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  • Klaile, Christa (2012)
    Undersökningen Mot ett gemensamt europeiskt försvar eller en åtemationalisering av Europe? De europeiska försvarsalternativen på 2010-talet ur ett Waltziskt perspektiv granskar de europeiska försvarsalternativen ur den strukturella realismens prespektiv. Syftet med studien är att syna hur det internationella systemets struktur eller rättare sagt den giobala maktfördelningen genom tiderna har inverkat på de europeiska säkerhetsarrangemangen. Studien utgär från den strukturella realismen, som teorin är utvecklad av den amerikanske samhällsvetaren Kenneth Waltz. Emellertid tar studien även andra strukturella realisters kontributioner i beaktande, däribland Stephen Walt, Barry Posen och Robert Jervis. Enligt den Waltziska realismen bör suveräna nationer i ett anarkiskt internationellt system ompröva sina säkerhetsarrangemang då den giobala maktfördelningen justeras, eftersom avstående från en dylik granskning inte enbart riskerar den nationella överlevnaden, utan även den nationella framgången. Därmed är det främsta syftet i denna studie att granska hur den giobala maktfördelningen genom tiderna påverkat de europeiska säkerhetsalternativen. Studien är tvådelad: Den första delen granskar hur den giobala maktfördelningen under 1900-talet inverkade på utvecklingen av det europeiska säkerhetssamarbetet, som slutligen institutionaliserades i form av den Gemensamma utrikes- och säkerhetspoiitiken under tidigt 1990-tai. En dylik analys kan hjäipa oss förstå de europeiska ländernas säkerhetspoiitiska vägvai och bidra med en förkiaring till varför de otaliga försöken till enbart europeiskt säkerhetssamarbete fram till kalla krigets slut konsekvent mer eller mindre misslyckades. Den andra delen värderar för- och nackdelarna med fem centrala handlingsalternativ för den europeiska säkerheten i nutid. Detta är enligt den strukturella realismen en synnerligen central uppgift i en situation, där den amerikanska övermakten på giobal nivå håller på att avta och det internationella systemet glider allt längre bort från unipolaritet. Studien strävar därmed efter att svara på frågan hur nedgången i de Förenta Staternas maktposition påverkar på de europeiska säkerhetsalternativen på 2010-talet? Den centrala slutsatsen i denna studie är att enbart två utvägar, fortsatt samarbete inom transatiantiska ramar eller inom den Europeiska unionen, kan fortsättningsvis på 2010-talet lösa det europeiska säkerhetsdiiemmat och garantera ett säkert Europa.
  • Holmlund, Emma (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    Symptomless nasopharyngeal carriage of Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) is very common in young children. Occasionally the carriage proceeds into mild mucosal diseases, such as sinusitis or acute otitis media, or into serious life-threatening diseases, such as pneumonia, sepsis or meningitis. Each year, up to one million children less than five years of age worldwide die of invasive pneumococcal diseases (IPD). Especially in the low-income countries IPD is a leading health problem in infants; 75% of all IPD cases occur before one year of age. This stresses the need of increased protection against pneumococcus in infancy. Anti-pneumococcal antibodies form an important component in the defence against pneumococcal infection. Maternal immunisation and early infant immunisation are two possible ways by which potentially protective antibody concentrations against pneumococci could be achieved in early infancy. The aim of this thesis is to increase the knowledge of antibody mediated protection against pneumococcal disease in infants and young children. We investigated the transfer of maternal anti-pneumococcal antibodies from Filipino mothers to their infants, the persistence of the transferred antibodies in the infants, the immunogenicity of the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV) in infants and the response of the children to a second dose of PPV at three years of age. We also investigated the development of antibodies to pneumococcal protein antigens in relation to culture-confirmed pneumococcal carriage in infants. Serum samples were collected from the mothers, the umbilical cords and from the infants at young age as well as at three years of age. The samples were used to determine the antibody concentrations to pneumococcal serotypes 1, 5, 6B, 14, 18C and 19F, as well as to the pneumococcal proteins PspA, PsaA, Ply, PspC, PhtD, PhtDC and LytC by the enzyme immunoassay. The findings of the present study confirm previously obtained results and add to the global knowledge of responses to PPV in young children. Immunising pregnant women with PPV provides the infants with increased concentrations of pneumococcal polysaccharide antibodies. Of the six serotypes examined, serotypes 1 and 5 were immunogenic already in infants. At three years of age, the children responded well to the second dose of PPV suggesting that maternal and early infant immunisations might not induce hyporesponsiveness to polysaccharide antigens after subsequent immunisations. The anti-protein antibody findings provide useful information for the development of pneumococcal protein vaccines. All six proteins studied were immunogenic in infancy and the development of anti-protein antibodies started early in life in relation to pneumococcal carriage.
  • Uuksulainen, Riikka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    This study explores how the ideals of motherhood and the obligation to procreate are displayed and dealt with in the ritual practices of low caste women in India. The study identifies and classifies religious rituals and practices of mothering that women adhere to, and deciphers the meanings and motives underlying their ritual conduct. The mothers rituals are approached from the viewpoint of reciprocity, the exchange of gifts that takes place between the devotee and the deity in the ritual context. The main research questions are: What are the functions and meanings of gift-giving and gift exchange in low caste mothers rituals? and how do these women s ritual activities influence their self concept and social status? The study presents two key arguments: First, it assumes that a gift offered is not a mere gift, but involves a deal. Thus, by offering gifts to deities the mothers make deals for a better life for their children and husband. The second argument challenges the idea of low caste women as truly low. The primary source for this study is the data collected among low caste communities in the state of West Bengal during three distinct fieldwork periods between 2002 and 2008. In the research fields, the common methods of ethnographic recording, participant observation and interviews were applied. The research data consist of fieldwork notes and interviews of thirty-two mothers, all members of the three low caste neighbourhoods of the metropolitan area of Kolkata. The study uses and develops the concept of the mothering ritual as a dominant category under which the mothers rituals are grouped. The mothering ritual is understood in a broad sense, covering a wide spectrum of religious practices related to motherhood. The main types of mothering rituals comprises the prenatal situation; the rituals performed to improve fertility; the birth and postnatal rites; and the various practices by which women seek protection and cures for their maturing children. A chronological definition, based on the different phases of motherhood, serves as a signpost to the analysis. The understanding of gift-giving is inspired by the gift theory of Marcel Mauss and his successors. It is shown that the idea of reciprocity and gift exchange especially giving promises and vows in exchange for rewards appear as the very essence of the informants ritual behaviour, to the extent that their ritual conduct can be conceptualized in terms of business making. Even though the women s rituals conformed to the conventions of the patriarchal discourse, performing rituals was not only a social obligation, but also a personally empowering experience for most women interviewed. Women, of their own accord, sought assistance and a chance for a supernatural encounter in diverse circumstances. By performing rituals women won the respect of their community, but also articulated their unspoken feelings and experiences and gained confidence in themselves. Keywords: low caste women, mothering ritual, reciprocity, gift exchange, Kolkata
  • Nousiainen, Kirsi (2004)
    This doctoral dissertation sets out to answer the following question: How is a woman’s maternal identity constructed when her child lives with the father? The answer is sought by examining the life stories recounted in oral interviews with 18 women and the memories recorded by three women in a group. As the dissertation is related to the discipline of social work and feminist research, it also has the emancipatory dimension of reconstructing women’s socio-cultural status. From the theoretical perspective, the dissertation is based on the hermeneutic, phenomenological and narrative approaches. The hermeneutic-phenomenological approach connects the dissertation to an understanding and interpretative research paradigm which seeks the meanings of individual experiences, while narrativity is manifested in the effort to understand the nature of the corpus used in the dissertation. The technique of close reading is used to analyse the dissertation corpus. In close reading, new thematic contents and interpretations are sought and found by reading transcribed texts and listening to recordings several times. As a starting point for the analysis, the concept of identity is understood as constructed through social interaction. Underlying this view is the notion that human beings are holistic entities, in which corporeality, consciousness and situationality are simultaneously present. The concept of identity is seen as a social construct and, accordingly, humans are understood as active corporeal beings functioning in an extensive ecosystem. Interaction between humans and their living environment is manifested in three types of relations: relations that alter reality, that is, interaction with the material environment, relations that are based on symbolic communication, and power relations. The analysis and reporting are founded on the concept of space, which is manifested in the corpus as concrete, mental or abstract and metaphorical space. The construction of identity is perceived as taking place in spatial dimensions which are simultaneously present. These dimensions may be defined as cultural space which assumes mythical features, relational space based on human interaction, the home as an experiential and lived space, reflective space based on current and future definitions of the self, and the space of moral emotions. The maternal identity of women living apart from their children is constructed in a contradictory space. The women consider themselves as good mothers. They construct their maternal identity according to the ethics of concern, responsibility and care. However, the women are discredited in their own communities and stigmatised for abandoning their children. In reality, most of the mothers have had to accept (in some cases voluntarily) a solution they would rather have rejected. In the course of the research, the relationship with the children’s father emerged as an important element in the construction of maternal identity. Most of the women have had a violent spouse, who has controlled the family home and limited the mother’s space. However, a close connection with the child after the parents’ separation aids in constructing a positive maternal identity despite the guilt felt by the women because they cannot look after their children’s everyday needs. The mothers interviewed for this dissertation construct their identity in the paradoxical space of strength and fragility.
  • Nousiainen (nyk. Varjonen), Silja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Malnutrition in early life has long-lasting and irreversible consequences, and it is estimated to be the cause of nearly half of the deaths in children under the age of five. Most child undernutrition occurs in the period of complementary feeding, when breast milk is gradually being replaced by complementary foods. Undernutrition is caused by inadequate nutrient and energy intakes and diseases that result from poor feeding practices. Complementary feeding includes a complex set of behaviours and decisions, which are in turn influenced by a vast number of determinants, such as caregiver s knowledge and skills, time constraints, social support system and community context. The aim of this study is to qualitatively investigate mothers perceptions of complementary feeding and to evaluate the influence of household and community context on complementary food choices in rural area of Southern Benin. Child undernutrition is extremely prevalent in Benin, and 45 % of children under the age of five are chronically malnourished. Two remote rural villages in the Mono region of Benin were selected for the study. The sample consisted of mothers who had a child aged 6 to 24 months. Purposeful sampling was used. Data was collected through individual interviews with structured and open-ended questions (n=30) and six focus group discussions. Four groups were organised for caregivers (n=34) and two for healthcare and social workers in the region (n=13). Translated and transcribed data was systematically coded with the Atlas.ti program and analysed using qualitative content and thematic analysis. The analysis was inductive and data-driven. Data and methodological triangulation were used in order to evaluate the validity and credibility of data, which was collected using different research methods. Young children in the villages were not fed according to WHO recommendations. Complementary foods lacked variety and especially animal-source foods were limited. Children were usually fed maize gruel or porridge, which were seldom supplemented with more nutritious ingredients. Four themes were formed of the determinants of feeding practices: maternal knowledge framework, child characteristics, household context and community context. Mothers had several ways to rationalise why certain foods were better than others. Mothers considered macaroni, maize gruel and porridge to be the most suitable and healthy foods for young children. However, mothers also valued locally available, more nutritious products, such as eggs, beans and green leafy vegetables. No food taboos concerning feeding of young children existed in the villages. Children started eating family foods from a very early age, and separate foods were hardly ever prepared for them. Mothers made many feeding decisions based on children s behaviour, cues and development level. Mothers seemed to have quite a lot of power over infant feeding decisions on the household level, but also the older generation and fathers influenced feeding choices. Fathers decided how money was spent in the household and grandmothers tried to maintain the traditional ways of child care. The main reason for poor feeding practices was poverty, which limited the choice of foods and the time mothers had for child care. Rural migration led to fathers being absent from families, increasing mothers work burden. These results suggest that there are several possible barriers and also enablers of optimal complementary feeding in the study villages.
  • Saarsalmi, Auli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    Tarkastelen pro gradu -tutkielmassani naiskysymystä Seitsemännen päivän adventtikirkon oppiäiti Ellen Whiten (1827 1915) terveysopetuksessa. White tunnetaan ennen kaikkea näyistään, joiden välityksellä hän koki saavansa Jumalalta hyvinvointiin liittyviä ohjeita. White kirjoitti näkyjensä innoittama terveysoppaita ja julisti pääasiassa Yhdysvalloissa yli 70 vuotta. Päälähteenäni ovat kaksi Whiten omaelämäkertaa vuosilta 1880 ja 1915 sekä 83 artikkelia, jotka hän julkaisi adventistien johtavassa terveyslehdessä, Health Reformerissa, vuosina 1866 1878. Tutkimuskysymykseni ovat, miksi White osoitti lähes kaiken terveyteen liittyvän opetuksensa naisille ja miten hän ymmärsi terveyden osana naisen roolia ja tehtäviä. Tulkintani mukaan White julisti naisille, sillä hän uskoi, että naisen asema oli selkeytettävä. Yhdysvallat teollistui ja kaupungistui nopeasti 1800-luvulla, mikä aiheutti naisille taloudellisia, sosiaalisia ja terveyteen liittyviä ongelmia. Lisäksi toinen suuri herätys (1800 1830) synnytti keskustelua naisen roolista. Monet kirkot antoivat naisille luvan esimerkiksi saarnaamiseen, mutta Yhdysvalloissa vahvistui samaan aikaan myös käsitys naisesta kodin uskonnollisena johtajana. Ymmärrän, että Whiten mukaan ratkaisu naisen sekavaan asemaan oli terveys. Uskon, että Whiten mukaan nainen pystyi ottamaan oman paikkansa yhteiskunnassa, mikäli hän pysyi terveenä ja oppi tuntemaan terveyden periaatteet. Toisaalta White sai vaikutteita naisten yhteiskunnallisten oikeuksien puolustajilta. He ajattelivat, että vain koulutettu ja terve nainen kykeni vapautumaan avioliitosta. Toisaalta White oli naisasianaisia maltillisempi. Hän ymmärsi, että vain terve ja terveyskoulutuksen saanut nainen saattoi olla hyvä äiti. Ellen White osallistui terveysopetuksellaan keskusteluun myös naisen uskonnollisesta roolista. White oli itse kiertelevä terveyssaarnaaja. Silti hän ymmärsi, että muiden naisten kutsumus oli olla terve ja koulutettu äiti. White korosti äitien pyhyyttä luultavasti siksi, että hän pyrki turvaamaan oman auktoriteettiasemansa Adventtikirkossa. White myös luultavasti ymmärsi roolinsa ja tehtävänsä poikkeuksellisiksi ja arvosti vilpittömästi äitiyttä. Whiten mukaan äidin tehtävä oli kasvattaa terveitä ja moraalisia kansalaisia. Tehtävän arvon hän perusteli aikansa tieteellisillä teorioilla. White korosti luonnontieteilijä Charles Darwinin (1809 1882) evoluutioteorian mukaisesti, että äidin velvollisuus oli siirtää lapsilleen hyvä terveys. Käsityksensä terveyden ja moraalin suhteesta hän selitti frenologialla, jonka mukaan ihmisen elämäntavat vaikuttivat hänen luonteenpiirteisiinsä. White oli myös todennäköisesti kiinnostunut sosiaalitieteilijä Herbert Spencerin (1820 1903) ajatuksista, joiden mukaan kansalaisten kehittyessä myös yhteiskunta jalostui yhä paremmaksi. Vaikka White perusteli opetustaan modernilla tieteellä, hän oli ennen kaikkea uskonnollinen julistaja. Hän kuului 1840-luvulla herätyssaarnaaja William Millerin (1782 1849) liikkeeseen, jonka jäsenet uskoivat, että Jumala tuhoaa Yhdysvallat viimeisellä tuomiolla, mikäli kansan moraalin tila ei nopeasti kohene. Millerin liikkeen painotukset säilyivät Adventtikirkossa, joka perustettiin vuonna 1863. Siten White ymmärsi, ettei äiti ollut vastuussa vain perheensä ja kansansa maallisesta hyvinvoinnista vaan myös heidän pelastuksestaan. Whiten käsitys äidistä on mielestäni ristiriitainen. White antoi äideille paljon valtaa, mutta myös suuren vastuun. Hän korosti äitien arvokkuutta, mutta toisaalta he eivät olleet hänen mukaansa korvaamattomia. White ei myöskään huomioinut naisia, jotka eivät olleet äitejä.
  • Wallius, Tuulikki (2004)
    Tutkimuksen tarkoituksena on selvittää työväenopiston kahden kielikurssiryhmän opiskelijoiden opiskelumotiiveja, sekä sitä minkälaista vuorovaikutusta tutkituissa ryhmissä tapahtuu. Tutkimuksessa tarkastellaan opiskelijoiden opinnollisia ja sosiaalisia motiiveja opintoja aloitettaessa ja niitä jatkettaessa. Tutkimuksessa tarkastellaan myös kahdessa työväenopiston kieliryhmässä tapahtuvaa vuorovaikutusta erilaisista näkökulmista käsin sekä sosiaalisten motiivien ja vuorovaikutuksen välistä yhteyttä. Tutkimuksen teoreettisena lähtökohtana on opiskelumotiivien instrumentaalinen ja ekspressiivinen jako, jota motiivien jako opinnollisiin ja sosiaalisiin motiiveihin myötäilee. Opintoryhmien vuorovaikutusta lähestytään sosiaalisen verkoston käsitteestä käsin. Lähtökohtana on tällöin käsitys, että ryhmissä tapahtuva vuorovaikutus voidaan nähdä kurssiryhmän sosiaalisena verkostona. Tutkimuksen empiirinen aineisto kerättiin verkostokyselylomakkeen sekä teemahaastatteluiden avulla. Tutkimukseen valitut kieliryhmät olivat kielten jatkoryhmiä, jotka olivat kokoontuneet useamman vuoden ajan. Tutkimukseen osallistui 18 työväenopiston oppilasta. Verkostokyselylomakkeen täytti 18 oppilasta ja haastateltuja oppilaita oli 14. Verkostokyselylomakkeet analysoitiin verkostoanalyysin avulla. Teemahaastattelut puolestaan analysoitiin kvalitatiivisin menetelmin. Tutkimuksessa havaittiin, että tutkittujen opiskelijoiden opinnolliset aloittamismotiivit olivat yhteydessä opiskelun kokemiseen harrastuksena. Tämä näkyi siinä, että ennemminkin kuin jokin konkreettinen päämäärä, haastateltujen opinnollisista motiiveista yleisin oli yleinen kiinnostus opiskeltavaa kieltä ja kulttuuria kohtaan. Sosiaaliset aloitusmotiivit näyttelivät lähes marginaalista osaa niiden syiden joukossa, jotka johtivat opiskelun aloittamiseen. Opinnolliset jatkamismotiivit pysyivät opiskelun kuluessa lähes yhtenevinä opiskelun opinnollisten aloittamismotiivien kanssa. Sosiaaliset motiivit puolestaan tulivat tärkeiksi opiskelun jatkuessa. Kurssin hyväksi koettu ilmapiiri oli molemmissa tutkituissa ryhmissä tärkein yksittäinen sosiaalinen jatkamismotiivi. Toisessa tutkituista ryhmistä, ryhmä A:ssa myös ystävyys- ja tuttavussuhteiden merkitystä opintojen jatkamiselle voitiin pitää merkittävinä. Ryhmässä B ei juuri esiintynyt oppilaiden välisiä ystävyys- tai tuttavuussuhteita. Ryhmien vuorovaikutusta tarkasteltaessa havaittiin, että ryhmien vuorovaikutusrakenteet erosivat toisistaan merkittävästi. Opetusryhmän oppilaiden keskinäinen vuorovaikutus osoittautui kokonaisuudessaan huomattavasti ryhmä B:tä tiiviimmäksi sekä verkostoanalyysiin että haastatteluaineiston analyysiin avulla tarkasteltuna. Ryhmä B:n sosiaalista vuorovaikutusta kuvasi opettajan keskeinen asema vuorovaikutuksen luomisessa, kun taas ryhmä A:ssa vuorovaikutus perustui pitkälti kurssin oppilaiden yhteistoimintaan. Ryhmä A:n sosiaaliset motiivit olivatkin yhteydessä opintoryhmäläisten keskinäiseen vuorovaikutukseen. Ryhmä B:n sosiaaliset motiivit olivat puolestaan yhteydessä oppilaiden ja opettajan väliseen vuorovaikutukseen.
  • Tapola, Anna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    The purpose of this thesis was to increase understanding about the dynamics of student motivation, focusing on the relations between individual characteristics, the learning context and motivational states. Particular emphasis was placed on the role of students individual motivational tendencies (i.e., achievement goal orientations) in interpreting and approaching learning situations and tasks. The evolving nature of motivational states was also acknowledged. Accordingly, Study I examined how sixth-grade students (N = 208) with different achievement goal orientation profiles differed in their perceptions of and preferences for the classroom environment. In Study II, the focus was on the changes in and interaction between ninth-grade students (N = 100) situational interest and self-efficacy during a problem-solving task. An experimental design was used in Studies III and IV to examine the changes in situational interest among fourth to sixth grade students as a function of student and task characteristics. Study III tested the predictive relationships between achievement goal orientations, individual interest, prior knowledge, the task condition and situational interest (N = 57), whereas Study IV focused on the interaction effect of the students goal orientation group and the task characteristics (N = 140). Studies II, III and IV also examined the predictors of task-related learning outcomes. Variable- and person-centred methodological approaches resulted in the following findings. First, students with different motivational profiles varied in their perceptions of and preferences for certain features of their classroom environment (Study I). Second, the students goal orientations and individual interest influenced the arousal of and changes in situational interest during a learning task (Studies III & IV). Third, the evolvement of situational interest and self-efficacy turned out to be interrelated (Study II), and the changes in these constructs during the task to be dependent on both the students individual characteristics and the task features (Studies II, III & IV). Fourth, students with different motivational profiles investigated in Study IV showed different patterns of change in their situational interest depending on the task condition. In terms of learning outcomes, in addition to prior knowledge or competence, motivational factors also had independent effects on performance. For example, self-efficacy predicted learning outcomes (Study II), and there were indications that an increase in situational interest had a beneficial effect on learning (Studies II & III). ------ To conclude, the results indicated that characteristic motivational tendencies influence the way students perceive and interpret environmental cues and approach learning tasks. The evolvement of their motivational states turned out to be dependent on different types of student and task characteristics, and their interaction. Consequently, it is argued that both individual and situational factors, and their possible interactions, should be taken into account when examining students motivational states and task engagement. The findings also emphasize the importance of recognizing individual differences in students motivational resources, or lack of them, in everyday learning situations.
  • Tuisku, Katinka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2002)
  • Pohja, Marjatta (Helsingin yliopisto, 2005)
  • Ameel, Lieven (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    This study analyses experiences of Helsinki in prose fiction published in Finnish in the period 1889-1941. It examines the relationships that are formed between Helsinki and fictional characters, focusing, especially, on the way in which urban public space is experienced. Particular attention is given to the description of movement through urban space. The primary material consists of more than sixty novels, collections of short stories and individual short stories. Theoretically, this study draws on two sets of frameworks: on the one hand, the expanding field of literary studies of the city, and on the other hand, theoretical concepts provided by humanistic and critical geography, as well as urban studies. Following an introduction, which includes a concise history of Helsinki, a theoretical chapter charts the relevant concepts and theoretical approaches to the city in literature. The analysis of the selected corpus is divided into five chapters, loosely following a chronological order and structured thematically. In each chapter, one key text is used as a window from which to approach particular thematics. The third chapter analyses experiences of arrival in the city, using Juhani Aho s Helsinkiin (1889) as a prototypical text. The fourth chapter studies experiences of urban public space around the turn of the century, with particular attention given to Eino Leino s Jaana Rönty (1907). In the fifth chapter, Arvid Järnefelt s kaleidoscopic Veneh ojalaiset (1909) functions as a key novel to approach experiences of a transforming and even disappearing Helsinki. The sixth chapter, focusing on Mika Waltari s Suuri illusioni (1928), analyses the aestheticization and internalization of the urban experience in 1920s and 1930s Helsinki novels. The seventh and final chapter examines the cumbersome movement of socially marginalized characters on the urban fringes, with Joel Lehtonen s Henkien taistelu (1933) as a key primary text. This study argues that around the turn of the twentieth century, literary Helsinki was approached from a surprisingly rich variety of generic and thematic perspectives which were in close dialogue with international contemporary traditions and age-old images of the city, and defined by events typical of Helsinki s own history. This created a fascinating and varied imagination of the city that set the tone for later literary descriptions. Helsinki literature of the 1920s and 1930s further developed the defining traits that took form around the turn of the century, adding a number of new thematic and stylistic nuances. The city experience was increasingly aestheticized and internalized, and as the description of the city moved inwards, the experience of Helsinki became dominated by a sense of centrifugal dynamics. The centre of the city became less prominent in literature, and in its place, the margins of the city and specific socially defined neighbourhoods gain in importance.
  • Gabrenaite-Verkhovskaya, Rasa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    The particles of Potato virus A (PVA; genus Potyvirus) are helically constructed filaments that contain multiple copies of a single type of coat-protein (CP) subunit and a single copy of genome-linked protein (VPg), attached to one end of the virion. Examination of negatively-stained virions by electron microscopy revealed flexuous, rod-shaped particles with no obvious terminal structures. It is known that particles of several filamentous plant viruses incorporate additional minor protein components, forming stable complexes that mediate particle disassembly, movement or transmission by insect vectors. The first objective of this work was to study the interaction of PVA movement-associated proteins with virus particles and how these interactions contribute to the morphology and function of the virus particles. Purified particles of PVA were examined by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and immuno-gold electron microscopy. A protrusion was found at one end of some of the potyvirus particles, associated with the 5' end of the viral RNA. The tip contained two virus-encoded proteins, the genome-linked protein (VPg) and the helper-component proteinase (HC-Pro). Both are required for cell-to-cell movement of the virus. Biochemical and electron microscopy studies of purified PVA samples also revealed the presence of another protein required for cell-to-cell movement the cylindrical inclusion protein (CI), which is also an RNA helicase/ATPase. Centrifugation through a 5-40% sucrose gradient separated virus particles with no detectable CI to a fraction that remained in the gradient, from the CI-associated particles that went to the pellet. Both types of particles were infectious. AFM and translation experiments demonstrated that when the viral CI was not present in the sample, PVA virions had a beads-on-a-string phenotype, and RNA within the virus particles was more accessible to translation. The second objective of this work was to study phosphorylation of PVA movement-associated and structural proteins (CP and VPg) in vitro and, if possible, in vivo. PVA virion structural protein CP is necessary for virus cell-to-cell movement. The tobacco protein kinase CK2 was identified as a kinase phosphorylating PVA CP. A major site of CK2 phosphorylation in PVA CP was identified as a single threonine within a CK2 consensus sequence. Amino acid substitutions affecting the CK2 consensus sequence in CP resulted in viruses that were defective in cell-to-cell and long-distance movement. The CK2 regulation of virion assembly and cell-to-cell movement by phosphorylation of CP was possibly due to the inhibition of CP binding to viral RNA. Four putative phosphorylation sites were identified from an in vitro phosphorylated recombinant VPg. All four were mutated and the spread of mutant viruses in two different host plants was studied. Two putative phosphorylation site mutants (Thr45 and Thr49) had phenotypes identical to that of a wild type (WT) virus infection in both Nicotiana benthamiana and N. tabacum plants. The other two mutant viruses (Thr132/Ser133 and Thr168) showed different phenotypes with increased or decreased accumulation rates, respectively, in inoculated and the first two systemically infected leaves of N. benthamiana. The same mutants were occasionally restricted to single cells in N. tabacum plants, suggesting the importance of these amino acids in the PVA infection cycle in N. tabacum.
  • Heinonen, Mira (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. Although its prognosis has improved nowadays, methods to predict the progression of the disease or to treat it are not comprehensive. This thesis work was initiated to elucidate in breast carcinogenesis the role of HuR, a ubiquitously expressed mRNA-binding protein that regulates gene expression posttranscriptionally. HuR is predominantly nuclear, but it shuttles between the nucleus and the cytoplasm, and this nucleocytoplasmic translocation is important for its function as a RNA-stabilizing and translational regulator. HuR has been associated with diverse cellular processes, for example carcinogenesis. The specific aims of my thesis work were to study the prognostic value of HuR in breast cancer and to clarify the mechanisms by which HuR contributes to breast carcinogenesis. My ultimate goal is, by better understanding the role of HuR in breast carcinogenesis, to aid in the discovery of novel targets for cancer therapies. HuR expression and localization was studied in paraffin-embedded preinvasive (atypical ductal hyperplasia, ADH, and ductal carcinoma in situ, DCIS) specimens as well in sporadic and familial breast cancer specimens. Our results show that cytoplasmic HuR expression was already elevated in ADH and remained elevated in DCIS as well as in cancer specimens. Clinicopathological analysis showed that cytoplasmic HuR expression associated with the more aggressive form of the disease in DCIS, and in cancer specimens it proved an independent marker for poor prognosis. Importantly, cytoplasmic HuR expression was significantly associated with poor outcome in the subgroups of small (2 cm) and axillary lymph node-negative breast cancers. HuR proved to be the first mRNA stability protein the expression of which is associated in breast cancer with poor outcome. To explore the mechanisms of HuR in breast carcinogenesis, lentiviral constructs were developed to inhibit and to overexpress the HuR expression in a breast epithelial cell line (184B5Me). Our results suggest that HuR mediates breast carcinogenesis by participating in processes important in cell transformation, in programmed cell death, and in cell invasion. Global gene expression analysis shows that HuR regulates genes participating in diverse cellular processes, and affects several pathways important in cancer development. In addition, we identified two novel target transcripts (connective tissue growth factor, CTGF, and Ras oncogene family member 31, RAB31) for HuR. In conclusion, because cytoplasmic HuR expression in breast cancer can predict the outcome of the disease it could serve in clinics as a prognostic marker. HuR accumulates in the cytoplasm even at its non-invasive stage (ADH and DCIS) of the carcinogenic process and supports functions essential in cell alteration. These data suggest that HuR contributes to carcinogenesis of the breast epithelium.
  • Stenman, Jakob (Helsingin yliopisto, 2002)
  • Wuorinen, Olli (1927)