Browsing by Title

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1380-1399 of 27948
  • Virtanen, Jenni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2005)
  • Boberg, Johanna (Helsingfors universitet, 2009)
    Phytoplasmas are plant pathogenic phloem colonizing bacteria-like organisms. They can cause severe growth disorders in plants and thus weaken the productivity of crop plants or even kill them. Phytoplasmas have not caused any epidemics on crop plants in Finland and thus they have been little studied. The aim of this study was to find out if plants that have phytoplasma-like symptoms are actually infected by phytoplasmas. Plants with growth disorders were collected and their DNA was extracted. Phytoplasmal DNA was multiplied from the samples using PCR with phytoplasma-specific primers P1 and P7. The products were sequenced and compared with sequences available from databases. Phylogenetic trees were constructed to show the kinship between the phytoplasmas. In this thesis X-disease phytoplasmas were found from dandelion (Taraxacum spp. Weber), scentless mayweed (Tripleurospermun inodorum Schultz Bip.), creeping thistle (Cirsium arvense L.), alsike clover (Trifolium hybridum L.) and blueberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.). Aster yellows phytoplasma was found from one red clover (Trifolium pratense L.). Data on phytoplasmas has not been published in other Nordic countries. In Lithuania phytoplasmas have been detected in several plant species such as raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.), sour cherry (Prunus cerasus L.), apple (Malus sp. Mill.), barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), oat (Avena sativa L.) and several other grasses that also grow in Finland. The climate change can increase the amount of vector insects in Finland, which will most likely help phytoplasmas spread more efficiently and cause diseases also on crop plants. The import of plants from other countries may enable the spread of new vector and phytoplasma species in Finland.
  • Kauppi, Paula (Helsingin yliopisto, 2001)
  • Karvala, Kirsi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    Indoor dampness and mold are associated with adverse respiratory health effects, of which asthma is the most frequently diagnosed disease. Respiratory and non-specific symptoms related to building dampness are usually transient, but persistent symptoms appear to be common for some persons, even despite building repairs or a change to an alternative work environment. The study assessed methods for diagnosing occupational asthma induced by indoor dampness and mold. A retrospective analysis of a group of patients examined at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health in 1995-2004 was conducted. All of the examined 2200 workers had respiratory symptoms related to workplace dampness. According to this study, serial PEF monitoring is an applicable method in the clinical evaluation of occupational asthma induced by indoor dampness. An individual exposure assessment can be based on descriptions of the extent and location of the moisture and mold damage in the building structures and on microbial measurements. Specific IgE-mediated sensitization to molds occurs, but in a small proportion of cases only. Mechanisms of dampness-related asthma remain largely unknown. The patients were followed-up with a questionnaire survey 3-12 years after the baseline examinations. The results suggest that, for workers with work-related asthma-like symptoms occurring in relation to indoor dampness and molds at work, continuing to work in such environments creates a risk for developing asthma. Preventive measures to avoid further exposure seem to be relevant in order to prevent the development of asthma. In practice, such measures would involve the remediation of moisture and mold damage or the relocation of workers to a non-moisture damaged environment. Follow-up at occupational health services is recommended for patients with respiratory symptoms related to workplace dampness. In addition, the long-term effects on the quality of life and work ability of these workers were evaluated. Patients diagnosed with occupational asthma had worse outcomes than did patients with non-occupational asthma or only respiratory symptoms without asthma at the baseline. A perceived poor social climate at work and poor experiences with the supervisor s cooperation at an early stage of symptoms were determinants for impaired self-assessed work ability and early withdrawal from work. In addition, multiple, persistent, indoor-air symptoms at the time of the follow-up increased the risk of poor self-assessed work ability. The results are in accordance with the widely recognized fact that the causes of disability are multifactorial and are not associated with medical conditions only. More apt measures, for example, early support and workplace management practices concerning work ability, are required.
  • Tervahauta, Ulla (2013)
    This study on the Authentikos Logos (NHC VI,3) analyses the writing and its story of the soul s descent and ascent. The aim of the work was to find a context to the little studied Nag Hammadi writing that has been thus far dated to the second century. On the basis of comparative analysis this study agues that that date is too early. It is proposed instead that AL was composed sometime between the third and the fifth centuries. The manuscript, language, and the genre of AL are first discussed, and the broad lines of late ancient Egyptian Christianity are sketched. To shed light on the Christianity of the text, use of scriptures in AL is analysed in several chapters. The story of the soul s descent and ascent is compared with Christian and Platonic authors. The closest point of comparison is The Exegesis on the Soul (NHC II,6), but despite the general similarity between the texts, this study argues that the emphasis in the AL is on the soul s struggle towards its goal, whereas Exeg. Soul emphasises repentance and the help of the heavenly Father. The relationship of AL with the Valentinian Wisdom myth is discussed, with the outcome that there is no firm evidence to connect the writing closely with Valentinian traditions. Comparisons with Plato, Origen, and Plotinus suggest a Platonic mind-set; however, no literary dependency can be assumed. AL contains four specific epithets attached to the soul: the invisible soul , the pneumatic soul , the material soul , and the rational soul . The combination of the epithets is unique, and the individual terms point in different directions. The invisible soul is not used otherwise in the Nag Hammadi library. The pneumatic soul is a rare term only used by Synesius of Cyrene and John Chrysostom. The material soul is known in Sethian and Valentinian texts, whereas the rational soul is widely attested in ancient texts, but in the Nag Hammadi library it only appears in the AL and the Asclepius excerpt (NHC VI,8). Analysis on the views on matter in the AL suggest an emphasis on ethics, and the evilness of matter. Matter is furthermore combined with Christian scriptural allusions. Views on the soul are connected with views on the body and human life. The body is the soul s place of contest and progress. To ascend, the soul, enveloped in a pneumatic body must pass aerial powers invisibly; the Pauline term is used allusively, but with a Platonic perspective. Several texts that circulated amongst Christians in late ancient Egypt and discuss the soul s ascent are brought into the discussion (The Apocalypse of Paul, The First Apocalypse of James, the Gospel of Mary, Asclepius, and Life of Antony). The comparison reveals that AL aligns more with the two latter that emphasise ethics and stands at some distance from the Codex V accounts and the Gospel of Mary.
  • Virkkunen, Matleena (2008)
    This research paper examines the subject positions of the Nicaraguan peasant women who participated in development projects. The women are a part of the target group of the projects. The concept of subject position refers in this research to the women's socially constructed position in the development projects. I also analyse the discourses of development and poverty that the Nicaraguan women produce. The discourses of the women are compared to the so called hegemonic discourses of development. The hegemonic discourses and their critique are introduced during the research. The theoretical framework of the research is constructed by social constructionism and critical discourse analysis. I have approached the subject positions of the Nicaraguan women with the help of textual analysis and narratology. This research can be conceptualised as a part of the ethnographic development research. I have investigated two development projects funded by foreign donors. The research material consists of the private and group interviews of the Nicaraguan women. In the women's narratives, four different subject positions were found. One of them represents active participation in the development project. The rest of the subject positions represent passive positions. The fatalistic subject position was especially strong. The poverty discourses of the women emphasized the lack of education (or knowledge) and the condition of a house and clothes. Poverty was also seen for instance as social inequality and as happiness. The strongest development discourse the women emphasized was education, work and a good salary. On the other hand, development was seen as the social services produced by the state. Research shows that the discourses produced by the Nicaraguan women are many times in conflict with the discourses that emphasize the economical well-being in development. On the other hand, the results of this research are similar with those of so called participatory poverty research. The research also shows the conflict between the hegemonic development discourses and the positioning of the development project's target group. The main argument of the research is that the target group's passive (or even fatalistic) subject position may threat the aims of a development project. On the other hand, becoming aware of the target group's subject positions may help the project to achieve its aims.
  • Utge, Siddheshwar J. (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    Depression is a complex psychiatric disorder that comprises a variety of symptoms. In addition to depressed mood state, depression has symptoms of disturbed sleep such as early morning awakenings and fatigue. Poor sleep has been demonstrated to be one of the modifiable risk factors in the onset of depression. However, the mechanisms remain largely unknown. In the present study, depressive patients from the Finnish population-based samples were grouped according to the presence or absence of disturbed sleep. The genetic background of depression was hypothesized to be different between the groups. The regulation of sleep, and of mood, was assumed to partly share a common genetic background. The aim of this thesis was to identify genetic variants associated with depression and disturbed sleep in order to gain a better understanding of this hypothesis in the population-based Finnish samples. First, the association between genetic markers from 14 functionally-relevant candidate genes was assessed. These genes were related to serotonergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission, to neural plasticity, and to the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA-axis) with depression, depression with early morning awakenings, and depression with fatigue in a sample from the population-based Health 2000 survey. Overall, 1654 individuals were studied (384 depressed patients and 1270 population-matched controls). The data suggested that allelic variants from a gene coding for a key regulatory protein of the serotonergic neurotransmission system, TPH2, is associated with depression accompanied by fatigue in females. An association between a numbers of genes related to glutamatergic neurotransmission and neural plasticity, such as GAD1, GRIA3, and BDNF with depression accompanied by fatigue in females. A significant association between CREB1, a neural plasticity related gene, and depression in men, was also identified. Of the genes related to the HPA-axis, an association was found between CRHR1 and depression accompanied by early morning awakenings in females. The hypothesis was then expanded to encompass 18 genes from the circadian system in the same study subjects (N=1654) from the Health 2000 cohort. In this study, a significant association of two distinctive allelic variants of TIMELESS was associated with depression accompanied by fatigue (Permutation-based corrected empirical P=0.0056), to seasonal mood fluctuation (Pointwise P=0.016) in females, and with depression accompanied by early morning awakenings (Permutation-based corrected empirical P=0.0374) in males. In an independent set of 1512 control individuals (Genmets (D-) sample) from the complete Health 2000 cohort, the same variant was also associated with seasonal mood fluctuation (Pointwise P=0.036) in females, and with early morning awakenings (Pointwise P=0.038) or fatigue (Pointwise P=0.0016) in healthy males. Finally, the shared genetic background for sleep and mood in healthy individuals (N=3147) drawn from the population-based Health 2000 and FINRISK study 2007 survey was examined. In this study, for association analyses with sleep duration, 23 variants from 12 candidate genes were selected that had shown association (P less than 0.05) with depression and disturbed sleep in studies I and II. A significant association of a GRIA3 variation with sleep duration in females (Permutation-based corrected empirical P=0.00001) was identified. The frequency of the allele which associated with depression was highest among females who slept for 8 hours or less in all age groups younger than 70 years. However, no prominent associations were found among males, suggesting a sex-specific effect for the X-chromosomal GRIA3 gene. In conclusion, these results support the involvement of genes related to serotonergic (TPH2) or glutamatergic neurotransmission (GAD1, GRIA3), to neural plasticity (CREB1), to the HPA-axis (CRHR1), and the circadian system (TIMELESS), in the genetic aetiology of depression and disturbed sleep. The results obtained in this thesis support the hypothesis that the different phenotypes of depression and disturbed sleep would also be genetically distinct. Depression is heterogeneous and its genetic background may be partly different in women and men. This study also shows that the regulation of sleep and of mood may have a common genetic background.
  • Murto, Laura (2002)
    Tutkielmassa tarkastellaan ympäristödiskursseja ympäristöhuolen käsitteen kautta. Tutkimuksen tarkoituksena on kartoittaa nyky-Suomessa esiintyviä ympäristödiskursseja. Tutkimusaineisto koostuu 14 teemahaastattelusta. Vaikka haastattelujen määrä on verrattain pieni, ovat kaikki haastateltavat jonkin kunnallisen ympäristöorganisaation edustajia (ympäristölautakunnan, paikallisen luonnonsuojeluyhdistyksen ja paikallisen asukasyhdistyksen). Heidän käytettävissään olevan ympäristödiskurssien repertuuarin oletetaan olevan tavallista laajampi, ja täten edustavampi. Toisessa luvussa ympäristöhuolen käsitettä tarkastellaan ensin yleisellä tasolla käymällä läpi sekä Suomen ympäristöhistoriaa että nykyistä kunnallista ympäristöorganisaatiota. Kolmannessa luvussa käydään läpi ympäristöpolitiikkaa tutkimusalueena. Luvussa tarkastellaan mm. itse ympäristöliikettä, ympäristöliikkeen eri muotoja ja kolmea ekologisen modernisaation teoriaa hyödyntävää suomalaista tutkimusta kunnallisesta ympäristöpolitiikasta. Teorian tarkastelu auttaa tarkentamaan varsinaista teoreettista viitekehystä, joka rakentuu Youngin ja Eckersleyn deliberatiivisen teorian kritiikkiin. Soveltamalla ympäristöhuolen käsitettä kumpaakin teoriaan, saa ympäristöhuoli kaksi mahdollista teoreettista merkitystä: se on joko elinympäristöön liittyvä huoli tai luonnon etuihin liittyvä kannanotto. Nämä kaksi merkitystä usein sekottuvat arkipuheessa, mikä on tärkeää pitää mielessä analyysiä tehdessä. Varsinaisessa analyysissä jokainen haastattelu analysoidaan diskurssianalyysi –menetelmää hyödyntäen. Haastatteluista analysoidaan aina ensin vastaus kysymykseen “Mikä sinusta on hyväksyttävä tapa hyödyntää luontoa tai ympäristöä?”, minkä jälkeen tarkastellaan erikseen muita haastattelussa esiintyviä ympäristödiskursseja. Analyysin lopputulos on se, että haastatteluista löytyy hyvin laaja ympäristödiskurssien repertuaari. Repertuaarin yhdessä ääripäässä oleva ympäristödiskurssi on yksitysomaisuuteen ja henkilökohtaiseen kokemukseen rajoittuva, kun taas toisessa ääripäässä oleva perustuu hyvin laajaan käsitteeseen yhteisöstä. Tämän perusteella haastattelut/ympäristödiskurssit jaettiin kolmeen isoon ryhmään: “tarkkailijan sijainti määrää ympäristön”, “puhdas ympäristö on erottamaton osa ihmisen hyvinvointia” ja “luonto osana laajempaa (moraalista) yhteisöä”. Tämän lisäksi jokaiselle haastattelulle annettiin oma otsikko, jotta ryhmien sisällä oleva repertuaarien kirjo tulisi paremmin esille. Repertuaarikirjosta huolimatta suurin osa ympäristödiskursseista ilmentyy huolena ihmisen terveydestä.
  • Acharya, Abha (2014)
    This thesis examines the potential fungibility of foreign assistance to the Government of Nepal using two methods: an econometric model and a modified ORANI-G, a Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model. I use the econometric model to corroborate the findings of the CGE model and to determine whether such a model can produce credible empirical evidence on aid fungibility. Both models indicate presence of general and categorical fungibility, and non-additionality in the use of aid in Nepal. I begin with a partial equilibrium econometric model to estimate government expenditures using a Seemingly Unrelated Regression (SUR). At the sectoral level, categorical aid is prone to reshuffling generating overall negative development investments in most of the sectors. At the aggregate level, a unit of aid produces a meagre 0.33 units of additional development expenditures in the Nepalese government budget. In addition, aid partially finances non-development expenditures, but only slightly enhances the governments’ own revenue effort. Next, I utilize the ORANI-G model with a Klein-Rubin functional form for government behaviour, rigidities in the labour market, and some additional parameters to study aid fungibility in Nepal. This produces results that are analogous to the econometric model. Foreign assistance to Nepal exhibits a high level of general and categorical fungibility, with an insignificant increase in revenue collection. Overall, a unit of aid stimulates only a 0.45 units of additional development expenditures in the Nepalese government budget. In using the CGE model to study fungibility, this thesis develops a new method of analyzing the research question whereas, previous studies use models in a partial equilibrium setting, failing to account for decision-making processes of the government. This thesis is an attempt to expand on the existing literature by introducing CGE models in the study of aid fungibility and to motivate further study into fungibility using CGE modelling.
  • Andersson, Seppo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    The purpose of this study was to develop practical and reliable x-ray scattering methods to study the nanostructure of the wood cell wall and to use these methods to systematically study the nanostructure of Norway spruce and Scots pine grown in Finland and Sweden. Methods to determine the microfibril angle (MFA) distribution, the crystallinity of wood, and the average size of cellulose crystallites using wide-angle x-ray scattering were developed and these parameters were determined as a function of the number of the year ring. The mean MFA in Norway spruce decreases rapidly as a function of the number of the year ring and after the 7th year ring it varies between 6° and 10°. The mean MFA of Scots pine behaves the same way as the mean MFA of Norway spruce. The thickness of cellulose crystallites for Norway spruce and Scots pine appears to be constant as a function of the number of the year ring. The obtained mean values are 32 Å for Norway spruce and 31 Å for Scots pine. The length of the cellulose crystallites was also quite constant as a function of the year ring. The mean length of the crystallites for Norway spruce was 364 Å, while the standard deviation was 27 Å. The mass fraction of crystalline cellulose in wood is the crystallinity of wood and the intrinsic crystallinity of cellulose is the crystallinity of cellulose. The crystallinity of wood increases from the 2nd year ring to the 10th year ring from the pith and is constant after the 10th year ring. The crystallinity of cellulose obtained using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy was 52% for both species. The crystallinity of wood and the crystallinity of cellulose behave the same way in Norway spruce and Scots pine. The methods were also applied to studies on thermally modified Scots pine wood grown in Finland. Wood is modified thermally by heating and steaming in order to improve its properties such as biological resistance and dimensional stability. Modification temperatures varied from 100 °C to 240 °C. The thermal modification increases the crystallinity of wood and the thickness of cellulose crystallites but does not influence the MFA distribution. When the modification temperature was 230 °C and time 4 h, the thickness of the cellulose crystallites increased from 31 Å to 34 Å.
  • Poudel, Arati; Poudel, Arati (2015)
    It has been globally accepted that women are integral part of the society and we should leave no stone unturned to empower them. In spite of this global consensus, in many parts of the world, women are marginalized and treated unequally. Nepal, one of the poorest countries by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita, is not an exception and faces multitude of challenges with regard to women. Decade long civil war left many women widowed and made them even more vulnerable. The aim of this thesis is to assess the level of participation in decision making of those war widows from Nepal. The study is based on the primary data collected in from four districts in Nepal from November 2011 to February 2012. Participation in decision making is used as a dependent variable and four socioeconomic measures are used as independent variables. Binary regression model was used to calculate the odds ratios in the final model. The results showed that human poverty measures affect the most in decision making among war widows in Nepal. Specifically, social restriction was found to be the main factor that is limiting participation in decision making. Lack of education and early age marriage were also found to diminish participation in decision making.