E-thesis - dissertations and theses

Recent Submissions

  • Heikkinen, Harri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    There are many chemical analytical techniques available to probe molecular structures. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is an analytical spectroscopy technique that exploits strong external magnetic field and is capable of elucidating and quantifying molecular structures at the atomic level. NMR spectrum is typically measured from dissolved materials or directly from solid materials. The influence of magnetic interactions in solution and solid-state define the information that is obtainable from the NMR spectrum. The molecular motion and mobility play a key role. The obtainable spectral resolution in solid-state is usually lower than in the liquid state due to the presence of anisotropic interactions, which are not averaged out like in solution state. In NMR this means that the spectra, which contain the structural information, can be visually very different. These phenomena, combined with the need to obtain quantitative information, need to be addressed with proper considerations when acquiring and interpreting NMR data. This thesis focuses on the impact of relevant magnetic interactions in NMR via selected chemical structure studies of materials such as lignin, Ziegler-Natta (ZN) and aluminosilicate catalysts and cellulose.
  • Laiho, Laura (2018)
    Lymphoblastoid cell line (LCL) collections offer a vast source of biological data of various diseases stored in biobanks. Even though LCLs have been used as a conducive surrogate in vitro cell model to study various diseases, it has been shown that they cannot recapitulate all the regulatory properties of a disorder specific primary tissue, constraining the utility of the collections. The rise of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology has offered a novel strategy for repurposing the abundant LCL collections for regenerative medicine, drug discovery and disease modeling. However, the cell-type-specific reprogramming events in LCLs are not understood, hindering the development of a more efficient and reliable reprogramming method for these cell lines. To systematically study the endogenous events taking place during the reprogramming process, the CRISPR/Cas mediated gene activation (CRISPRa) platform has been harnessed in fibroblasts. This thesis work aimed to establish the novel CRISPRa mediated reprogramming method for the first time in biobanked LCLs, obtained from the Psychiatric Family Collections of THL Biobank. The method relies on the activation of the endogenous pluripotency factors with CRISPR activators, which results in the induction of the reprogramming process. The screening of different factor combinations revealed that the successful reprogramming of LCLs seems to require the targeting of the EEA motif, a genomic element which is enriched in promoter regions of genes related to embryo genome activation. The reprogramming efficiencies were however varying, and a gRNA function validation assay showed that the gRNAs used in this project were suboptimal for efficient gene activation in LCLs. The reprogramming method was nevertheless demonstrated to successfully convert five biobanked LCLs into bona fide iPSC lines. The iPSC lines generated in this thesis serve as a proof of concept that the novel CRISPRa reprogramming method works in biobanked LCLs and could be developed to systematically study the cell-type-specific reprogramming events in these cells. Also, the generated iPSC line collection constitutes the first iPSC collection derived from biobanked cells with the CRISPRa reprogramming method and is available as a future research resource, thus paving the way for the wider use of the LCL collections.
  • Nyberg, Patrik (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    My doctoral thesis, Painted faces: The self-portraits of Helene Schjerfbeck, modernism and representation, addresses the problematics of viewing and representation in self-portraits by the Finnish painter Helene Schjerfbeck (1862–1946). It reflects on how self-portraits generate meaning through a dialogue between mimetic representation and the sensory properties of the material surface. This thesis challenges previous interpretations of Schjerfbeck’s self-portraits, which have hitherto been based almost exclusively on the artist’s biographical history. The theoretical framework underpinning my discussion of semiosis in self-portraiture is the critical reappraisal of contemporary notions of modernist painting. By analysing the representational dynamics of self-portraiture, this thesis questions exactly where, within the “Grand Narrative” of modernism, are we to locate the subcategory of modern paintings that continued to embrace mimetic representation regardless of whether the painting otherwise accentuates its sensory surface in the “modernist” manner. Poststructuralist art theory typically characterizes modernist painting as non-reflexive, sensory-driven, oculocentric, and siding with the notion of the subject’s autonomy. This thesis argues that modern painting is not hermetically self-contained, anti-lingual, or oblivious to the context and role of the viewer. Modern painting is capable of generating temporal and spatial effects that transcend pure visuality and subvert the meaning of seeing. This thesis looks at Schjerfbeck’s self-portraits in terms of the dialogue that emerges between the image and the viewer, analysing not only the visual but also the tactile and spatial effects this encounter produces. Self-portraits are examined as identity-affirming performative acts. The overarching conceptual framework of this thesis draws on visual semiotics and theories related to differences and (dis)connections between words and images. I examine the semiotic dynamics of representational modernism and Schjerfbeck’s self-portraits utilizing e.g. Jean-François Lyotard’s concept of the figural. My analysis of the performative dynamics and semiosis of Schjerfbeck’s self-portraits is based on Jacques Lacan’s psychoanalytical concept of the subject and the construction of identity within the friction-fraught interface between the visual and the verbal. Earlier interpretations of Schjerfbeck’s self-portraits have been based on the artist’s biographical history, which her self-portraits are generally regarded as mirroring either directly or indirectly. The existing body of Schjerfbeck scholarship has failed to address the semiotic dimension associated with the painting’s chosen mode of representation. This thesis argues that Schjerfbeck’s self-portraits deconstruct representation, subverting both the figurative image upon the canvas and the parameters of recognizable identity. Schjerfbeck’s self-portraits embody, using inherently painterly devices, the problematics residing within the interface between visual representation and subjecthood. Helene Schjerfbeck has come to occupy a prominent place within the canon of modernist painting. This thesis critically reappraises certain notions about modernist-era painting that have become entrenched in modernist discourse and generally within the legacy of modernism. I contend that the critically subversive tendency of modern painting is evinced in the domain of representational modernism that has hitherto been regarded as a backward-looking domain of art.
  • Wasastjerna, Maria (Unigrafia, 2019)
    This doctoral thesis examines the role of privacy in competition law in the age of digitalization and big data. It explores the growing significance of data protection and looks at the interlinkage between privacy and competition policy, thereby testing conventional boundaries and expanding horizons. With the transition to the data-driven economy, our society has grown to rely on products and services that are free of charge to consumers, but because they have no monetary price, there is hesitation whether, and how, action should follow. The thesis questions whether competition policy is too fixated on the idea that the only real harm to consumers consists of rising prices. Consumers pay for online services with time and data. When many products and services seem free in today’s online markets, with user data as the invisible cost, looking only at price effects in competition analysis is misleading. The thesis asserts that an overly price-centered approach to competition policy risks overlooking welfare harms that relate to significant non-price dimensions, such as privacy and consumer choice. The research objectives and questions explored in the thesis can be summarized by way of sub-questions, namely what is the role (if any) of personal data and privacy in competition law? Should competition policy protect privacy among its objectives, and if so - how? The findings point to current shortcomings in competition law and propose a rethinking of competition policy for the data economy. This includes a proposal to expand horizons beyond a static price-centric approach, incorporating a privacy dimension to competition law and exploring a conjoined policy approach. Here, competition law is examined not only from a strictly legal perspective, but in a wider context, including elements that are societal, political, economic, historical and cultural. The thesis emphasizes that over time, many different values have been advocated in the name of competition law and depending on the interests that are being promoted, different objectives are put forward as a driver for law enforcement. This is all the more true today when observing the public discussion and politics around competition in digital markets and companies’ use of data as market power, think only of the Cambridge-Analytica scandal and Facebook’s handling of personal information. The topic of the thesis is timely and highly relevant. By providing a comprehensive insight into competition policy in the digital economy, and especially the role of personal data in this context, the thesis offers important contributions and policy considerations to the current debate. Readers are provided with an overview of the contemporary interplay between competition, data and privacy in the digital economy, including implications for business practice, reflections on the way forward and suggestions for future research.
  • Matilainen, Sanna (2019)
    Leigh syndrome is a progressive mitochondrial encephalopathy manifesting in early childhood, with characteristic symmetric lesions of the brainstem and basal ganglia, and a spectrum of clinical findings. Often multi-organ manifestation is known to occur. The genetic background of Leigh syndrome is exceptionally wide, with over 75 known disease genes affecting mitochondrial function, in both the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes. The molecular characteristics of this clinically and genetically heterogenetic disease, however, remain largely unknown. In this study genetic diagnoses were found for patients with Leigh syndrome and the underlying molecular pathomechamisms were studied. The disease found in two families was caused by a novel Scandinavian founder mutation in SUCLA2, causing deficiency of succinyl-CoA ligase (SCL) of the TCA cycle, a central metabolic pathway. The substrate for the reaction catalyzed by SCL is succinyl-CoA, also serving as the substrate for succinylation, a recently characterized post-translational modification with yet unknown biological significance. These results show SCL deficiency to lead to increased protein succinylation via accumulation of succinyl-CoA in cell lines of patients. Metabolic disturbances caused by the succinylation of hundreds of target lysine residues, found on a wide range of metabolic proteins in nearly all cell compartments, propose succinylation as a mechanism for the simultaneous control of several metabolic pathways. Also, defects of the mitochondrial polynucleotide phosphorylase (PNPase) caused by PNPT1 mutations were established among the causative mechanisms of Leigh syndrome with next-generation sequencing in one patient with a progressive Leigh encephalomyopathy. Defective mitochondrial RNA metabolism due to loss of RNA degradation activity of PNPase is shown as a novel mechanism for mitochondrial disease. The paths to molecular diagnoses for the patients in this study portray the recent advancements of molecular and genetic diagnostics, which have developed dramatically with the era of next-generation sequencing methods. Genetic diagnoses were provided for patients with Leigh syndrome of unknown molecular etiology, crucial for the well-being of the families and treatment of the patients. Simultaneously, patient-derived cell lines and tissues with a disarrangement of mitochondrial metabolism were utilized to increase our understanding of the related metabolic pathways and mitochondrial metabolism.
  • Tolska, Hanna Kaisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Studies have shown that acute postoperative pain is still undertreated in many common surgical procedures such as tonsillectomy, as pain may go unnoticed in everyday practice. Recovery after tonsillectomy may be complicated also by post-tonsillectomy hemorrhage (PTH), which can even be life threatening. The aim of this study was to investigate immediate complications after tonsillectomy particularly pain and PTH, and to evaluate the evidence regarding the analgesic effect of systemic analgesics and dexamethasone for post-tonsillectomy pain and whether topical ropivacaine is effective in the prevention of pain. Studies I and II are retrospective chart reviews including 1533 outpatients operated for tonsillectomy over one year in our institution, that analyzed the incidence of PTH in adult patients (Study I) and the incidence of all postoperative complications of pediatric patients (Study II), and their association with perioperatively administered medications. Study III is a systematic review and meta-analysis on analgesics and dexamethasone for the prevention or treatment of post-tonsillectomy pain in adults and adolescents including 29 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies. Study IV is a prospective double-blind placebo-controlled study on topical ropivacaine applied to tonsillar beds after removal of tonsils for the prevention of post-tonsillectomy pain in 154 adult patients. In retrospective studies, PTH was the most common complication. Incidence of PTH in adults was 14.5%, and in pediatric patients 7.1%. In pediatric patients the overall incidence of unplanned postoperative contacts was 14%, (revisits 10%, re-admission 8%, pain 3%, fever 2.3%, PONV 1%). Paracetamol, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents, dexamethasone or oxycodone were not associated with an increased risk of postoperative complications in adult or in pediatric population. Among pediatric patients, the use of local peritonsillar infiltration of lidocaine with epinephrine was associated with an increased risk of secondary PTH. In the systematic review, the main finding was the scarcity of data and short duration of follow-up in the included studies. Paracetamol, NSAIDs, dexamethasone, gabapentinoids and dextromethorphan had weak to moderate analgesic efficacy on the day of operation, dexamethasone in multiple doses beyond one day. The mean intensity of pain was moderate to severe for 1-2 weeks despite of medication among adult patients in Studies III and IV. In prospective Study IV, topical ropivacaine failed to reduce post-tonsillectomy pain during the first postoperative week but reduced the need for paracetamol-codeine during the second postoperative week (secondary outcome). In conclusion, PTH is a common complication, especially in adults. The use of peritonsillar infiltration of lidocaine with epinephrine was associated with increased risk of secondary PTH among pediatric patients. Systematic review reveled that the evidence on efficacy of analgesics for post-tonsillectomy pain is still minimal due to lack of good quality studies with long enough follow-up. Pain intensity is usually moderate to severe for more than one postoperative week. Single analgesics are not effective enough to provide clinically meaningful reduction of pain intensity, and thus multimodal pain management is needed. Topical ropivacaine failed to reduce post-tonsillectomy pain during the first postoperative week but seemed to modify pain during the second postoperative week.
  • Belachew, Kiflemariam Yehuala (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Background. Abiotic stresses affect the productivity and the evolutionary pathway of adaptation in crops in different agricultural regions. Soil acidity and drought are two major abiotic stresses, when severe, reduce the suitability of fertile lands for crop production, and when moderate, reduce yield and often quality. Faba bean (Vicia faba L.) is sensitive to acidity, aluminium toxicity and limitation of soil moisture, and these stresses greatly reduce the yield potential and stability of the crop. The overall objectives of this study were to investigate complementarity in shoot and root morphological and physiological phenotypic markers to acid soil and drought adaptation in pre-flowering faba bean plants, and to identify sources of tolerance for further breeding work. These objectives were tested in light of four hypotheses: acid zone germplasm would have higher acid and Al3+ tolerance index than other germplasm (publication I); dry-zone germplasm would have more prolific root systems than wet-zone germplasm (publication II); dry-zone germplasm would maintain its root system growth better in drought than wet-zone germplasm would (publication II); and drought avoidance is based on a combination of leaf gas exchange and exploitation of soil water (publication III). Materials and Methods. Multiple sets of faba bean accessions were chosen based on their expected exposure to acidity, aluminium, or drought stresses in their regions of provenance, and based on previous research data and reports. Experiments were established in aquaponic, peat and perlite media in controlled/environment growth chambers, greenhouses and a robotic phenotyping facility to evaluate the performance of a range of faba bean accessions in acid, aluminium, and watering treatments. Key root and shoot data were collected and analysed. Results and Discussion. Acidity and Al3+-toxicity treatments were sufficiently strong to initiate detectable variation in root length, stain score and Al3+ tolerance index, SPAD value, stomatal conductance, biomass and leaf area in solution culture, peat, and perlite experiments. Roots behaved differently in response to pH and Al3+ treatment differences. Al-tolerant accessions showed contrasting shoot Al content, indicating multiple Al tolerance mechanisms in faba bean. The results of acid tolerance index in aquaponic and perlite media experiments were positively correlated. Trait expression complementarity and variability were observed across the experiments owing to differences in growth media. Accessions differed in root regrowth length in solution culture and in SPAD values and taproot length in perlite medium to changing pH and Al3+ concentrations as shown by accession by treatment interactions. Root tolerance index, root regrowth length, and SPAD values were found to be largely informative traits in solution culture, and peat and perlite pot experiments. In aquaponics experiment, 41 µmol/l Al3+ was not informative, 82 µmol/l Al3+ was informative, 123 µmol/l Al3+ was severe. As a result, 82 µmol/l Al3+ was used in the next peat and perlite experiments. However, 82 µmol/l Al3+ was found to be less informative in peat experiment, hence 123 µmol/l Al3+ could be recommended for selection of outstanding accessions in solid media. Overall, accessions responded to acid and Al3+ treatments independently. Cultivars Aurora and Messay were found to be Al3+ tolerant but acid sensitive; Kassa and GLA 1103 acid tolerant, but Al3+-sensitive; NC 58 and Dosha were tolerant to both Al3+ and acidity, while Babylon was sensitive to both. Aquaponic media for mass screening and perlite media for verification experiments were found to be convenient (publication I). Screening of germplasm for drought was successfully conducted in a perlite-based pot experiment, which allowed quicker screening of a large set of materials and enabled detection of variation in constitutive traits among accessions. Use of the GROWSCREEN Rhizo phenotyping facility allowed detection of useful differences between treatments and among accessions. In both the screening and phenotyping drought experiments, accessions originating from the drier regions of the world showed drought avoidance behaviour thereby confirming FIGS as a valuable strategy (publication II and III). In germplasm screening, root and shoot dry mass and their fractions, along with SPAD value provided useful information in discriminating accessions with potential drought-avoidance characteristics. In the phenotyping experiment, root traits were strongly and positively correlated with each other and with shoot traits, but these correlations indicated specific plasticity of traits with watering treatments (publication III). In the well watered treatment, total dry mass was correlated with root length traits, whereas in the water-limited treatment, it was correlated with root width and convex hull area. Apparent root length density was positively correlated with second order lateral root length in the well watered treatment and with apparent specific root length in water limited treatment, indicating high surface area to volume ratio to maximize water absorption is a key strategy in droughted condition. In the water-limited treatment, root traits contributing to drought avoidance such as lateral root length and root system depth, convex hull area and root system width, and apparent root length density (publication II and III) were positively associated with shoot traits such as total dry mass, leaf number, and leaf mass fraction reported in publication III. Accession DS70622 exhibited deeper and wider growing roots that filled the root system volume with long and thin laterals. The larger root system combined with moderately high total dry mass and stomatal conductance endorsed this accession as a potential drought-avoiding candidate by effective use of water suitable in transient droughts. Accessions such as DS11320 and ILB938/2 that combined a large and thick root system with low root length density, low specific root length and low stomatal conductance can be recommended as potential sources of drought-avoiding traits by improved water use efficiency suitable in terminal droughts. Future research directions on the development of multiple abiotic stress tolerant cultivars enables climate change resilience in crops. Most acid soils are subject to Al3+-toxicity, and drought can occur on this soils as it occurs in others. Hence, multiple stress tolerance traits, mechanisms and QTLs need to be investigated in faba bean to identify host accessions with multiple tolerance to Al3+ and drought stresses for breeding of high yielding materials.
  • Kanerva, Kaisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Working memory (WM), a limited cognitive storing and processing mechanism for information, explains individual differences in scholastic learning and, more generally, complex cognition. One dominant view explaining these relationships proposes that variation in WM capacity reflects individual differences in general attentional processes. However, some models propose, that there are also domain-specific aspects in WM that explain variation in cognitive skills. Present series of four studies explored the nature of the mechanisms explaining the close relation between WM and scholastic skills in 5–16-year-old children and adolescents. A total of 1069 subjects participated in the studies. Studies I and II investigated whether the individual differences in the general cognitive capacity are sensitive to external or internal distraction. In Study I the natural environmental noise at the classroom during WM assessment was documented (external distraction). In Study II the complexity of the WM task was manipulated (task’s internal distraction). The contribution of the distraction in the memory scores and in the correlation between WM and scholastic skills was explored. Studies III and IV, in turn, aimed at investigating whether this relationship is causal, that is, whether the training of domain-general WM capacity or domain-specific counting skills, or both, would enhance children's WM and emergent mathematical skills. In two interventions lasting four to five weeks, domains of WM components (verbal WM and short-term memory, STM; visuospatial WM and STM; Study III) and domains of outcome (counting, combined WM and counting; Study IV) were addressed. The results of Studies I and II showed that environmental distraction and task demands contributed the relationship between WM and scholastic skills manifesting the individual differences more clearly. The cognitive constructs assessed appeared to be highly overlapping. However, the results of Studies III and IV indicate that while WM has an important role in scholastic skills, the computerised training of different WM domains did not lead to improvement in numeracy. Despite the lack of such training effects, the group-based interventions addressed to the skill of interest, in this case numeracy, enhanced these skills. Taken together, the present results suggest that while attentional load contributes substantially to individual differences in WM capacity by restricting the mental workspace, the acquired long-term memory representations are needed in order to apply the WM capacity in scholastic learning. The results of the present thesis can be applied in regognising the cognitive deficits that hinders children's scholastic learning, and in developing interventions that benefit scholastic skills.
  • Sun, Yu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Fossil evidence suggests that liverworts may have existed already in the Ordovician. The long-standing hypothesis, that widely disjunct geographic ranges of various extant liverwort groups have been largely resulted from vicariance events from fragmentation of widespread ancestors through tectonic plate movements, has been challenged by the recent studies based on molecular data. In this thesis, two groups of the leafy liverworts in the order Jungermanniales were investigated in order to better understand the phylogenetic relationship and biogeography of liverworts. They are the family Schistochilaceae ranging mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, and the cosmopolitan genus Herbertus of family Herbertaceae. Both families possess a diverse morphology and wide disjunct distribution. The phylogeny and biogeographic history of Schistochilaceae and Herbertus were studied by using DNA sequence data of chloroplast and nuclear gene regions. Morphological characters used for species delimitation were also studied and re-evaluated. Schistochilaceae is resolved as monophyletic being one of the early derived leafy liverwort groups. The phylogenetic position of the Chilean endemic Pleurocladopsis simulans is resolved within the genus Schistochila and the new combination Schistochila simulans (C. Massal.) Xiao L. He & Yu Sun is made. Schistochilaceae is inferred to have originated in the Late Cretaceous at c.100 Mya, in an ancestral area including southern South America, West Antarctica and New Zealand. New Zealand was recognized as the early divergence and dispersal center, most dispersals were transoceanic. Herbertus is resolved as a monophyletic group with one clade consisting of the southern hemispheric taxa Herbertus runcinatus, H. oldfieldianus, and H. juniperoideus, and the other including species of H. sendtneri complex and of H. aduncus complex, mostly belonging to the Northern Hemisphere. H. armitanus and H. circinatus were synonymized with H. sendtneri. H. borealis, H. buchii, H. delavayi, H. dicranus, H. kurzii, H. longifissus, H. norenus and H. stramineus were synonymized with H. aduncus. Herbertus is inferred to have originated in the Cenozoic era about 51 Mya, in an ancestral area including southern South America, the Neotropics, Oceania, and Southeast Asia, supporting its Gondwanan origin. In the Southern Hemisphere the distribution pattern of Herbertus is characterized by in situ persistence and did not show further dispersal until the uplift of the Andean Cordillera. Herbertus in the Northern Hemisphere showed more recent diversifications, wide range expansions both north- and southward and repeated recolonizations, and the range shifts had occurred more frequently since the late Miocene. Long-distance dispersal has played an important role in the formation of the global distribution pattern of the genus. Our obtained phylogenies of liverworts all resolved the New Zealand endemic Herzogianthus vaginatus as the first diverged lineage in the Jungermanniales, not supporting its current placement in the Ptilidiales. Our study supports the southern temperate origins for both Schistochilaceae and Herbertus, and most of the diversification occurred in the Cenozoic, a pattern that has been shown to occur also in other leafy liverwort groups. Our results suggest that species with separate sexes do not constrain long-distance dispersal. The causes for the formation of current geographical ranges of liverworts seem to be manifold, likely linked with ecophysiology, lineage age, dispersibility and diversification rate.
  • Vainonen, Lena-Kajsa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Metsä on kautta aikojen ollut tärkeä suomalaisille, joten jokaisella suomalaisella on jonkinlainen suhde metsään. Metsäsuhde voi perustua erilaisiin asenteisiin tai kokemuksiin ja se voi muuttua ajan kuluessa. Ympärillä olevien aikuisten sekä lapsille tarjottavien kokemusten on todettu vaikuttavan vahvasti lasten metsäsuhteeseen. Kouluilla on siis suuri rooli lasten metsäsuhteen rakentumisessa. Nykylasten moniarvoinen metsäsuhde on tärkeä tulevaisuuden kannalta, sillä metsään kohdistuu nykyaikana suuri käyttöpaine, joka herättää kysymyksiä metsän käytöstä. Lapset päättävät tulevaisuudessa, miten metsää käytetään ja miksi, joten heillä tulisi olla perustietoa metsästä ja yleisesti luonnonvarojen kestävästä käytöstä. Näiden seikkojen takia tämä tutkimus keskittyy kuvaamaan metsäopetuksen toteutusta peruskoulun luokilla 7-9 biologian opettajien näkökulmasta. Tutkimuksessa haastateltiin neljää yläkoulun biologian opettajaa, joiden vastausten pohjalta laadittiin kyselylomake. Kyselylomake jaettiin opettajien suosimissa ryhmissä sosiaalisessa mediassa sekä sähköpostitse muutamille opettajille. Haastatteluiden tuloksia analysoitiin tekstianalyysillä ja kyselyn tuloksia jakaumien sekä taulukoiden avulla. Kyselyn tuloksia ei analysoitu tilastollisin menetelmin, koska vastauksia tuli niin pieni määrä. Tutkimuksen haastatteluiden ja kyselyn tulokset mukailivat toisiaan. Metsäopetus tapahtuu lähinnä kahdeksannen luokan biologian oppiaineessa. Metsäaiheita opetetaan metsässä joskus, mutta opetusta haluttaisiin järjestää enemmän metsässä. Ulkona opettamiseen vaikuttaa ainakin koulun etäisyys metsästä, aikarajoitteet, lukujärjestyksen joustamattomuus sekä rahoituksen puute. Samat rajoittavat tekijät nousivat esille myös metsätapahtumiin osallistumisessa sekä oman metsäpäivän järjestämisessä. Mikäli metsätapahtumiin pystyy osallistumaan, niiltä toivottiin elämyksellisyyttä ja toiminnallisuutta. Tulokset osoittavat, että metsäopetuksen keskeisiä teemoja ovat lajintunnistus, metsän ekosysteemi, metsätyypit sekä kasvupaikkatekijät. Metsäteollisuuden ja metsätalouden aiheet jätetään vähemmälle huomiolle, mikäli kohdataan aikarajoitteita. Koulun ulkopuolisia asiantuntijoita sekä metsäalan asiantuntijoita hyödynnetään harvoin, mutta monipuolista asiantuntijuutta kuitenkin kaivattiin, erityisesti metsätalouden ja metsien kestävän käytön, metsäteollisuuden ja sen tuotteiden, riistanhoidon, biotalouden ja kiertotalouden osa-alueisiin. Asiantuntijoita ei käytetä, koska aikaa ei ole tarpeeksi, koska ammattilaisia ei löydetä tai koska hyöty on koettu liian pieneksi. Yhteistyö metsäalan toimijoiden kanssa on lähinnä yhdistys- ja järjestöpainotteista, mutta myös metsäalan yrityksiä käytetään jonkin verran. Yhteistyö keskittyi lähinnä Metsävisaan, vierailijaluentoihin sekä erilaisiin metsäpäiviin tai tapahtumiin. Koulun ulkopuoliselta yhteistyöltä toivottiin pääasiassa vierailuja yrityksiin sekä metsään. Opettajat pitivät yleisesti metsäopetusta tärkeänä, mutta nykyisen metsäopetuksen ei koettu tukevan moniarvoisen metsäsuhteen rakentamista kovinkaan hyvin. Uuden opetussuunnitelman mukaisia monialaisia oppimiskokonaisuuksia koettiin kuitenkin voivan hyödyntää metsäopetuksessa hyvin. Ainerajoja ylittävää opetusta ei kuitenkaan ole hyödynnetty kovinkaan paljon, vaikka suurin osa haluaisi hyödyntää sitä enemmän. Tutkimustuloksia ei voida pitää tilastollisesti merkitsevinä johtuen pienestä otoskoosta. Tutkimustulosten perusteella voidaan kuitenkin olettaa, että nykyisessä metsäopetuksessa on puutteita, joita korjaamalla monipuolisemman metsäsuhteen rakentaminen yläkoulussa voisi olla mahdollista.
  • Seitovirta, Carla (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Tässä tutkielmassa tarkastellaan mietojen alkoholijuomien valintaan päivittäistavarakaupassa liittyviä tekijöitä kuluttajan kautta. Tutkielmassa pyritään kuvaamaan ja analysoimaan niitä yritykselle tärkeitä kilpailukeinoja, joiden avulla yrityksen on mahdollista saavuttaa kilpailuetua alkoholijuomien markkinoilla. Tutkimuskysymykseksi muodostui: millaisilla kilpailukeinoilla yritys voi menestyä mietojen alkoholijuomien markkinoilla Suomessa. Tutkielman kirjallisuuskatsauksessa todettiin, että alkoholijuomien brändi, hinta, pakkaus sekä mainonta vaikuttavat kaikki alkoholijuoman valintaan omilla tavoillaan. Tutkimuksen teoreettinen viitekehys muodostuu Kotlerin ostopäätösprosessin (2006), Engelin (1990) kuluttajan valintaprosessin sekä Furstin (1996) elintarvikkeiden valintaprosessin muodostamalla katsauksella kuluttajien valinnan muodostamiseen. Tutkimusaineisto koostuu internetissä kerätystä aineistosta, joka kerättiin laadullisiin lomakekysymyksiin perustuen. Kysymykset koskivat yksittäisten kuluttajien mielipiteitä mietojen alkoholijuomien hintaa, brändiä, pakkausta ja mainontaa kohtaan päivittäistavarakaupoissa. Vastauksia kertyi 28 kpl, aineiston koostui 24 sivusta sekä 5442 sanasta. Vastaajien ikä- ja sukupuolijakauma käsitti työikäisten suomalaisten demografian (18 - 65- vuotiaista naisista ja miehistä). Tutkimusmenetelminä käytettiin tyypittelyä sekä teemoittelua. Tutkielman analyysivaiheessa todetaan, että mietojen alkoholijuomien markkinoilla kulutusta ylläpitää neljä erilaista kuluttajatyyppiä: hintatietoinen, merkkiuskollinen, tilannetaipuvainen, sekä laatutietoinen nautiskelija. Keskeisimmäksi havainnoksi muodostui käsitys siitä, että halutessaan maksimoida oman tuotteensa menekin päivittäistavarakaupoilla, tulee alkoholialan yrityksen ymmärtää tarkkaan, millaiselle kuluttajatyypille tuotetta on markkinoimassa ja tekemässä. Eri kuluttajatyypeille ovat eri asiat tärkeitä, ja tiedostamalla nämä tiettyihin kuluttajatyyppeihin vetoavat kilpailuedut, voidaan saavuttaa suurta kilpailuetua alkoholimarkkinoilla kokonaisuudessaan. Jatkotutkimusta varten olisi kiinnostavaa tarkastella sitä, miten erilaiset sosioekonomiset taustat kuten koulutustaso tai tulotaso vaikuttavat kuluttajan tekemään valintaan. Tämän tutkielman kaltainen tutkimus siitä, miten eri kilpailuetujen tärkeys näyttäytyy eri kuluttajatyypeille, toisi alkoholimarkkinoille tärkeää tietoa ja lisäisi positiivista kilpailua alalla.
  • Piekkari, Nelli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Wheat is the most common crop of the world and there are many plant pathogens that are causing diseases in wheat. In Finland leaf spot diseases cause crop losses every year and typical diseases are for example tan spot and stagonospora nodorum spot. It is possible to use different kind of forecasting models to estimate the risk of the plant disease epidemic and need for controlling. Forecasting models make possible to focus the controlling actions to the right place and time. The aim of this study was clear up how reliably the WisuEnnuste forecasting model can forecast amount of tan spot and stagonospora nodorum spot of wheat. It was estimated how good correlation there is between the risk value of the forecasting model and amount of the disease observed from wheat samples. In addition it was evaluated how well tan spot and stagonospora nodorum spot are recognized visually from the plant samples. The correlation between risk value and real amount of the disease was weak for both diseases. When cumulating risk values were divided into three different classes there were statistically significant differences between classes. It is possible to use boundary values between classes when it is defined what risk values cause warning about the disease. The amount of the data was too small to evaluate how individual factors affect to the risk value. The visual identifying of the diseases was difficult and there happened many mistakes.
  • Wang, Jinhui (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The phloem-limited bacterial pathogen ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ is known to cause several economically important plant diseases. Among the distinct haplotypes in ‘Ca. Liberibacter solanacearum’, haplotypes A and B are associated with zebra chip disease in potato, haplotype C is associated with carrot yellowing disease, and haplotypes D and E are associated with disease in carrot and celery. However, the vector-transmitted and unculturable nature of ‘Ca. Liberibacter solanacearum’ has limited the use of many conventional microbiological methods and advanced molecular biological techniques. Current understanding of the pathogenesis of ‘Ca. Liberibacter solanacearum’ and the pathophysiology of infected host plants is still very limited. In this study, a series of experiments were designed and implemented to improve our understanding of those aspects. Multi-omic approaches, high-throughput sequencing technologies and bioinformatic analysis were fully integrated in this research. Metagenomic sequencing was applied to obtain the genome sequence of ‘Ca. Liberibacter solanacearum’ haplotype C in Finland. Two draft genome sequences of haplotype C, FIN114 (1.24 Mbp) and FIN111 (1.20 Mbp), were obtained from carrot psyllids (Trioza apicalis) harbouring ‘Ca. Liberibacter solanacearum’. Genome comparison between haplotypes A, B and C revealed that prophages were involved in most of the genome rearrangement events. Comparison of the gene content between haplotypes revealed that the core and pan-genomes of ‘Ca. Liberibacter solanacearum’ consisted of 885 and 1327 orthologue groups, respectively. Orthologue groups putatively involved in host specificity associated with a certain haplotype were also identified. Twenty-seven orthologue groups were only present in haplotype C, while 11 orthologue groups shared by haplotypes A and B were absent from haplotype C. Based on the obtained genomic sequences, a finer genotyping system was designed and applied to the study of genetic variations of ‘Ca. Liberibacter solanacearum’ in Finland. Two sub-clades of haplotype C were characterized through the MLST approach. One sub-clade was associated with T. anthrisci and its primary host, Anthriscus sylvestris, and the other sub-clade was associated with T. apicalis and carrot. A novel haplotype was identified in the psyllid T. urticae and the stinging nettle Urtica dioica in Finland, named haplotype U. This was the first study to identify the presence of ‘Ca. Liberibacter solanacearum’ in the family Urticaceae. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that haplotype U was closely related to A and D and haplotype D was more closely related to A than to C. Dual RNA-Seq was applied to study the interaction between ‘Ca. Liberibacter solanacearum’ haplotype C and carrot plants at 4, 5 and 9 weeks after inoculation. ‘Ca. Liberibacter solanacearum’ infection significantly suppressed many genes involved in photosynthesis and chloroplast function, while genes related to defence response and phenolic compounds were up-regulated. A gene encoding the master regulator HY5 was constantly down-regulated in all the infected samples. Many genes involved in jasmonate biosynthesis were up-regulated in the infected samples, while genes related to the biosynthesis of other plant hormones showed complex differential expression at different time points. However, ‘Ca. Liberibacter solanacearum’ infection seemed to have a sustained impact on the expression of the key regulators of plant hormone signalling. Key regulators such as JAZs in jasmonate signalling, CTR1 in ethylene signalling and PP2Cs in abscisic acid signalling were all significantly altered by the infection. The bacterial gene encoding salicylate hydroxylase showed stable expression in ‘Ca. Liberibacter solanacearum’ at all the time points, which suggests that the bacteria were able to reduce the concentration of salicyclic acid in the host carrot plants. The proliferation of ‘Ca. Liberibacter solanacearum’ was very active at the early time point, as indicated by the high expression levels of genes related to the basic bacterial cell cycle, including replication, transcription and translation. ‘Ca. Liberibacter solanacearum’ appeared to have reduced mobility and increased adherence at the late time point examined, as the Flp pilus genes were expressed at high levels. A major change in the use of energy sources was identified between the early and late time points in ‘Ca. Liberibacter solanacearum’. A gene involved in the uptake of ATP was more actively expressed at the early time point, whereas genes related to the uptake and metabolism of C4-dicarboxylate were more actively expressed at the late time point, suggesting an adjustment in the acquisition and utilization of energy and carbon sources. This study provides novel information about the genome structure and genetic differences of ‘Ca. Liberibacter solanacearum’ and its interactions with its host plant.
  • Kumar, Ashwini (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This thesis is comprised of three studies demonstrating the application of different statistical and bioinformatic approaches to address distinct challenges of implementing precision medicine strategies for hematological malignancies. The approaches focus on the analysis of next-generation sequencing data, including both genomic and transcriptomics, to deconvolute disease biology and underlying mechanisms of drug sensitivities and resistance. The outcomes of the studies have clinical implications for advancing current diagnosis and treatment paradigms in patients with hematological diseases. Study I, RNA sequencing has not been widely adopted in a clinical diagnostic setting due to continuous development and lack of standardization. Here, the aim was to evaluate the efficiency of two different RNA-seq library preparation protocols applied to cells collected from acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) patients. The poly-A-tailed mRNA selection (PA) and ribo- depletion (RD) based RNA-seq library preparation protocols were compared and evaluated for detection of gene fusions, variant calling and gene expression profiling. Overall, both protocols produced broadly consistent results and similar outcomes. However, the PA protocol was more efficient in quantifying expression of leukemia marker genes and drug targets. It also provided higher sensitivity and specificity for expression-based classification of leukemia. In contrast, the RD protocol was more suitable for gene fusion detection and captured a greater number of transcripts. Importantly, high technical variations were observed in samples from two leukemia patient cases suggesting further development of strategies for transcriptomic quantification and data analysis. Study II, the BCL-2 inhibitor venetoclax is an approved and effective agent in combination with hypomethylating agents or low dose cytarabine for AML patients, unfit for intensive induction chemotherapy. However, a limited number of patients responding to venetoclax and development of resistance to the treatment presents a challenge for using the drug to benefit the majority of the AML patients. The aim was to investigate genomic and transcriptomic biomarkers for venetoclax sensitivity and enable identification of the patients who are most responsive to venetoclax treatment. We found that venetoclax sensitive samples are enriched with WT1 and IDH1/IDH2 mutations. Intriguingly, HOX family genes, including HOXB9, HOXA5, HOXB3, HOXB4, were found to be significantly overexpressed in venetoclax sensitive patients. Thus, these HOX-cluster genes expression biomarkers can be explored in a clinical trial setting to stratify AML patients responding to venetoclax based therapies. Study III, venetoclax treatment does not benefit all AML patients that demands identifying biomarkers to exclude the patients from venetoclax based therapies. The aim was to investigate transcriptomic biomarkers for ex vivo venetoclax resistance in AML patients. The correlation of ex vivo venetoclax response with gene expression profiles using a machine learning approach revealed significant overexpression of S100 family genes, S100A8 and S100A9. Moreover, high expression ofS100A9was found to be associated with birabresib (BET inhibitor) sensitivity. The overexpression of S100A8 and S100A9 could potentially be used to detect and monitor venetoclax resistance. The combination of BCL-2 and BET inhibitors may sensitize AML cells to venetoclax upon BET inhibition and block leukemic cell survival.
  • Tomberg, Eemeli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Cosmic inflation is a hypothetical period in the early universe, where the expansion of space accelerated. Inflation explains many properties of the observed universe, but its cause is not known. Higgs inflation is a model where inflation is caused by the Higgs field of the Standard Model of particle physics, coupled non-minimally to gravity. In this thesis, we study various aspects of cosmology with Higgs inflation. Inflation leaves marks on the cosmic microwave background radiation, and these marks can be used to distinguish inflationary models from each other. We study hilltop Higgs inflation, a model where quantum corrections produce a local maximum into the Higgs potential, and show that there the predicted tensor-to-scalar ratio is less than or equal to 1.2 × 10^-3. This is smaller than the prediction of tree-level Higgs inflation by a factor of four or more and can be probed by next-generation microwave telescopes. We also study reheating, the process where the universe transitions from inflation to radiation domination with a thermal bath of relativistic Standard Model particles. We show that in Higgs inflation, reheating is particularly efficient in the Palatini formulation of general relativity, because there Higgs bosons are produced violently by a tachyonic instability. The duration of reheating affects, for example, the predicted spectral index of the primordial perturbations. Finally, we discuss the production of primordial black holes in Higgs inflation. We show that large quantities of such black holes can be produced, but in order to satisfy observational constraints on large scales, they must be so small that they would have evaporated by now by Hawking radiation. However, if the evaporating black holes left behind Planck mass relics, these could constitute part or all of the dark matter, the dominant, unknown matter component of the universe. Together, these studies show that even though the ingredients that go into Higgs inflation are simple, they lead to a rich phenomenology and offer valuable insights into inflation, gravitational degrees of freedom and the origin of dark matter.
  • Leinonen, Jaakko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Over the past decade, advances in genetics have led to identification of thousands of genetic loci in the human genome that contribute to complex traits such as the timing of pubertal onset. Following genome-wide association studies (GWAS), we currently know how a large proportion of the heritability of complex traits can be explained by common genetic variation in these loci. However, in many instances, we understand relatively little about the biology behind these genetic associations, and functional characterization of genetic variation has become a new bottleneck for genetic research. Prior to this thesis project, sequence variants nearby lin-28 homolog B (LIN28B) had become associated with pubertal timing in the general population. Remarkably, compared to all other common genetic variants, the variants in the LIN28B locus appeared to exert relatively large effects on pubertal timing: one pubertal timing advancing allele associating with ~1,5 months advancement in age at menarche (AAM) in females. Yet, the gene showed little evidence of affecting the established mechanisms behind pubertal onset. Exploring the molecular mechanisms by which LIN28B affects puberty therefore became the focus of this thesis, which is is founded on three original studies addressing the function of LIN28B. To move beyond the original GWAS results, we first utilized Finnish population cohorts to assess the potential pleiotropy of the gene in terms of body size and adult health. The second original study combined human gene expression data from the GTEx database with zebrafish models, evaluating the consequences of transient dysregulation of lin28b during embryogenesis. For the third study, we first created lin28b knockout zebrafish with CRISPR-Cas9 technology to evaluate the effects of permanent lin28b knockout, and utilized the GTEx data and the UK biobank resource to study whether LIN28B contributes to sex steroid signaling in humans. The results presented in this thesis suggest that LIN28B has pleiotropic actions on vertebrate phenotypes and may contribute to the timing and tempo of human growth in more complex ways than originally thought. Our studies demonstrate that the gene associates with variation in several body size parameters in adult humans, although showing little evidence of affecting metabolism. The results also suggest that the effects that LIN28B has on body size are evolutionarily conserved. Overexpression of lin28b during embryogenesis appears to stimulate zebrafish growth, and, intriguingly, lin28b knockout zebrafish show similar growth patterns as humans that carry sequence variants linked with lower LIN28B expression. Importantly, the data presented in this thesis indicates that the sequence variants associating with pubertal timing affect LIN28B expression mostly in the hypothalamus and the pituitary of adult humans. These changes in the LIN28B expression level may have further consequences: LIN28B expression at the hypothalamic-pituitary (HP) axis seems to correlate positively with the expression of several hormonal genes like ESR1 and POMC. Highlighting the gene’s potential to contribute to sex steroid signaling, we finally associated LIN28B with the regulation of testosterone levels in adult humans, which might be relevant in terms of explaining many of the GWAS associations including pubertal timing. Overall, the results presented in this thesis offer novel insight into LIN28B function in pubertal timing, disease and development, the project simultaneously serving as an example for follow-up studies of GWAS loci in general.
  • Scherleitner, Moritz (2019)
    In many different circumstances, hybrid financial instruments (HFIs) can be an appealing source of finance. At the same time, however, such instruments may also be used in tax planning. Its differential treatment in the affected jurisdictions can give rise to double non-taxation of a payment. Exploiting this allows for significant reductions in the corporate tax liability. In the aftermath of the recent financial crisis, such “tax arbitrage” has increasingly entered debate within the G20, OECD, EU and UN. As a result various concepts of how to engage with the problem were developed. Besides these, some states already rely on provisions that can be of relevance in this context. Starting from these developments, the objective of the monograph is to help those in charge of solving the problem to make a more educated decision. As such, it addresses tax policymakers around the world. For the sake of reaching its goals, the thesis applies a socio-legal method. This should acknowledge that tax policymakers design rules in a context that is broader than existing tax law. They have to consider the traditional principles of tax policy, including tax competition constraints, as well as legal dogmatic restrictions – and does this thesis. Against this background, the dissertation is structured in the following way: In chapter 1, the reader is introduced into the topic and the design of the research. In chapter 2, HFIs are shed light on from the perspective of tax law, corporate finance and economics. The goal is to understand their role in reality. In chapter 3, the guiding principles for company taxation are reviewed. Contemporary tax research relies on the triumvirate: (i) equity, (ii) efficiency and (iii) administrability. So does this thesis. The literature on these issues is considered in sufficient depth, but with a strong focus on the research objectives. Chapter 4 builds the bridge between the above preparatory part and the core research. This happens by working out the non-legal concerns attached to tax arbitrage with HFIs. They include three from an inter-taxpayer equity perspective, three from an inter-nation equity perspective and two from an efficiency perspective. This is the problem definition. Chapters 5¬8 investigate how four approaches address these concerns. These are the “OECD approach”, the “low tax approach”, the “UN approach” and the “recharacterisation approach”. The focus will be on tax arbitrage transactions with HFIs that rely on a qualification conflict and substitute transactions with financial instruments that reach the same, or a similar, result. The research on these approaches also takes into account their administrability and legal dogmatic considerations. In doing so, the collateral damage caused by the rules is assessed as well. Also this happens from a multi-disciplinary perspective. In chapter 9, the author presents his own thoughts on what developed and developing countries may want to consider in dealing with the problem of tax arbitrage with HFIs. The author is aware of tax arbitrage with HFIs only being a part of the challenges tax policymakers have to deal with. In an attempt to consider this, the discussion is put into a broader context. As a direct consequence thereof, the thesis also lacks a clear solution. Rather, it aims to provide information that should improve tax policymakers´ ability to address the issue. It is left up to them to trade-off equity, efficiency and administrability considerations, paying attention to what is possible de lege lata.
  • Iyer, Siddharth (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Understanding the gas-phase chemistry of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation is critical for accurate estimation of the effect of these aerosol on Earth's radiative balance. Additionally, the direct detection of the precursor molecules involved in these chemical reactions at atmospheric pressure without pre-treatment is valuable. In this work, computational and experimental methods are employed to 1) elucidate the thermodynamics and the mechanisms of selected key radical-radical reactions in the atmosphere and 2) investigate the efficiency of some of the chemical ionization mass spectrometry methods in detecting the atmospherically relevant acids and precursor compounds involved in the formation of SOA. The main oxygen containing radical species in our atmosphere, and also the key focus of this study, are hydroxy (OH), hydroperoxy (HO2), alkoxy (RO) and peroxy (RO2) radicals. Our computational study on the favorability of the radical recycling product channels of RO2 + HO2 and RO2 + RO2 reactions (RO + OH + O2 and RO + RO + O2, respectively) for RO2s derived from the oxidation of a set of the highest globally emitted monoterpenes showed that the two reactions were thermodynamically favorable for all the studied systems, and that for some of them, especially the O3 oxidized systems, the rate-limiting transition state energies can be low enough to render the reactions competitive in atmospheric conditions. Peroxy radical reactions with the atmospheric oxidant OH and alkoxy radicals RO were found to first form a trioxide adduct (ROOOH and ROOOR, respectively). While the former rapidly decompose to RO + HO2 and R(O)OH + O2 products for the model β-oxo and acetyl RO2 systems, respectively, the ROOOR adducts from the latter can have lifetimes in the range of 10 - 100 s (for the homo and hetero alkyl and β-oxo systems). If the reacting RO2 and RO radicals are sufficiently large and oxidized, the product adducts can directly be involved in SOA formation. The modeling of iodide-based chemical ionization mass spectrometer (iodide-CIMS) using computational methods showed that relatively low-level computational theory can produce reasonable correlation between molecule•I- cluster binding enthalpies and iodide-CIMS instrumental sensitivities. While some outliers were observed (lower than expected binding enthalpies for clusters that were detected at the maximum possible sensitivity of the instrument, for example), the method outlined in our study can be a quick indicator of the detectibility of an analyte by an iodide-CIMS. Additionally, the direct detection of the HO2 radical experimentally using an iodide-CIMS was demonstrated. The comparison of iodide- and nitrate-CIMS spectra for a cyclohexene ozonolysis experiment showed that the iodide-CIMS method was capable of detecting the less oxidized (oxygen:carbon O/C ratio of 0.5 - 0.66) molecules more efficiently than nitrate-CIMS. Higher oxidized molecules (O/C ratio 1 - 1.5) were detected equally well by both methods. Finally, the use of a new chemical ionization inlet (Multi-scheme chemical IONization inlet, MION, Karsa Ltd, Helsinki, Finland), which is capable of switching between two different reagent ions, bromide and nitrate, in 1 s timescales was demonstrated and used to detect the ozonolysis products of cyclohexene and α-pinene. The successful demonstration of the MION inlet opens up the possibility to use multiple CIMS methods concurrently and detect a widest possible range of volatile organic compound (VOC) oxidation products.
  • Kaira, Terhi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This doctoral dissertation in the sociology of the church examines strategic thinking in the Evangeli-cal Lutheran Church of Finland since the turn of the millennium. The dissertation answers the following research questions: What kind of strategic thinking can be seen in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland? How has this strategic thinking evolved? What are the opportunities for and obstacles to strategic thinking? The research material comprises 39 approved strategy documents of the church and aggregated survey data from two parish vicars. The study focuses on the church as a whole, its areas of work, dioceses, and parishes. The study adopts a classical strategy theory approach. Particular attention is paid to the strategies’ content. The study’s results present a material analysis of the characteristics of the church’s strategic thinking as a whole, consisting of 29 different elements. Each element of strategic thinking describes the church’s identity, strategic choices or strategy processes. The results show that the church is striving through its strategies to justify, reinforce, and maintain the essential features of its community identity. Through its visions and choices, the church’s strategic thinking attaches itself to an understanding of the dynamism and emergent causes of reality. In making its strategic choices, the church appears to be following its own timetable and seeking reform. The study suggests that the church’s strategic thinking is characterised by trust in leadership and protection. There is a hopeful attitude concerning the future. Strategy processes have evolved over the reviewed period in a more open direction. The church’s common strategy serves as a framework for other church administration strategies. Although a common strategy clearly guides its overall planning process, the church’s strategic thinking is characterised by each actor’s freedom and a broad strategic leeway. The study reveals that the church’s strategic thinking not only evinces a strongly classical approach to strategy but also a processual, systemic, and evolutionary approach. The study therefore reinforces the notion that strategy-theoretical approaches do not appear to be distinct, but rather blend with and complement one another. Keywords: strategic thinking, the church’s community identity, future work, vision and choices, change.
  • Karkulahti, Ossi Mikael (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The amount of user-generated web content has grown drastically in the past 15 years and many social media services are exceedingly popular nowadays. In this thesis we study social media content creation and consumption through large volume measurements of three prominent social media services, namely Twitter, YouTube, and Wikipedia. Common to the services is that they have millions of users, they are free to use, and the users of the services can both create and consume content. The motivation behind this thesis is to examine how users create and consume social media content, investigate why social media services are as popular as they are, what drives people to contribute on them, and see if it is possible to model the conduct of the users. We study how various aspects of social media content be that for example its creation and consumption or its popularity can be measured, characterized, and linked to real world occurrences. We have gathered more than 20 million tweets, metadata of more than 10 million YouTube videos and a complete six-year page view history of 19 different Wikipedia language editions. We show, for example, daily and hourly patterns for the content creation and consumption, content popularity distributions, characteristics of popular content, and user statistics. We will also compare social media with traditional news services and show the interaction with social media, news, and stock prices. In addition, we combine natural language processing with social media analysis, and discover interesting correlations between news and social media content. Moreover, we discuss the importance of correct measurement methods and show the effects of different sampling methods using YouTube measurements as an example.

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