Recent Submissions

  • Poutanen, Petro (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    In concert with the emergence of cross-disciplinary collaborative working practices, the demands of creativity and innovation in working life have increased. The problems of the 21st Century are inherently complex and require the creative contributions of multiple stakeholders to solve them. Furthermore, working life settings are often ad hoc and diverse in their nature, making collaboration challenging in terms of creative synergy. However, creativity has been predominantly studied from the individual perspective, meaning the research tradition is out of step with changes in working practices as it does not provide guidance for complex creative and interactional processes. Therefore, new approaches that account for the complexity of human interaction and collaboration need to be developed to better understand what creativity is and how it can emerge from synergy between people who are very different from each other. This is the focus of the dissertation. This dissertation argues that creative collaboration can be approached through the lens of the theories about complex systems. These theories conceptualize creative collaboration as an interactive and emergent phenomenon, in which creativity emerges continuously and unpredictably from the interactions of the actors and elements of the system. This argument is investigated in this study by developing a research framework based on the theories of complex systems and examining creative collaboration through empirical case studies that were conducted in the context of innovation camps. The proposed research framework emphasises three important points of attention when studying creative collaboration: temporal patterns, social mechanisms, and meanings and communication. The findings of the explorative research suggest several interesting research avenues. Firstly, the creative process seems to follow unanticipated temporal orders, including points of sudden discontinuities. This suggests that a creative process requires patience for an efficient working mode to emerge. Secondly, the mechanism of emergence describes how a system of contributors includes both individual and collective level knowledge, skills and memory. This suggests that the emergence of shared practices in a group setting requires a certain level of autonomy and self-direction. Thirdly, human creativity is a process of symbolic exchange and meaning-making. The acknowledgement of the constructive communicative nature of the creative process helps individuals involved in a creative collaborative process understand how different interpretative frames can contribute to a creative process, which stands in contrast to the information transmission-based understanding of communication and knowledge building. This dissertation incorporates two conceptual and three empirical articles that are further developed in the concluding article.
  • Kara, Hanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Latin American women represent an emblematic group in contemporary South to North labour migration. The Spanish immigration boom from the 1990s up to the time of the economic crisis has also shown a high propensity of women migrants from this region. While it is important to recognise women migrants as economically active workers and breadwinners, paying attention only to the work that migrants do, excludes a vast diversity of desires and trajectories. Migrants are often granted positions not connected with full subjectivity. This study creates knowledge collaboratively with Latin American migrant women on their everyday lives in Barcelona and studies their subjectivities as transnational migrants. Subjectivity is understood as formed and exercised in relation to individual life course, generational attachments and the larger fabric of intersecting structural hierarchies in a certain time-space context. The empirical phase was conducted in Barcelona between March and May 2012 in a collaborative process with fifteen participants from nine different Latin American and Caribbean countries. The empirical method consisted of two loosely-structured thematic interviews with each participant, complemented by the participative use of creative research methods which offered the participants the possibility to explore the research topics through different creative means. The ontological and epistemological framework draws from critical realism and postcolonial feminism. The main theoretical tools are found in: 1) migration theorising, specifically transnational migration research, 2) the notion of time in migration, 3) an intersectional approach on migration. The experiences and consequences of migration and migration status are analysed inside intersecting social hierarchies, namely the ones referring to country or region of origin, ethnic origin, social class, age and life course and gender. The results shed light to the ways in which time-space autonomy , migrancy and belonging are conditioned and yet negotiable. Irregular migration status often represented restricted movement in the city, insecurity and lack of information. Migration regulations were linked with time experiences of suspension, uncontrollability and liminality . Yet migration may also stand for an increase in time-space autonomy, even in a situation of migration status irregularity, as the consequences of migration status are relational, contextual and intersectional. The (in)visibility of certain intersectional locations is turned into (in)visibility of migrancy. The idea of detached, planned and informed migration does not hold, but risk-taking, surprises and uncertainty prevail. Liminality and unpredictability may also be desired consequences of migration. This addresses the complex intersectional contexts of privilege and disadvantage in which people move. Belonging was also connected with (in)visibility. The results point to a nexus between origin, language and belonging and emphasise the intersectional and contextual nature of belonging. The results also challenge interpretations in which economic downturn is automatically considered to lead to return migration, and question the persistent image of the economic migrant reflected in them. Often neglected in previous research, women s transnational daughterhood became salient, highlighting the multiple intergenerational caring roles of migrant women. The quantity as well as the quality of transnational contacts varied, due, for instance, to economic resources. This shaped the ways transnational affective ties and support were lived. Migrancy became synonymous with not belonging here yet nor there anymore. Yet the accounts were not only of loss and yearning, but importantly also of adaptation, reformulation and creation of new rhythms, routines and ways to be . Keywords: transnational migration, Latin American women migrants, Spain s immigration boom, subjectivity, intersectionality, time, (in)visibility, critical realism, postcolonial feminism, creative research methods, collaborative research methods, multi-language research.
  • Enqvist, Johanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    The dissertation explores the key concepts of archaeological heritage management in Finland: their aspects, definitions and meanings, the history of the concepts and especially the contemporary, official discourse surrounding them the ways in which people represent, talk and write about archaeological heritage [arkeologinen perintö] and ancient remains [muinaisjäännös]. The social context of the study was focused on the Finnish archaeologists who worked in the intersecting fields of heritage management and academic archaeology. The texts, produced by the archaeologists, were analysed by means of critical discourse analysis; the findings of the analysis were compared to one of the most important contributions in the development of critical heritage studies: Laurajane Smith's (2005) theory of the authorized heritage discourse (AHD). The study dissects the ideologies, identities and interaction which are constructed and maintained by the Finnish AHD. Consistent with Smith s arguments, the Finnish AHD appears as an ideological construction that is dominated by heritage officials and experts, and thus excludes other members of society from taking part in the processes that define heritage. The world view of the AHD represents reality as being divided into indisputable and naturalized conceptual categories, as well as into the quantitative results of measurements and numbers in the pursuit of scientific rigour. Archaeological heritage is defined and evaluated by the experts as material objects whose physical integrity, interpretation and representation of which archaeologists control. The AHD is maintained in the network of official texts which concatenate and refer to each other. The vital intertextual element of these texts is derived from the Finnish Antiquities Act, prepared in the 1950s, which carries the connotations of nationalism and a juridical discourse. The social significance of heritage management, protection and research of archaeological heritage is thus reduced to obeying the law in the AHD. The results and the conclusions of the study, concerning the historical contingency, causes, effects and action of the official heritage discourse, are vital in order to promote the more inclusive and participatory heritage practices in Finland in the future, the democratised heritage discourse , which consists in the emancipatory interest of the research.
  • Wilkman, Olli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Understanding the light scattering properties of Solar System bodies is important, especially in the case of the small bodies. For these objects, most of our data is photometric, i.e. measurements of the brightness of light in broad spectral bands in visible and near-infrared. Though limited in many ways, these data can be used to derive physical properties that provide constraints on the structure and material composition of the objects. These atmosphereless bodies are almost always covered with a blanket of loose material called the regolith. The planetary regoliths consist of a range of grain sizes from micrometres to tens of metres, and have a complex geological history and chemical composition. We study two models for the reflectance of planetary surfaces. One is the Lommel-Seeliger model, which is mathematically simple, but also not truly applicable to particulate media such as regoliths. However, an analytical form exists for the integrated brightness of an ellipsoid with the Lommel-Seeliger scattering model. Ellipsoids are useful as crude shape models for asteroids. Some applications of Lommel-Seeliger ellipsoids are studied in the development of a faster software for the inversion of rotational state and rough shape from sparse asteroid lightcurves. The other scattering model is a semi-numerical one, developed to model the reflectance of dark particulate surfaces, such as the lunar regolith and the surfaces of many asteroids. The model term representing the shadowing effects in the medium is computed numerically, and is computationally expensive to produce, but after being computed once, it can be saved and reused. The model is applied to disk-resolved photometry of the lunar surface, as well as laboratory measurements of a dark volcanic sand. The lunar surface is the best known extraterrestrial material, while volcanic sands can be used as analogues for basaltic regoliths such as the lunar mare surfaces. These studies are still early steps in both of the model applications mentioned above. The results show promising avenues for further research. In the case of the Lommel-Seeliger ellipsoids, a statistical inversion scheme is used to gain information on the spin and shape of sparsely observed asteroids. In the studies with the PM scattering model, it was found to provide good fits to data, and though the interpretation of the model parameters is not clear, they are qualitatively reasonable. Some limitations of the current implementation of the model were found, with clear lines of future improvement. On the whole the model has potential for many applications in disk-resolved photometry of regolith surfaces.
  • Paatela, Hanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its sulfate ester DHEA sulfate (DHEAS) are the most abundant steroid hormones in the circulation. These prohormones, secreted by the adrenal glands, are important precursors of biologically active androgens and estrogens. Adipose tissue is an important site for estrogen synthesis after menopause, when all estrogens are produced from hormone precursors in peripheral tissues. In the circulation, DHEA exists also as fatty acyl esters. These lipophilic derivatives of DHEA are transported by circulating lipoprotein particles. DHEA and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) both improve endothelial function. The aims of the present thesis were to study the role of DHEA fatty acyl esters in the HDL-mediated vasodilation, to study the cellular uptake and metabolism of HDL-associated DHEA fatty acyl esters in endothelial cells, and to investigate the metabolism of DHEAS in female adipose tissue. The role of DHEA fatty acyl esters in HDL-mediated vasodilation was studied in isolated rat arterial rings. DHEA fatty acyl ester-enriched human HDL showed a stronger vasodilatory effect compared to native HDL. This relaxation was mediated by HDL receptor, scavenger receptor class B, type I (SR-BI), and was partly dependent on the function of endothelial nitric oxide synthase. The metabolism of DHEA fatty acyl esters was studied in human endothelial cells. These cells were able to internalize and slowly hydrolyze HDL-associated DHEA fatty acyl esters and to further secrete the liberated free DHEA from the cells. In abdominal subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue obtained from pre- and postmenopausal women, steroid sulfatase activity was assessed by the conversion of DHEAS to DHEA, and mRNA expression of steroid-converting enzyme genes was quantified. Steroid sulfatase activity was higher in postmenopausal than in premenopausal women both in subcutaneous and in visceral adipose tissue. Visceral fat showed a higher sulfatase activity compared to subcutaneous fat. Three genes in the estradiol-producing pathway, aromatase, 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 12, and hormone-sensitive lipase, were more expressed in postmenopausal than in premenopausal adipose tissue. In conclusion, DHEA fatty acyl esters enhanced the vasodilatory effect of HDL, suggesting that DHEA esters, associated with HDL as cargos, may improve the antiatherogenic function of HDL and thus promote cardiovascular health. Endothelial cells were able to internalize and hydrolyze HDL-associated DHEA fatty acyl esters. The hydrolysis was slow and thus presumably not responsible for the rapid vasodilatory effect of DHEA ester-enriched HDL. Steroid sulfatase activity in adipose tissue was higher in postmenopausal compared to premenopausal women, suggesting that circulating DHEAS could be more efficiently hydrolyzed and utilized in postmenopausal adipose tissue for the formation of biologically active androgens and estrogens. Depot-differences in the sulfatase activity and the gene expression of steroid-converting enzymes suggest that steroid hormone metabolism may differ between subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue.
  • Sliepen, Marjolein (2016)
    Self-assembled structures of poly(2-isopropyl-2-oxazoline) (PiPOx) and poly(L-lactide) (PLLA) block copolymers in water were studied by dynamic light scattering (DLS) and UV-VIS spectroscopy (UV-VIS). The block copolymers were prepared by azide-alkyne cycloaddition between PiPOx and PLLA homopolymers. The homopolymers were prepared via ring-opening polymerization (ROP) techniques. The kinetics of the cationic ROP of PiPOx was investigated. The self-assembled structures were prepared via four different methods: nanoprecipitation, solvent exchange, dialysis, and thin film rehydration. Self-assembled structures prepared from solvent exchange and dialysis had larger hydrodynamic radii than particles prepared from nanoprecipitation, due to a slower change in solvent quality. According to the Rg/Rh values, spherical structures were formed after nanoprecipitation. When the particles were heated to 50 °C, a sphere-to-rod transition took place. Self-assembled structures prepared via solvent exchange exhibited thermo-responsiveness when the PiPOx block was long enough. Surprisingly, the small structures prepared via nanoprecipitation did not show any thermo-responsiveness.
  • Hahl, Kaisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This dissertation examines factors that distinguish an international English-medium instruction (EMI) teacher education programme from mainstream teacher education programmes. International teacher education is understood in this study as a transdisciplinary programme that is taught in English as a lingua franca (ELF) and that admits both international and domestic students. The students thus originate from different backgrounds and they are not all familiar with the local school system. The programme is mostly taught by teacher educators educated in the local context. This study explores student teachers and teacher educators conceptions and experiences of and adjustment to multiculturalism and English as a lingua franca in a Finnish university context. The purpose of this dissertation is to investigate the roles that these factors play in implementing an international subject teacher education programme within the context of local (teacher) education. This PhD study consists of five separate but interrelated studies that together form a more holistic picture of the phenomena studied. The five sub-studies examine the phenomena from different perspectives and aim at highlighting issues that are important for programme development. The sub-studies use various data collection methods: interviews, focus groups, student course work, questionnaires, and an excerpt from a recorded lecture. The data analysis methods consist of discursive pragmatics, thematic analysis and qualitative content analysis. As its theoretical contribution this study weaves together the four factors of internationalization, interculturality (including the inclusion of immigrant teachers in local schools as an intercultural phenomenon), transdisciplinarity and English as a lingua franca, and conceptualizes their interrelations. On the one hand, this study reveals the complexity of constructing an international teacher education programme. On the other hand, the study provides a model for supporting teaching and learning in the context of international, transdiscipinary teacher education in order for it to serve the needs and demands of today s students, teachers, institutions and societies.
  • Paavonen, Anna-Marie (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Sosiaalinen ahdistuneisuus ja mielenterveyden häiriöksi luokiteltava sosiaalisten tilanteiden pelko rajoittaa tuskaisuudessaan yksilön jokapäiväistä elämää. Sosiaaliset pelot saattavat olla myös työttömyyden ja muiden mielenterveyden häiriöiden kuten masennuksen taustalla. Sosiaalisten tilanteiden pelon yhtenä keskeisenä oireena on yksilön pelko joutua negatiivisen arvioinnin kohteeksi sosiaalisissa tilanteissa. Useimmiten sosiaalisia pelkoja selitetään tiedonkäsittelyn vääristymillä. Miksi yksilö ennakoi joutuvansa negatiivisen arvioinnin kohteeksi sosiaalisissa tilanteissa ja mikä johtaa vääristyneen tiedonkäsittelyn kehittymiseen? On esitetty, että sosiaalisten pelkojen taustalla on aina yksilön negatiivisesti vääristynyt käsitys itsestä ja tämän ei-toivotunlaisen itsen paljastumista yksilö pelkää vuorovaikutustilanteissa. Tässä tutkimuksessa tarkastelen laadullisesti, millaisia pelkokokemuksia sosiaalisen ahdistuneisuuden taustalta hahmottuu. Lisäksi tarkastelen, millaista käsitystä itsestä, muista ihmisistä ja sosiaalisista tilanteista havaitut pelkokokemukset heijastavat. Tutkimuksen teoreettis-metodologisena perustana on tulkinnallinen fenomenologinen analyysi (Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, IPA) ja sen aineistona viiden nuoren aikuisen puolistrukturoidut teemahaastattelut. Haastattelut toteutettiin syksyn 2013 aikana. IPA-menetelmä perustuu kolmeen tieteenfilosofiaan: fenomenologiaan, hermeneutiikkaan ja idiografiaan. Sen avulla on mahdollista tarkastella niitä yksilöllisiä, henkilökohtaisia pelkokokemuksia, joita sosiaalisen ahdistuneisuuden taustalta hahmottuu sekä sitä, millaista käsitystä itsestä pelkokokemukset heijastavat. Koska yksilön kokemuksen ajatellaan rakentuvan suhteessa ympäröivään sosiaaliseen ja kulttuuriseen ympäristöön, tutkimalla haastateltujen käsityksiä itsestä, saadaan myös käsitys siitä, millaisena haastatellut kokevat muut ihmiset ja sosiaaliset tilanteet. Tutkimuksessa haastatellut kuvasivat vuorovaikutustilanteet sellaisina kriittisinä tapahtumina, joissa epäonnistuminen saattoi vaikuttaa kokonaisvaltaisesti heidän elämänsä kulkuun ja muut ihmiset sellaisina merkityksellisinä arvioitsijoina, joilta saamansa palautteen kautta he ohjasivat omaa toimintaansa. Tällaisen kokemusmaailman kautta he kuvasivat kolmentyyppisiä pelkoja. Ensinnäkin haastatellut pelkäsivät olevansa jollakin tavoin huonompia kuin muut ihmiset ja tämä saattaisi paljastua muille ihmisille vuorovaikutustilanteissa. Toinen ja kolmas pelko liittyivät kiinteästi toisiinsa: Haastatellut kuvasivat jonkin sellaisen traumaattisen tapahtuman, jonka toistumista he pelkäsivät. Useimmiten tämä traumaattinen tapahtuma sijoittui haastateltujen kouluaikaan ja siihen liittyi torjutuksi tuleminen tai ryhmän ulkopuolelle jättäminen. Kolmanneksi haastatellut liittivätkin samantyyppisiä vaaroja kaikkiin sosiaalisiin tilanteisiin. He kokivat vuorovaikutustilanteet riskialttiina tapahtumina, joilla saattoi olla vakavia ja kauaskantoisia seurauksia. Sosiaalinen ahdistuneisuus näyttäytyi sellaisena kokonaisvaltaisena kokemuksena, jossa itsen paljastumisen uhka, uhkaaviksi tulkitut kehon tuntemukset ja uhkaavaksi koettu sosiaalinen ympäristö ylläpitivät ahdistuneisuuden tunteita. Tutkielman tärkeimmät lähteet olivat: McManus, F., Peerbhoy, D., Larkin, M. ja Clark, D. M. (2010). Learning to change a way of being: An interpretative phenomenological perspective on cognitive therapy for social phobia. Moscovitch, D. A. (2009). What Is the Core Fear in Social Phobia? A New Model to Facilitate Individualized Case Conceptualization and Treatment. Stopa, L. (2009). Why is the self important in understanding and treating social phobia? Smith, J.A., Flowers, P. ja Larkin, M. (2009). Interpretative phenomenological analysis: theory, method and research. Avainsanat: SOSIAALISTEN TILANTEIDEN PELKO, SOSIAALINEN AHDISTUNEISUUS, MINÄKÄSITYS, TULKITSEVA FENOMENOLOGINEN ANALYYSI (IPA)
  • Rajala, Antti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Despite the immense stability of the social structure of schooling, recent social, economic, and technological developments are widening the gap between schools and the surrounding societies so much as to challenge the foundations of public education. Conventional educational practices are hard-pressed to deal with the challenges that contemporary knowledge societies pose for learning and education as lifelong and lifewide processes. This dissertation project is about my journey as a teacher, researcher, and teacher educator to develop a pedagogical model for expanding the context of school learning to engage with students lives and the wider society. My argument draws upon the analyses of three data sources. The backbone of the dissertation study is a retrospective analysis of the video data collected from my own pedagogical practice as a primary school teacher. As a teacher, I intended to bridge the gap between the students personal worlds and the world of school and to promote their agency and personal sensemaking. Together with my coauthors, I engaged in a critical analysis of my pedagogical practices. These analyses contribute to the agency-centered pedagogical model that I outline in this summary. To enrich the pedagogical model, I build on the analyses of two datasets in which I am not myself involved as a participant. The first is derived from an innovative upper secondary school project that aimed to develop stu- dents citizenship and agency by involving them in efforts to influence local political decision-making concerning cycling. The second concerns a literature review of pedagogical approaches that sought to expand the context of school learning to students lives and the wider society. I draw upon a sociocultural and activity-theoretical conceptual framework for the study of learning and education. I posit a transformative ontology that not only focuses on how individuals are enculturated into existing social practice through participation but emphasizes how individuals contribute to the transformation of the norms, discourses, and forms of activity of their communities. Thus, learning is a contested process that inevitably involves a struggle over what counts as knowledge and whose knowledge counts. In particular, I build on the theory of expansive learning and the concepts of context, agency, and personal sense. The empirical data consist primarily of video-recorded classroom interac- tions. These data were analyzed with micro-level interaction analysis. In addition, I analyzed interviews of teachers and students as well as documents. The findings of this dissertation study underline that a broad definition of pedagogy is needed to study and design pedagogical approaches for expanding the context of school learning. Moreover, they show how pedagogical features that do so make specific forms of agency available to students. Furthermore, they illuminate the tensions and challenges that emerge for students and teachers when the context of school learning is expanded. Based on these findings, I present an outline of the agency-centered pedagogical model that has the following features: (a) building a pedagogy on the foundation of students personal sense and agency, (b) connecting instruction to activity systems and expert communities outside school, (c) mastering the institutional context of public schools, and (d) pedagogy as a continuing journey. This dissertation study is timely from the perspective of current educational policy in Finland. In August of 2016, Finland will start to implement the new National Core Curriculum for Basic Education (FNBE, 2014), which explicitly encourages teachers to experiment with student-centered pedagogies and to take learning out of the classroom. In this study, my coauthors and I have analyzed two empirical cases that can be regarded as realizations of the recent Finnish educational policies which have culminated in the new national core curriculum. Overall, this dissertation study argues for an approach, which does not in- volve excessive control and assessment of students, to address the challenges that knowledge societies pose to public education. Instead, a basic premise of this approach is that teachers and students are seen as contributors to educational change. The study concludes with suggestions for avenues of further research addressing the consequences of agency-centered pedagogy for students development. In addition, the study raises new research questions about the development of instructional practices in schools and beyond.
  • Mäkitalo, Leena (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This dissertation is the first monograph written on Anna-Maija Raittila´s poetry. Raittila published 11 collections, the first of which is Ruiskukkaehtoo in 1947 and the last Paratiisini puut in 1999. The study discusses Christianity in Raittila s poetry and shows that it follows Christian mysticism, a contributing tendency to modernism. It is reflected in experiences portrayed by the poetry where the border of concrete reality is broken and the speaker is touched by, and feels, the presence of transcendent divine reality. Five frames of reference repeatedly occurring in poetry are utilised in this study to examine the content and characteristics of Raittila s poetry. These frames of reference are Christian art, Mary the mother of Jesus, intimate interaction without words, natural landscape and birds, and the paradisiacal garden. These frames of reference, introduced in the sections of this thesis as starting points, synthesise themes of poems. Poems analysed using the close reading method reveal the symbols of Raittila s poetry and the Biblical intertextuality in it. The study shows that the poet has used episodes described in her diary as an aid when writing a poem. Verbal traces left by the diary enrich the interpretation of the published poetry analysed by revealing information connected to the creation of a poem. According to the study an experience transcending the concrete reality of the poet is in particular connected to suffering, distress and a crisis of life. This experience transforms the relation of the poet to herself, other people and life, and fills the poet with a presentiment of the emergence of new life-energy. The experience is often associated to Revelations in its descriptions of the new heaven and earth, and references to it complement the image of the presence of divine reality in everyday situations and/or point to the poet seeing around her the garden of paradise and sensing its atmosphere. The paradisiacal moment is described by grace, joy and playfulness, non-hierarchical sense of community, unconditional mutual openness and sensual non-verbal interaction. Nature symbolism restates the image of man as earth, connected to the cyclical flow of life-energy in nature receiving symbolical meanings depicting human life. Among birds the nightingale is central and its voice transforms itself into an image of man consumed by passionate life-energy of paradisiacal origin. Also the meditative nature of the poetry reflects Christian mysticism, and it is connected to the structure and expression of the poetry. A medieval work of art often becomes the medium of meditation: the poet identifies herself with the events and figures therein and finds a response to a topical problem, to suffering and to distress. Ekphrastic poems convey the image of God as mother. key words: Anna-Maija Raittila, modernism in lyrics, Christian mysticism, ekphrasis, meditative poetry, nature lyrics, Bible in fiction, diaries
  • Mousavi, Seyed Abdollah (Unigrafia, 2016)
    ABSTRACT Studies of the taxonomy of bacteria were initiated in the last quarter of the 19th century when bacteria were classified in six genera placed in four tribes based on their morphological appearance. Since then the taxonomy of bacteria has been revolutionized several times. At present, 30 phyla belong to the domain Bacteria , which includes over 9600 species. Unlike many eukaryotes, bacteria lack complex morphological characters and practically phylogenetically informative fossils. It is partly due to these reasons that bacterial taxonomy is complicated. Due to the improvement of methods to obtain sequence level characters plus new methods for their analyses, the taxonomy of bacteria has also been improved. However, there is still no official classification of prokaryotes. Biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) is a process in which bacteria reduce inert nitrogen gas to biologically useful ammonia. The symbiotic interaction between rhizobia and legumes (Fabaceae or Leguminosae) is important both in natural systems and in agriculture. Rhizobia is a general name for a group of bacteria that can enter symbiosis with legumes. Until 1982, all these were classified into one single bacterial genus, Rhizobium. The number of rhizobial genera increased to 17 by the year 2011, from which five genera, Rhizobium, Allorhizobium, Agrobacterium, Ensifer (syn. Sinorhizobium), and Shinella were accommodated in the family Rhizobiaceae. The genus Agrobacterium, a group of mostly pathogenic bacteria, was placed among the beneficial nitrogen-fixing bacteria (rhizobia) in the family Rhizobiaceae. That resulted in several taxonomic issues regarding the family Rhizobiaceae. The main nomenclatural issue regarding the genus Agrobacterium resulted from transferring this genus to the genus Rhizobium. Moreover, the phylogenetic position of the former nitrogen-fixing Rhizobium galegae complex was not clear. This group of bacteria was in previous studies clustered with either Agrobacterium or Rhizobium or placed in a lineage separately from other genera of the family Rhizobiaceae. During the last decade, the number of the rhizobial species increased dramatically, especially in the genus Rhizobium. However, Rhizobium is an inappropriate genus name for some of the species assigned to the genus. To resolve some of the major taxonomic uncertainties of the family Rhizobiaceae, two separate multilocus sequencing analyses (MLSA) were performed. In the first study, an MLSA of 114 rhizobial strains was performed by using six housekeeping genes (atpD, glnA, glnII, recA, rpoB, and thrC). The first MLSA study was focusing on the phylogeny of the taxa belonging to the former Rhizobium galegae complex and the genus Agrobacterium. In the second MLSA, a total of 100 strains representing 81 species of the family Rhizobiaceae were studied using four housekeeping genes namely 16S rRNA, atpD, recA, and rpoB. Based on these results, we proposed delineation of two new genera, Neorhizobium gen. nov. and Pararhizobium gen. nov., and 16 new species combinations, Neorhizobium galegae comb. nov., Neorhizobium huautlense comb. nov., Neorhizobium alkalisoli comb. nov., Agrobacterium nepotum comb. nov., Agrobacterium pusense comb. nov., Agrobacterium skierniewicense comb. nov., Allorhizobium vitis comb. nov., Allorhizobium taibaishanense comb. nov., Allorhizobium paknamense comb. nov., Allorhizobium oryzae comb. nov., Allorhizobium pseudoryzae comb. nov., Allorhizobium borbori comb. nov., Pararhizobium giardinii comb. nov., Pararhizobium capsulatum comb. nov., Pararhizobium herbae comb. nov., and Pararhizobium sphaerophysae comb. nov. (Paper I and II). A total of 159 bacterial strains were isolated from the nodules of the Chinese specimens of the plant genus Glycyrrhiza L. The results of the study showed that 29 true symbiotic strains belong to the genus Mesorhizobium. To estimate the phylogenetic position of the 29 isolates an MLSA was performed for 59 mesorhizobial strains by using three housekeeping genes 16S rRNA, recA, and rpoB. Moreover, the phylogeny of three symbiotic genes (nodA, nodC, and nifH) of these 59 mesorhizobial strains was investigated. The results of MLSA showed that 21 test strains belong to the species M. tianshanense, M. gobiense, M. temperatum, M. muleiense, M. amorphae, M. alhagi, and M. camelthorni, whereas eight test strains might belong to a novel species of Mesorhizobium. The results of the analyses of accessory genes in this study showed that the mesorhizobial strains isolated from the plant genus Glycyrrhiza have probably acquired some genetic material from other rhizobia co-evolving with Glycyrrhiza and other legumes (Paper III).
  • Korpela, Katri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This thesis characterises the development of the intestinal microbiota in healthy children. The influence of four common factors potentially modulating the microbiota prenatal stress, breastfeeding duration, antibiotic use, and probiotic use were investigated, as well as the association between early-life microbiota composition and the development of BMI. In addition, the microbiota in healthy children was contrasted with that that of children with inflammatory bowel disease, characterising the association between treatment response and microbiota. The bacterial composition was analysed from faecal samples using two DNA-based methods, a phylogenetic microarray, as well as sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene amplicons. In addition, real-time qPCR was conducted to measure bile-salt hydrolase genes and antibiotic resistance genes. Bacteria were cultured anaerobically for antibiotic susceptibility testing. The results showed that the microbiota in childhood are sensitive to modulating factors, and are predictive of later-life health. Maternal stress during pregnancy was associated with altered microbiota development over the first months of life. Long duration of breastfeeding was associated with slow microbiota maturation, normal BMI, and low antibiotic use in preschool age, if the microbiota were not disrupted by antibiotic use before weaning. The results indicate that some of the benefits of breastfeeding are microbiota-dependent. Early microbiota maturation was associated with fast growth in infancy and increased BMI in preschool age. Antibiotic use emerged as a central regulator of the microbiome, with potential effects on the metabolic development of the child. Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG supplementation prevented some of the penicillin-associated changes, but failed to prevent the macrolide-associated loss of bifidobacteria. The probiotic supplementation also reduced antibiotic use for at least 3 years after the intervention. In IBD patients, the microbiota composition varied along a gradient of intestinal inflammation and resembled the microbiota composition of antibiotic-treated healthy children. High microbiota similarity to non-antibiotic treated healthy controls predicted positive response to anti-TNF-α treatment in IBD patients. This work suggests that maternal wellbeing is the first step towards healthy microbiota in the child. Promoting a natural microbiota development in childhood by breastfeeding, avoiding unnecessary antibiotics, careful selection of the antibiotic when it is needed, and possibly the use of specific probiotic strains, may have long-term health benefits, particularly in terms of weight development and immune health.
  • Mäkeläinen, Anni (2016)
    Tutkielmassa tarkastellaan venäläisen median retoriikkaa Krimin Venäjään liittämisen aikana keväällä 2014. Tutkielman lähtökohtana on sekä Venäjän poliittisessa johdossa että mediassa tehty Krimin ja Kosovon itsenäistymisen historiallinen ja kansainvälisoikeudellinen rinnastaminen. Tutkimuksen motivaatio nousee siitä ristiriidasta, joka Venäjän puheiden ja tekojen välillä vallitsee – vaikka se oikeuttaa Krimin itsenäistymisen ja sitä seuranneen Venäjään liittämisen Kosovon ennakkotapauksella, ei se tähän päivään mennessä ole ollut valmis tunnustamaan Kosovon itsenäisyyttä. Tutkielma nojaa retoriikantutkimuksen lähestymistapaan, jossa keskeistä on venäläisen argumentaation kartoittaminen sinänsä, ei väittämien historiallisen tai oikeudellisen pätevyyden arviointi. Tutkielman keskeinen piirre on sen aineistolähtöisyys. Aineistona on keväällä 2014 ja keväällä 2015 julkaistu lehdistö- ja televisiouutisten aineisto. Tarkasteltujen lehtien joukossa oli yhdeksän nimikettä, joista yksi oli oppositiojulkaisu. Lehdistöaineiston kautta pyrittiin selvittämään, miten Krimin kansanäänestystä ja sen jälkeistä liittämistä osaksi Venäjän federaatiota mahdollisesti pohjustettiin ja jälkeenpäin legitimoitiin. Lisäksi tarkasteltiin Krimin liittämisen ensimmäiseen vuosipäivään liittyvää juhlintaa televisiokanavien uutisoinnin kautta. Venäläisessä mediassa esiintynyt argumentaatio noudatti pääsääntöisesti valtiojohdon tulkintaa Krimin tilanteesta. Medialla oli kuitenkin myös itsenäisiä näkemyksiä. Aargumentaatio vetosi monimuotoisesti historian itsenäiseen kulkuun ja toisaalta sen moninaisiin tapahtumiin sekä pyrki etnopoliitiikan keinoin osoittaman Krimin kansan ja maa-alueen yhteyden Venäjään. Aineiston perusteella venäläinen retoriikka käytti hyväkseen kansainvälisen oikeuden harmaita alueita ja pyrki siten haastamaan vallitsevan normihierarkian. Pohjan tälle tarjosivat suvereniteettiperiaatteen tulkinnassa vuosituhannen vaihteessa tapahtunut muutos, jossa ihmisoikeudet ja kansalaisten oikeudet nousivat haastamaan valtioiden absoluuttiseen suvereeniuden ensisijaisuuden. Tutkimuksen tulosten perusteella on selvää, ettei Krimin kriisiin liittyvää retoriikkaa kannata tarkastella johdonmukaisena narratiivina – tarina kansanäänestyksestä ja sen jälkeisestä liittämisestä on tarkoituksellisesti fragmentoitunut taivuttaakseen mahdollisimman moninaisia kotimaisia yleisöjä puolelleen. Tutkielman johtopäätöksenä on, että aseellisen intervention lisäksi Krimin tapausta tulisi tarkastella diskursiivisena interventiona sekä historiakäsitysten että kansainvälisen oikeuden tulkinnan tilaan. Juridisen ennakkotapauksen lisäksi Kosovo-argumentista on muodostunut retorinen ennakkotapaus, jota käytettiin hyväksi myös Georgian sodan aikana vuonna 2008. Ukrainan kriisiin liittyvää argumentaatiota ei voi ymmärtää ilman käsitystä venäläiseen kulttuuriin ja puhetapoihin vakiintuneista konventioista. Tutkielma toimiikin eräänlaisena puolustuspuheenvuorona historian, kielen ja kulttuurintutkimuksen lähestymistavoille venäläistä retoriikkaa tutkittaessa, poliittisen, kansainvälispoliittisen ja oikeudellisen lähestymistavan lisäksi.
  • Jalas, Marika Emmy Margareta (2016)
    I över 30 år har man vid Olkiluoto undersökt platsens geologi och hydrogeologi för att kunna förutspå hur dessa eventuellt kommer att förändras i framtiden och påverka kärnavfallets slutplacering. En del historia om platsens hydrogeologi kan fås direkt från dagens grundvatten medan frakturmineraler återspeglar de äldre grundvatten de utfällts ifrån. Kalcit är den frakturmineral som mest används i paleohydrogeokemiska studier eftersom den lätt utfälls under många olika förhållanden, inkluderat svala klimat. Kalcit vid Olkiluoto har även tidigare analyserats och datering och gruppering av kalcit utförts. Målet med detta arbete var att närmare analysera spårämnessammansättningen i frakturkalcitprover från tidigare undersökningar, för att förstå grundvattnets inverkan. Speciellt intresse lades vid REE koncentrationer och eventuella anomalier inom dessa. 31 kalcitprover från ett djup på ca 12–660 m under markytan, från 20 olika borrhål analyserades. Kalciten hade utfällts vid pegmatitisk granit, glimmergnejs, migmatitisk glimmergnejs, kvartsgnejs och ådergnejs. Kalciten analyserades med ICP-AES (Agilent MP4100), ICP-MS (Agilent 7500ce/cx) och LA-ICP-MS (Coherent GeoLasPro MV och Agilent 7900s). Av dessa konstaterades ICP-AES vara olämplig för spårämnesanalysering av kalcit. Spårämneskoncentrationerna visade stora variationer. Senare kalcit uppvisade ofta större koncentrationer och mer variation vid ytan än djupare ner. REE koncentrationerna minskade med djup vilket kan ha ett samband med att Ca i grundvattnen ökar med djup. LREE hade större koncentrationer än HREE eftersom mer lösliga HREE lättare stannar kvar i vattnet vid kalcitutfällning medan LREE lägger sig i kalciten. Större LREE koncentrationer kan ha uppstått vid hydrotermiska förhållanden. Kalciten hade vanligtvis negativ Eu anomali men även positiva observerades. Reducerade förhållanden skapar negativa Eu anomalier då Eu3+ övergår till divalent form. De positiva Eu anomalierna kan ha uppstått under hydrotermiska förhållanden eller reflektera berggrundens plagioklas. Ingen direkt inverkan mellan berggrundens och kalcitens spårämnessammansättning kunde dock fastställas. Kalciten saknade oftast Ce anomali förutom närmare markytan var ett antal Ce anomalier hittades vilket kan bero på att Ce3+ vid oxiderande förhållanden övergår till lättlöslig Ce4+. De negativa Ce anomalierna i kalcit från meteoriskt grundvatten kan ha ärvt sin anomali från tidigare havsvatten. Ett färre antal La anomalier uppmättes. Negativa La anomalier kan ha orsakats av att La upptagits av andra mineraler. Kalciten saknade vanligtvis Y anomali förutom den äldsta kalciten som ofta hade positiv Y anomali. Syrliga förhållanden orsakar Fe oxihydroxering och minskar REE i förhållande till Y vilket kan ha orsakat positiva Y anomalier. Reducerande förhållanden kan även ha orsakat de högre Mn och Fe koncentrationer i kalciten medan oxidation kan ha skapat de högre U koncentrationerna. Bakterieaktivitet och lera vid kalcitutfällningen kan ha påverkat Mn koncentrationerna medan utfällning av sulfider kan ha påverkat Fe. U tenderar i grundvattnet att minska med djup samt vid högre salthalt vilket kan ha påverkat kalcitens U koncentration. Variationer av Mg kan ha påverkats av jonbyte. De höga Sr koncentrationerna kan återspegla hydrotermiska förhållanden medan de låga Sr värden kan reflektera låga temperaturer eller utfällning av andra mineraler.