes 7-9. The research data analysis was carried out theory-based content and narrative analysis. Results and conclusions: The relationship between religion and the food appears to be diverse school textbooks. In the Biblical stories the ratio of food and religion could be seen metaphorically, for example, Jesus describes himself as the bread of life. The food was sacrificed to the gods and ancestors. Also, the religious meanings are included the Eucharist enjoyable wine and bread. Eating habits and meanings of food substances found in food regulations meanings of different religions. The religious meaning of food in fast, asceticism and alms appears when achieving the spiritual experiences. The study advantages the development of e-learning materials and education integration between household and religion. The study also highlights a link between two different subjects.
  • Partanen, Elina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Aims: Embodied practices among people with aphasia remain relatively little known until now. The aim of this study was to describe free conversation interaction between a seriously aphasic speaker and his wife. This study aims to explore what kinds of nonverbal elements appear during the conversation of the aphasic person, and how the nonverbal elements arise in different conversational turns. The main focus of this study is on the substitutive and the complementary gestures of the speech. Earlier studies on aphasia interaction suggest that gestures are an important resource to construct meanings in turns of an aphasic speaker. Data and methods: This is a qualitative study where conversational analysis is used as a research method. Data consists of two videotaped recordings of the couples’ free conversation at home settings. Results and conclusion: Several nonverbal elements, which had a significant influence for the conversation interaction of this couple, appeared in the data of this study. The wife interpreted aphasic person’s nonverbal elements in the conversation as meaningful elements. The wife gave time and space for the aphasic person to participate in conversation. The aphasic speaker took advantage of the gestures in order to compensate speech loss. In fact, he almost completely relied on the substitutive and complementary gestures in conversation. He used the gestures in many ways and combined gestures skillfully to his limited verbal elements. A significant result in the study was that the aphasic speaker hardly showed any signs for verbal word search before expressing nonverbal elements. He started gesturing often seamlessly just before of his typical turn initiator verbal expressions yeah yes and yeah but or simultaneously with them. Aphasic person´s expression were built fast and effortlessly despite the loss of speech. It can be said that aphasic person had adapted to his handicap caused by aphasia by taking advantage from gesturing.
  • Marionneau, Virve (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Public and academic discussion of gambling has been characterised by numerous contradictions. Although definitions of gambling as a sinful activity or even as a crime are now things of the past, the contemporary debate on whether gamblinkö-g is actually a social problem, an individual problem, a socially beneficial activity or perhaps just another form of consumption has been heated. This study maintains that no such conclusive definition of the social role of gambling can be found because societies discuss gambling differently based on contextual conditions. The research question asks whether the understandings of gambling differ between two European societies, Finland and France, and if so, how these differences are manifested. To answer this question a comparative study has been conducted. The research data consist of group interviews conducted among gamblers in Finland and in France, along with legal texts that regulate gambling in each country. Finland and France were chosen for this study owing to practical constraints but also to represent two European countries with differing gambling traditions but with similar overall availability of gambling opportunities. This made it possible to analyse institutional differences related to provision and legislation, as well as to compare cultural differences related to habits of thought and deep cultural structures. The study argues that social contexts influence not only the kind of gambling offers made available, but also how gambling is discussed, how it is justified, how it is understood and even how ensuing problems are conceptualised. Sociological theory is used to show that the way we understand social concepts such as gambling is specific to a particular cultural and institutional context. The results show that Finland and France differ in terms of how their gambling legislation has been justified and in how gamblers themselves discuss the activity. Differences were found in relation to what was considered an acceptable reason to gamble, what was considered the cause of problem gambling and how well the gambling offers of their respective countries were accepted. It is argued here that these differences reflect separate historical traditions of gambling, varying institutional organisations providing gambling opportunities, cultural differences in how blame is assigned, and varying conceptualisations of individuality in Finland and France. The analysis supports the hypothesis, showing that the way gambling is understood depends on the social context. The comparative analysis also demonstrates that gambling is a social issue and should be treated as such when its consequences, its availability or its importance to societies are discussed.
  • Kangasluoma, Juha (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Atmospheric aerosols exhibit the largest uncertainties in the radiative forcings of the Earth s climate. A large fraction of the uncertainties originates from the aerosol-cloud in-teractions, a process which is not understood completely. Understanding the processes related to aerosol formation and growth will help to narrow down these uncertainties and understand the anthropogenic fraction of the radiative forcings. Atmospheric new particle formation creates a large fraction of the particles present in the atmosphere. To understand the process thoroughly, direct measurements of the par-ticle concentration and chemical composition are needed. This need has pushed the in-strument development forward, allowing measurements which were not possible five years ago: a direct measurement of the concentration and composition of sub-3 nm particles. The purpose of this thesis was to develop methods to calibrate the instruments to reliably measure sub-3 nm particles. We developed an experimental setup to reproducibly generate well-characterized sub-3 nm particles in the laboratory, with the particular aim to characterize particle counters. During the course of the work the particle generation meth-ods were modified to provide test aerosols smaller than 3 nm, of which chemical composi-tion was monitored simultaneously with a mass spectrometer. Together with the modifica-tion of the generators, commercial fine particle counters were shown to be capable of sub-2 nm particle detection Controlling the properties of the generated particles was found to be extremely important in the measurement of sub-3 nm particles. With the various test particles we studied the importance of the particle size, charging state and chemical composition on their detection, as well as the importance of the particle counter working fluid on the de-tection. The chemical composition of the particles was the most important factor determin-ing the smallest detectable size in the sub-3 nm size range. One of the particle counters, the Particle Size Magnifier (PSM) was characterized more in depth at low pressure conditions and various operation temperatures, providing in depth understanding on the instrument operation. The results provided key aspects on how the instrument should be operated in field experiments in order to obtain reliable data. In laboratory conditions the inversion routine of the particle PSM was experimentally verified against a high resolution differential mobility analyzer and an electrometer. The results of this thesis provide basic knowledge on sub-3 nm particle generation and detection. The utilization of several generation techniques and test aerosols of differ-ent chemical composition, the operation of sub-3 nm particle detectors was improved along with a more in-depth understanding on the parameters governing the particle - vapor interactions. The laboratory instrumentation used in this thesis offer tools for chemical (composition) and physical (electrical mobility, charging state) characterization of the sub-3 nm particles. Overall this thesis improved the methods dealing with sub-3 nm particles from their generation to characterization, and to their detection. The methods are directly applicable to other fields of nanomaterial production and characterization, as well as envi-ronmental and industrial nanoparticle monitoring.
  • Visakko, Tomi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The study examines the mediation and evaluation of personhood in light of Finnish online dating advertisements. The main focus is on the performance and interpretation of what has been called self-promotion, or the idealization of the self in relation to others. The study operates with concepts originating from discourse studies and anthropology under the overarching framework of pragmatism-based semiotic anthropology. The online dating advertisement genre is approached as a cultural instrument of personhood and intersubjective interaction in which writers step into a controlled performance of a promotional persona in order to instigate social relations (only) with desirable and ideal others. The primary data consists of 111 Finnish-language online dating advertisements collected from two online dating services in 2007. In addition, a questionnaire was held for a group of university students to elicit examples of actual interpretations. A third set of data consists of cultural metadiscourses that reflect on online dating advertisements as a type of interaction (online dating guidebooks, Internet discussions and articles, a segment of a TV program). Such backstage discourses illuminate the kinds of reflexive metapractices and interpretive assumptions that do not usually come up explicitly in actual advertisement-based interactions. The study shows that stereotypic cultural understandings of self-promotion often focus on specific kinds of evaluative stances and their reliability or appropriateness, whereas many actually occurring phenomena are entirely overlooked. Such biased stereotypes may be one reason for the fact that evaluative stancetaking seems to be an expected but often problematic act in online dating advertisements. The study also illuminates the non-narrative organization of personhood, selfhood, and biography, as taxonomic and hierarchical structures of theoretical representations are one of the most salient textual patterns in the data. More generally, the study draws attention to the importance of the indexical patterning of text-artifacts. Textual patterning at all layers, from macrostructures to orthography, becomes interpreted as signs of personhood contributing, for instance, to particular views of subjectivity, a level of meaning often overlooked in studies of online communication. Moreover, the study stresses the importance of reflexive models and ideologies of interaction. For instance, the nature of online dating advertisements as an intersubjective encounter can be understood in almost entirely opposite ways by different interpreters (e.g., as distant versus intimate, or authentic versus inauthentic ).
  • Jokinen, Tuija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    We live in a world full of aerosols and witness their existence constantly. Changes in visibility, road dust and pollen filling the air in the spring time and even dosing some medicines are all related to aerosols. The most important aspect for this thesis is however, the formation of aerosol precursor molecules and clusters and their possible effects on aerosol properties. Different types of aerosols e. g. organic and inorganic, ice and pollen, biogenic and anthropogenic, when acting as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN), can change the optical properties of clouds and thus have different climate effects via changes in precipitation or cloud cover. Also the mechanism how the small cloud seeds are formed can have a major effect on the cloud properties. Clouds reflect and scatter radiation cooling the atmosphere but to this day aerosol effects still form the largest uncertainty in estimates of the climate of the future. Low-volatility compounds in the ambient air are the most important components in both aerosol formation and their growth to sizes that can affect cloud properties such as their reflectivity. The vapours in the atmosphere form around half of the first precursors of aerosol particles via nucleation, still molecular in size. The rest is released directly into the air e.g. by the traffic or from the oceans as sea salt. Neutral molecular size precursor substituents are difficult to detect because they lack electric charge and their concentrations rarely exceed the detection limits of the used measurement instruments. This is one of the reasons why the first steps of nucleation process are still partly unsolved after decades of research. This thesis concentrates first in development of selective methods and ultrasensitive instrumentation for the detection of acidic aerosol precursor molecules and clusters. These compounds include sulphuric acid, which is known to be highly important precursor for new particle formation. This thesis presents the first ambient measurements with the new instrumentation and even though sulphuric acid was detected in relative high concentrations during a particle formation event, no ambient cluster formation was yet observed. The same instrumentation was further used in an ultraclean chamber experiment were sulphuric acid and dimethyl amine formed growing clusters and they were detected from the smallest clusters all the way up to ~2 nm size. These compounds are likely to dominate the new particle formation with low-volatility organic compounds. Tens of thousands of volatile organic compounds (VOC) are emitted in the atmosphere by terrestrial vegetation, marine environments and anthropogenic sources, making the search for the meaningful compounds for new particle formation extremely difficult. In this thesis a new group of extremely low-volatility organic compounds (ELVOC) from terpene oxidation are introduced. They form a large source of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) and might help explaining the former big gap between the measured and the modelled SOA loads in the atmosphere. Formation of these compounds from RO2 radicals via rapid autoxidation process to stable molecules is also studied in details in laboratory experiments. This thesis also utilizes a global modelling framework, where the measurement results are applied. According to this thesis, ELVOC in particular are in crucial role when estimating SOA and CCN formation in the air. All together this thesis is a comprehensive study of both organic and inorganic low-volatility precursor molecules and clusters in the atmosphere, from their origin, formation mechanisms, and measurement techniques to their possible effects on climate now and in the future.
  • Tumiati, Manuela (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in the world and the most common cancer among women. Germ-line mutations in the DNA repair gene RAD51C (RAD51 paralog C) predispose women to breast and ovarian cancers, yet the mechanisms by which a lack of RAD51C causes tumorigenesis are poorly understood. RAD51C deficiency is thought to promote cancer by preventing correct repair of DNA double-strand breaks, leading to accumulation of somatic mutations and genomic instability, a cancer hallmark. Similarly, defects in other genes involved in repair of DNA double-strand breaks, such as BRCA1 (breast cancer 1, early onset), BRCA2 (breast cancer 2, early onset), or PALB2 (partner and localizer of BRCA2), are linked to breast cancer, suggesting that the mammary gland is particularly susceptible to genomic instability. We know that RAD51C-null cells from several organisms present a number of chromosomal aberrations, and Rad51c knockout mice die during early embryogenesis from massive Trp53-mediated apoptosis. A previously generated mouse model demonstrated that when Rad51c is lost together with Trp53, multiple tumors develop approximately at one year of age. However, while Trp53 knock-out mice predominantly develop osteo- and myosarcomas, a spontaneous loss of both Rad51c and Trp53 in double-mutant mice leads mostly to development of epithelial-derived carcinomas, especially in mammary glands, skin, and skin-associated specialized sebaceous glands. While suggesting a possible role for Trp53 in the Rad51c-mediated tumorigenesis, this study left several questions unaddressed. First, the ability of Rad51c loss to induce tumor formation independently of Trp53 stood as an open question. Second, the mechanisms by which Rad51c might cause malignant transformation remained unclear. Last, there was complete absence of information about the role of RAD51C in the mammary gland. We set out to fill these gaps by generating a skin and skin-associated Rad51c knock-out mouse model. For this purpose, we conditionally deleted Rad51c and/or Trp53 from basal cells of the epidermis and ectodermal-derived glands using Keratin 14 Cre-mediated recombination. With this model, we demonstrated that deletion of Rad51c alone is not sufficient to drive tumorigenesis but impairs the proliferation of sebaceous cells and causes their transdifferentiation into terminally differentiated keratinocytes. In addition, we reported that Rad51c/p53 double mutant mice develop multiple tumors in skin and mammary and sebaceous glands at around six months of age, while Trp53-mutants have a tumor-free survival of 11 months and a lower tumor burden. We also observed that in situ carcinomas are detectable in Rad51c/p53 double mutant mice as early as four months of age, which provided a tool for studying the early phases of tumorigenesis. Notably, we reported that mouse mammary tumors recapitulate several histological features of human RAD51C-associated breast cancers, especially a luminal-like, hormone receptor-positive status. Finally, we described that loss of RAD51C causes chromosomal aberrations in both mouse and human cells, providing a direct translational link between the phenotype observed in the two species.
  • Koskinen, Katja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Tutkielman tavoitteena on tarkastella sekä sukupuolen vaikutusta keskusteluun että keskustelua sukupuolesta. Tutkimusaineistona käytetään viiden nuoren leiri-illan aikana nauhoittamaa 90 minuutin pituista äänitallennetta. Tutkittavat vuorovaikutukselliset ilmiöt ovat puhetilan jakautuminen, dialogipartikkelit (palautteet) ja nauru. Tutkimuksessa analysoidaan sekä ryhmätilanteita että kahden tytön ja kahden pojan kahdenkeskisiä keskusteluita. Tarkoituksena on selvittää, millaista tyttöjen ja poikien kielenkäyttö on eri tilanteissa. Tämän lisäksi analysoidaan keskusteluissa esiin tulevia sukupuoli- ja seksuaalikäsityksiä. Tutkielman teoriataustana on keskusteluntutkimus ja sosiolingvistiikka. Tutkimusmenetelmänä puolestaan on keskustelunanalyysi, jonka tukena käytetään kvantitatiivisia laskelmia puheenvuoroista, sanamääristä, dialogipartikkeleista ja naurusta. Tutkimus osoittaa, että näiden nuorten keskusteluissa ei ole havaittavissa toisen sukupuolen dominointia, mutta eroavaisuuksia löytyy. Kummatkin tytöt käyttävät ryhmäkeskusteluissa puhetilasta noin viidesosan ja sijoittuvat puhemäärällään ryhmän keskivaiheille. Pojat sijoittuvat puolestaan ääripäihin, yksi puhuu määrällisesti eniten, yksi vähiten, ja yhdellä on selkeästi muita pidemmät puheenvuorot. Kaikkien poikien vuorot ovat keskimäärin hieman pidempiä kuin tyttöjen. Tytöt nauravat ja käyttävät enemmän palautteita kuin pojat. Tyttöjen kahdenkeskinen keskustelu ei eroa merkittävästi ryhmäkeskusteluista. Puhetila jakaantuu suhteellisen tasaisesti ja keskustelu pysyy vaivatta käynnissä. He tukevat toisiaan palautteiden avulla ja nauruakin esiintyy, tosin ei yhtä paljon kuin ryhmäkeskusteluissa. Kahden pojan keskustelu on puolestaan tilanteena hyvin erilainen. Ryhmäkeskusteluissa eniten puhuva poika on tässä tilanteessa selkeästi hiljaisempi osapuoli, ja ryhmässä vähiten puhuva käyttää kaksi kolmasosaa puhetilasta. Keskustelu ei juurikaan sisällä palautteita tai naurua, tahti on verkkainen ja taukoja on paljon. Nuorten keskusteluissa esiintyy paljon heteronormatiivisia käsityksiä ja ajatuksia sukupuolesta ja seksuaalivähemmistöistä, mutta puhe ei ole yksinomaan sellaista. Sanoja bög ja transu käytetään paljon, etenkin kun puhutaan jollakin lailla erottuvista tai normista poikkeavista pojista/miehistä. Tällainen sukupuolisuuteen viittaava kielenkäyttö näyttäisi liittyvän myös ryhmänsisäiseen hierarkiaan.