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  • Lilja-Maula, Liisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Canine idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (CIPF) is an incurable fibrosing lung disease occurring mainly in West Highland White Terriers (WHWTs). The clinical picture of CIPF has many similarities with human idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Signs include dry cough, exercise intolerance, and respiratory difficulties. Prognosis for CIPF and human IPF is poor, and only limited treatment options are available. Histopathological CIPF shares features of both human usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP), the pathological counterpart of human IPF, and other human idiopathic interstitial pneumonia, the non-specific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP). Chronic bronchitis (CB) is the main differential diagnosis for CIPF, but antemortem differentiation can be challenging, as surgical lung biopsies are seldom taken and no clinically useful biomarkers are currently available. The natural history of CIPF has not been previously studied and little is known about the molecular pathophysiology of CIPF. This thesis describes the clinical course, survival, and evaluation of exercise intolerance using the 6-minute walk test in CIPF WHWTs. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) protein expression was studied to find potential biomarkers for CIPF, and aspects of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β related molecular pathways in pathogenesis of CIPF were investigated. In addition, results of TGF-β signaling activity and its known extracellular matrix (ECM) regulatory proteins, latent TGF-β binding protein (LTBP)-1 and fibrillin-2, in CIPF were compared with findings in human IPF/UIP and NSIP. The follow-up study showed that CIPF has a significant negative impact on life expectancy of diseased dogs. The median CIPF-specific survival after onset of clinical signs in WHWTs was 2.7 years, but individual survival varied considerably from only a few months to over 4 years. This variance indicates that CIPF may have either a slow or a rapid disease progression, as also seen in human IPF. In addition, during the disease course acute exacerbations (AEs) occurred. The 6-minute walk distance proved to be an easy and noninvasive parameter to evaluate lung function and level of exercise intolerance in CIPF WHWTs. No significant prognostic factors were identified. The quantitative comparison of BALF proteomes obtained from CIPF WHWTs, CB dogs, and healthy dogs revealed similar changes for CIPF and CB, which suggests a common response to disease processes in these otherwise different lung diseases. Specific biomarkers for CIPF were not identified. The immunohistochemical stainings suggested that increased TGF-β signaling and its ECM regulatory proteins LTBP-1 and fibrillin-2 are part of the molecular pathophysiology of CIPF, as also seen in human IPF/UIP and NSIP. We demonstrated strong expression of activin B, a member of the TGF-β superfamily, in the altered alveolar epithelium of WHWTs with CIPF. Furthermore, activin B was detected in BALF of CIPF WHWTs, most notably in samples from dogs with AE, but not in BALF of healthy WHWTs. This novel finding suggests that activin B is part of the CIPF pathophysiology and might act as a potential marker of alveolar epithelial damage. Our findings add important new knowledge about the natural history and molecular pathophysiology of CIPF in WHWTs and show similarities between CIPF and human IPF. Better understanding of the complex pathogenesis of CIPF and human IPF is crucial for developing novel diagnostic tools and treatment strategies for these yet incurable diseases.
  • Ahonen, Saija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    The availability of the genome sequence and genomic tools combined with the unique phenotypic diversity and breed structure has increased interest in dog as a large, physiologically relevant animal model for human genetic research. Dogs suffer from hundreds of hereditary conditions of which many resemble closely disorders in humans. Investigation of the genetic background of these conditions is important to understand the disease mechanisms and pathways for therapeutic options, to identify novel candidate genes for corresponding human conditions, and to inform the breeding programs. Remarkable resources have been established in the University of Helsinki for canine genetic research, including one of the largest canine DNA banks. This study has focused on degenerative eye diseases of unknown genetic cause. We combined efforts in basic and clinical veterinary research with a unique network of collaboration with dog breeders and owners to establish clinically relevant study cohorts for two types of retinal degeneration in Papillon and Phaléne, and in Swedish Vallhund, SV breeds and two different types of glaucoma in Dandie Dinmont Terriers, DDT and Norwegian Elkhounds, NE. Genome wide approaches with the latest genomic tools, including SNP arrays and exome sequencing were then utilized to identify causative loci and genes. We report breakthroughs in all projects and highlight shared molecular etiologies in canine and human vision disorders. The cause of the retinal degeneration in Papillons and Phalénes was found in the CNGB1 gene, which is important for the rod cell function and has been linked before to human retinal degenerations. A unique type of multifocal retinal degeneration was described in SV with association to the upregulation of the MERTK gene. MERTK mutations cause also retinal degeneration in humans. DDTs were found to present a primary closed angle glaucoma (PACG) with severe pectinate ligament dysplasia (PLD). The disease was mapped to a region on canine chromosome 8, which is syntenic to human chromosome 14 with multiple glaucoma loci. However, further studies are required to identify the causative mutation. Finally, we found that the primary glaucoma in NEs is caused by a missense mutation in the ADAMTS10 gene. This gene has been associated with a Weill-Marchesani syndrome (WMS) with ocular and non-ocular abnormalities in humans. This study provides new candidate genes, and mechanisms for human eye disorders, and has identified models for potential therapeutic trials. At the same time breeding programs benefit from novel gene tests to eradicate the blinding conditions from the studied breeds.
  • Lukkarinen, Vaula (2014)
    Northern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis L.) (NWC) swamps are valuable both commercially and ecologically. Unfortunately, many NWC swamps are degraded and information about them is not abundant. Especially there have been no definitive studies about mosses in northern white cedar swamps and how they react to disturbances. Mosses are sensitive to changes in their environment and thus they could be used to assess ecosystem conditions of NWC swamps. The objective of this study was to determine if mosses could be used to asses conditions in NWC swamps and if there are differences between moss communities in disturbed and undisturbed sites. Seventeen sample plots were taken from 12 disturbed and undisturbed sites around upper Michigan and northern Minnesota in the summer of 2012. All mosses occurring on the plots were identified and several associated environmental parameters were measured. The main environmental conditions affecting moss communities were identified with non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMS). Multiple response permutation procedures (MRPP) were run to ascertain if there were significant differences in community composition between disturbances. Indicator species analysis was then done to identify species that are related to different types of disturbances. A one-way ANOVA was used to check for significant differences between species richness and moss cover of undisturbed and disturbed sites. Over all sixty-two moss species were identified. The results indicate that there was no significant difference in species richness or moss cover between disturbed and undisturbed sites. However, moss community composition was affected by disturbance and strongly divided by a wetness gradient. Dicranum fuscescens was found to indicate undisturbed conditions. Calliergon cordifolium and Climacium dendroides indicated disturbed sites with wet conditions. Brotherella recurvans and Eurhynchium pulchellum indicated swamps with other disturbances.
  • Schultner, Eva (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    In complex societies like ant colonies individuals cooperate in the aim of maximizing offspring production. But cooperation is only flawless from afar. In fact, because adults can differ in their relatedness to brood they often have contrasting inclusive fitness interests, which may lead to outbreaks of social conflict. However, although conflicts in ant colonies typically arise over offspring production, the role of offspring as actors in social conflict has received little attention. The primary aim of this thesis was to investigate the role of larvae in ant societies, with particular emphasis on selfish larval behavior in the form of egg cannibalism. This thesis demonstrates that Formica ant larvae readily engage in egg cannibalism. Egg consumption allows larvae to increase survival and positively affects the expression of key growth-related genes. Levels of cannibalism across species decrease when relatedness between larvae and eggs is high, which suggests that cannibalism is a selfish trait that can underlie social control. Cannibalism appears to be plastic in F. aquilonia, where levels increase when larvae are presented with foreign eggs compared to sibling eggs. In addition, cannibalism intensity is highly dependent on larvae sex and size across eight species. I conclude that ant larvae are far from powerless. Instead, cannibalism may allow larvae to influence important determinants of individual fitness such as caste fate or size. By consuming eggs, larvae may furthermore affect overall colony fitness. For the first time, this thesis identifies larvae as individuals with selfish interests that have the power to act in social conflict, thus adding a new dimension to our understanding of colony dynamics in social insects. In order to understand how relatedness between individuals potentially impacts conflict in ant societies on a larger scale, this thesis furthermore focuses on the genetic network of native wood ant populations. The societies of these ants consist of many interconnected nests with hundreds of reproductive queens, where individuals move freely between nests and cooperate across nest boundaries. The combination of high queen numbers and free mixing of individuals results in extremely low relatedness within these so-called supercolonies. Here, cooperative worker behavior appears maladaptive because it may aid random individuals instead of relatives. I use network analysis to test for spatial and temporal variation in genetic structure, in order to provide a comprehensive picture of genetic substructure in native wood ant populations. I find that relatedness within supercolonies is low but positive when viewed on a population level, which may be due to limited dispersal range of individuals and ecological factors such as nest site limitation and competition against conspecifics. Genetic network analysis thus provides novel evidence that ant supercolonies can exhibit fine-scale genetic substructure, which may explain the maintenance of cooperation in these low-relatedness societies. Overall, these results offer a new perspective on the stability of cooperation in ant societies, and will hopefully contribute to our understanding of the evolutionary forces governing the balance between cooperation and conflict in other complex social systems.
  • Laakkonen, Johanna (2008)
    The study explores the first appearances of Russian ballet dancers on the stages of northern Europe in 1908 1910, particularly the performances organized by a Finnish impresario, Edvard Fazer, in Helsinki, Stockholm, Copenhagen and Berlin. The company, which consisted of dancers from the Imperial Theatres of St. Petersburg, travelled under the name The Imperial Russian Ballet of St. Petersburg. The Imperial Russian Ballet gave more than seventy performances altogether during its tours of Finland, Sweden, Denmark and central Europe. The synchronic approach of the study covers the various cities as well as genres and thus stretches the rather rigid geographical and genre boundaries of dance historiography. The study also explores the role of the canon in dance history, revealing some of the diversity which underlies the standard canonical interpretation of early twentieth-century Russian ballet by bringing in source material from the archives of northern Europe. Issues like the central position of written documentation, the importance of geographical centres, the emphasis on novelty and reformers and the short and narrow scholarly tradition have affected the formation of the dance history canon in the west, often imposing limits on the historians and narrowing the scope of research. The analysis of the tours concentrates on four themes: virtuosity, character dancing, the idea of the expressive body, and the controversy over ballet and new dance. The debate concerning the old and new within ballet is also touched upon. These issues are discussed in connection with each city, but are stressed differently depending on the local art scene. In Copenhagen, the strong local canon based on August Bournonville s works influenced the Danish criticism of Russian ballet. In Helsinki, Stockholm and Berlin, the lack of a solid local canon made critics and audiences more open to new influences, and ballet was discussed in a much broader cultural context than that provided by the local ballet tradition. The contemporary interest in the more natural, expressive human body, emerging both in theatre and dance, was an international trend that also influenced the way ballet was discussed. Character dancing, now at low ebb, played a central role in the success of the Imperial Russian Ballet, not only because of its exoticism but also because it was considered to echo the kind of performing body represented by new dance forms. By exploring this genre and its dancers, the thesis brings to light artists who are less known in the current dance history canon, but who made considerable careers in their own time.
  • Närhi, Katja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    Although mammary glands and hair are morphologically and functionally different organs, they share similar early developmental features and arise from ectoderm like other skin appendages. Their development begins by the formation of an epithelial placode and a mesenchymal dermal condensate and crosstalk between these tissue compartments directs the subsequent developmental steps resulting in epithelial morphogenesis and the generation of specific organ shapes. Different types of hair filaments are observed in various anatomical regions and are produced by hair follicles consisting of several epithelial cell layers and a dermal papilla. The mammary gland is constructed of a nipple rising above the skin and the glandular mammary tree producing milk. Both organs continue development postnatally; new hair is produced by repeated hair cycles lasting throughout the lifetime and postpubertal mammary ductal tree is remodelled upon pregnancy and following lactation and involution. Handful of conserved signaling pathways guides both the embryonic and postnatal developmental steps of skin appendages. Hair and mammary gland development are especially known to depend on signals from the -catenin-mediated Wnt pathway. The Wnt pathway is highly complex with multiple ligands, receptors and signaling modulators, and cross-talk with other signaling pathways is apparent. Here, I have examined the role of Wnt signaling in hair and mammary gland patterning and development and its relationship to other signaling molecules within this context. The study has involved three different mouse models in which Wnt signaling is modulated either by continuous activation of -catenin, inactivation of the Wnt and Bmp pathway regulator Sostdc1, or ablation of a Wnt target gene, Fgf20. Continuous Wnt/-catenin signaling in embryonic ectoderm in Catnbex3K14/+ mice caused precocious hair development and, the formation of ectopic and mispatterned hair placodes showing disturbed morphogenesis and hair filament formation. Fgf20-null mice showed a surprisingly early hair phenotype with a loss of expression of several dermal condensate markers but presence of grossly normal morphological patterning of placodes with altered placode marker expression patterns. Loss of Sostdc1 had very mild effects on pelage hair development but interestingly, Sostdc1 appears to play a role in determing correct vibrissal hair and nipple number and the regulation of mammary bud size/form, plausibly through inhibiting Wnt signaling.
  • Launiainen, Samuli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    Interaction between forests and the atmosphere occurs by radiative and turbulent transport. The fluxes of energy and mass between surface and the atmosphere directly influence the properties of the lower atmosphere and in longer time scales the global climate. Boreal forest ecosystems are central in the global climate system, and its responses to human activities, because they are significant sources and sinks of greenhouse gases and of aerosol particles. The aim of the present work was to improve our understanding on the existing interplay between biologically active canopy, microenvironment and turbulent flow and quantify. In specific, the aim was to quantify the contribution of different canopy layers to whole forest fluxes. For this purpose, long-term micrometeorological and ecological measurements made in a Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) forest at SMEAR II research station in Southern Finland were used. The properties of turbulent flow are strongly modified by the interaction between the canopy elements: momentum is efficiently absorbed in the upper layers of the canopy, mean wind speed and turbulence intensities decrease rapidly towards the forest floor and power spectra is modulated by spectral short-cut . In the relative open forest, diabatic stability above the canopy explained much of the changes in velocity statistics within the canopy except in strongly stable stratification. Large eddies, ranging from tens to hundred meters in size, were responsible for the major fraction of turbulent transport between a forest and the atmosphere. Because of this, the eddy-covariance (EC) method proved to be successful for measuring energy and mass exchange inside a forest canopy with exception of strongly stable conditions. Vertical variations of within canopy microclimate, light attenuation in particular, affect strongly the assimilation and transpiration rates. According to model simulations, assimilation rate decreases with height more rapidly than stomatal conductance (gs) and transpiration and, consequently, the vertical source-sink distributions for carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor (H2O) diverge. Upscaling from a shoot scale to canopy scale was found to be sensitive to chosen stomatal control description. The upscaled canopy level CO2 fluxes can vary as much as 15 % and H2O fluxes 30 % even if the gs models are calibrated against same leaf-level dataset. A pine forest has distinct overstory and understory layers, which both contribute significantly to canopy scale fluxes. The forest floor vegetation and soil accounted between 18 and 25 % of evapotranspiration and between 10 and 20 % of sensible heat exchange. Forest floor was also an important deposition surface for aerosol particles; between 10 and 35 % of dry deposition of particles within size range 10 30 nm occurred there. Because of the northern latitudes, seasonal cycle of climatic factors strongly influence the surface fluxes. Besides the seasonal constraints, partitioning of available energy to sensible and latent heat depends, through stomatal control, on the physiological state of the vegetation. In spring, available energy is consumed mainly as sensible heat and latent heat flux peaked about two months later, in July August. On the other hand, annual evapotranspiration remains rather stable over range of environmental conditions and thus any increase of accumulated radiation affects primarily the sensible heat exchange. Finally, autumn temperature had strong effect on ecosystem respiration but its influence on photosynthetic CO2 uptake was restricted by low radiation levels. Therefore, the projected autumn warming in the coming decades will presumably reduce the positive effects of earlier spring recovery in terms of carbon uptake potential of boreal forests.
  • Wilkman, Maria (2015)
    The aim of this empirical study is to analyse whether announcements by Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s and Fitch Ratings regarding the credit rating of Ukraine and Russia can explain the movements in the yield spreads on their government bonds during 1st January 2010 – 6th February 2015. The motivation for this research question derives from the results of previous empirical studies, which have found that announcements by the three credit rating agencies regarding the sovereign rating of a country impact the country’s borrowing costs. Particularly negative rating news, concerning either a downgrade or the assignment of a negative outlook to the rating, have been found to impact yield spreads, leading to increased borrowing costs for the country. Against this background, this study analyses whether the many negative announcements from the credit rating agencies regarding the Ukrainian and Russian sovereign ratings can explain the large increases in the countries’ government bond yield spreads since 2010. The methodology used in the empirical study is based on regression analysis, which incorporates an event study through the use of dummy variables. The overall findings indicate that announcements from the rating agencies affect the government borrowing costs of the country concerned, as the results show a statistically significant impact of the announcement events on the country’s bond yield spreads. However, as the impact of the events on the yield spreads is considerably smaller in magnitude than the movements in the spreads, the results indicate that factors other than the rating agency announcements are driving the large increases in the Ukrainian and Russian borrowing costs. The conclusion of the study is therefore that although some of the announcements are found to be statistically significant, the rating events alone cannot explain the movements in the yield spreads on the countries’ government bonds during 1st January 2010 – 6th February 2015. Contrary to previous studies, the results show no clear evidence that negative events affect yield spreads to a greater extent than positive events. There is also no considerable difference in the impact on the yield spreads between announcements by the different agencies. In terms of the magnitude of the impact of rating events on yield spreads, the results of this study are largely in line with previous findings in the literature. The analysis of the relationship between credit rating announcements and government bond yield spreads for Ukraine and Russia since 2010 presented in this paper is divided into five chapters, which approach the research question from different perspectives. Chapter one provides the necessary background for the analysis and offers a theoretical explanation for why announcements by the rating agencies may impact the yield spreads on a country’s government bonds. Chapter two presents an overview of the empirical literature on the topic; three previous papers which use event study analysis to investigate the impact of rating agency announcements on government yield spreads are discussed and evaluated. Against this background, chapter three describes the empirical methodology used in this paper to study the relationship between Ukrainian and Russian credit rating announcements and yield spreads; the data set on which the analysis is based is introduced in chapter four. The results of the analysis are discussed in chapter five, followed by concluding remarks.
  • Valve, Heikki (2012)
    Tässä tutkielmassa tarkastellaan Cantorin joukkoa ja sen soveltamista muutamiin matemaattisiin tarkoituksiin. Cantorin joukon määrittelyssä otetaan huomioon sen monet topologiset ominaisuudet. Tarkoituksena on muotoilla Cantorin joukkoon liittyvät matemaattiset erikoisuudet mahdollisimman ymmärrettävällä tavalla matematiikkaa vain vähän opiskelleelle. Cantorin joukko on hämmentänyt matemaatikkoja sen ensimmäisestä esiintymisestä lähtien. Joukko muodostetaan vaiheittain poistamalla yksikkövälistä [0, 1] avoimia kolmanneksia. Prosessin ensimmäisessä vaiheessa välistä [0, 1] poistetaan väli (1/3, 2/3). Seuraavassa vaiheessa kahdesta välistä [0, 1/3] ja [2/3, 1] poistetaan jälleen niiden keskimmäiset kolmannekset eli välit (1/9, 2/9) ja (7/9, 8/9). Kun tätä prosessia jatketaan loputtamasti, välistä [0, 1] lopulta jäljelle jäävät pisteet muodostavat Cantorin joukon. Cantorin joukkoon kuuluvat ainakin kaikkien poistettujen välien päätepisteet. Yhtenä joukon erikoisuutena on kuitenkin se, että siihen kuuluu vielä ylinumeroituvasti ääretön määrä pisteitä, jotka eivät ole poistettujen välien päätepisteitä. Tämän seurauksena myös Cantorin joukko on siis ylinumeroituvasti ääretön. Topologiset ominaisuudet ovat Cantorin joukolla myös erikoisia. Voidaan osoittaa, että joukolla ei ole sisäpisteitä eli pisteitä, joilla olisi jokin Cantorin joukkoon kuuluva ympäristö. Lisäksi voidaan osoittaa, että jokainen Cantorin joukon piste on kasautumispiste eli piste, jonka jokaisessa ympäristössä on jokin toinen Cantorin joukon piste. Pirunporrasfunktionakin tunnetun Cantorin funktion lähtö- ja maalijoukko on yksikköväli [0, 1] eli gamma : [0, 1] -> [0, 1]. Funktion määrittely aloitetaan kuitenkin usein Cantorin joukon avulla. Nimen pirunporrasfunktio on saanut portaikkoa muistuttavasta kuvaajastaan. Vaikka gamma muistuttaa portaikkoa ja ensisilmäyksellä vaikuttaa katkonaiselta, niin se on kuitenkin jatkuva ja jopa tasaisesti jatkuva. Viimeisenä asiana tässä tutkielmassa esitetään lyhyesti Cantorin joukkoon liittyvä Lebesguen käyrä. Lebesguen käyrää sanotaan avaruuden täyttäväksi käyräksi, koska se kulkee jokaisen maalijoukkonsa, tässä tapauksessa yksikköneliön [0; 1] x [0; 1], pisteen kautta.
  • Tschamurov, Viveka (2013)
    A model is been built where two countries compete for a multinational enterprise’s (MNE’s) foreign direct investment (FDI) provided that its arrival will increase the host country’s social welfare. Both potential host countries have unionised labour markets where monopoly labour unions determine the level of the wage setting to be either decentralised, intermediate level, or centralised. The governments may influence the unions’ decision by setting a lump-sum tax on them. Both countries have two sectors, a non-sheltered and sheltered sector. The MNE will enter in the non-sheltered sector and is assumed to be more productive than the incumbent firms there. Product market competition between the MNE and domestic incumbent firms is ruled out to isolate the effect of product market competition from the effect of pure wage compression. The game evolves in five stages: (1) the governments set taxes, (2) the monopoly unions choose the level of the wage setting, (3) the MNE chooses its investment location, (4) the monopoly unions set wages, and (5) the firms set output. The purpose of the model is to learn whether the degree of centralisation of wage setting can be used as a strategic choice to attract foreign direct investment. The main results of the paper are the following. It was found that the MNE’s (incumbent unions’) most preferred choice is always centralised (decentralised) wage setting. It was shown that the governments’ most preferred choice is either decentralised or centralised wage setting – depending on the relative sizes of the two sectors. If the social welfare in country 1 is the highest under decentralised wage setting, then the optimal policy of government 1 is to set zero income taxes. If the social welfare in country 2 is the highest under centralised wage setting, then the optimal policy of government 2 is to set positive taxes slightly over that required to make the domestic incumbent labour unions prefer centralised wage setting. Given this, the MNE will always invest in country 2. The exact expressions for the stage-contingent lump-sum taxes were derived. To my best knowledge, this is a novel contribution that cannot be found elsewhere.
  • D'Ulivo, Lucia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    This doctoral thesis describes the development of a miniaturized capillary electrochromatography (CEC) technique suitable for the study of interactions between various nanodomains of biological importance. The particular focus of the study was low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles and their interaction with components of the extracellular matrix (ECM). LDL transports cholesterol to the tissues through the blood circulation, but when the LDL level becomes too high the particles begin to permeate and accumulate in the arteries. Through binding sites on apolipoprotein B-100 (apoB-100), LDL interacts with components of the ECM, such as proteoglycans (PGs) and collagen, in what is considered the key mechanism in the retention of lipoproteins and onset of atherosclerosis. Hydrolytic enzymes and oxidizing agents in the ECM may later successively degrade the LDL surface. Metabolic diseases such as diabetes may provoke damage of the ECM structure through the non-enzymatic reaction of glucose with collagen. In this work, fused silica capillaries of 50 micrometer i.d. were successfully coated with LDL and collagen, and steroids and apoB-100 peptide fragments were introduced as model compounds for interaction studies. The LDL coating was modified with copper sulphate or hydrolytic enzymes, and the interactions of steroids with the native and oxidized lipoproteins were studied. Lipids were also removed from the LDL particle coating leaving behind an apoB-100 surface for further studies. The development of collagen and collagen decorin coatings was helpful in the elucidation of the interactions of apoB-100 peptide fragments with the primary ECM component, collagen. Furthermore, the collagen I coating provided a good platform for glycation studies and for clarification of LDL interactions with native and modified collagen. All methods developed are inexpensive, requiring just small amounts of biomaterial. Moreover, the experimental conditions in CEC are easily modified, and the analyses can be carried out in a reasonable time frame. Other techniques were employed to support and complement the CEC studies. Scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy provided crucial visual information about the native and modified coatings. Asymmetrical flow field-flow fractionation enabled size measurements of the modified lipoproteins. Finally, the CEC results were exploited to develop new sensor chips for a continuous flow quartz crystal microbalance technique, which provided complementary information about LDL ECM interactions. This thesis demonstrates the potential of CEC as a valuable and flexible technique for surface interaction studies. Further, CEC can serve as a novel microreactor for the in situ modification of LDL and collagen coatings. The coatings developed in this study provide useful platforms for a diversity of future investigations on biological nanodomains.
  • Owusu, Henry (2000)
    That the financial system is an important source of instability and the propagation mechanism for cyclical fluctuations has come to the fore in the face of the Asian financial crisis. Many economist have argued that, the unregulated operation of the financial markets can lead to excessive fluctuations even in the absense of shocks impinging on the rest of the economy. The study analyses the effects of financial market integration in developing market economies. The basic model is a dynamic open-economy model with two inputs; tradable and non-tradable inputs being used in production and a credit-constraint as to the amount of credit firms' can borrow. We first show that economies at an intermediate level of financial development are more vulnerable to instability than either advanced or least developed economies. In these economies, temporary shocks may have large and long lasting effects. However, there is a limit to which such economies may cycle. This suggests that countries going through financial restructuring may become unstable in the short run. In addition, combining capital market imperfections and unequal access to investment opportunities for individuals can lead to permanent fluctuations in income and investment. Thus governments should aim at reducing inequality of access to credit which may be necessary for macroeconomic stability. Aside the above, other factors such as increases in interest rates, increased uncertainty,and assest market effects on balance sheets may impinge on the stability of small economies. These calls for countercyclical policies targeted at specific problems to be implemented in order to put the economy on a sound footing, for example, during recessions.
  • Eriksson, Einar (1994)
    Capnocytophaga cynodegmi löytyi 9:stä eläimestä (26%) ja C.canimorsus 5:sta (14%) 35 kissan otoksestamme. Rapid-paneelit olivat nopeat ja helppokäyttöiset. Testisarjojen antamat tulokset on esitetty taulukoissa 2A - 4B. C. cynodegmikantojen "mikrokoodeja" ei löytynyt valmistajan käsikirjasta. C. canimorsus antoi satunnaisesti saman mikrokoodin kuin Gardenella vaginalis, mutta bakteerit ovat helposti erotettavissa toisistaan, koska G. vaginalis on aina katalaasinegatiivinen. Sakkaroositestinsä ansiosta Rapid NH kykeni erottamaan C. cynodegmin ja C. canimorsuksen toisistaan, mihin Rapid NF+ ei kunnolla pystynyt. Rapid NF+ erotti kuitenkin eläinperäiset Capnocytophagat muista testitietokantaan kuuluvista bakteereista. Mikäli valmistaja lisäisi kyseiset mikrokoodit luetteloihinsa, eläinperäisten Capnocytophagojen identifioiminen olisi nykyistä huomattavasti nopeampaa (4 h verrattuna 5-7 päivään). Bakteeri pystyttäisiin löytämään useammin kuin ennen, sillä usein verilevyt hävitetään 3 vrk:n inkubaation jälkeen, vaikka Capnocytophagat kasvavat silmin näkyviksi pesäkkeiksi CO2-atmosfäärissäkin vasta n. 5 vrk:ssa. Harvinaisia bakteereita ei laboratorioissa monesti osata lainkaan epäillä. Mikäli DF-2-bakteerien nimi tulisi "automaattisesti" kaupallisen testisarjan tiedostosta, niiden tunnistus osuisi oikeaan nykyistä selvästi useammin.
  • Liljeroos, Lassi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    Paramyxoviridae constitute a family of pleomorphic, enveloped viruses including several human pathogens. Understanding of the structure and assembly of paramyxoviruses has been hindered by the lack of whole-virion three-dimensional structures. In this work, measles and human respiratory syncytial viruses were studied with three-dimensional electron microscopy and biochemical analysis of recombinant proteins. The analysis revealed significant differences in the structure and assembly of the two viruses. The differences were most notable in the way the matrix protein, the main factor driving budding from host cell, was organized inside the virions. In measles virions, the matrix was found to cover the genome-containing ribonucleocapsid, whereas in human respiratory syncytial virus the matrix was lining the inner surface of the membrane vesicle. These differences have implications on models of how each ribonucleoprotein complex assembles and how the viruses bud from the host cell. The early control of measles ribonucleoprotein assembly was subsequently investigated to further reveal the details of the precise manner in which the intricate molecular ballet of viral assembly is orchestrated inside the host cell. The results presented in this thesis expand the understanding of enveloped virus structure and assembly, which is important in rational approaches to fight the pathogenic members in the group.
  • Stenvall, Maija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    The thesis explores the discourse of two global news agencies, the Associated Press (AP) and Reuters, which together with the French AFP are generally regarded as the world s leading news distributors. A glance at the guidelines given by AP and Reuters to their journalists shows that these two news agencies make a lot of effort to strive for objectivity the well-known journalistic ideal, which, however, is an almost indefinable concept. In journalism textbooks definitions of objectivity often contain various components: detachment, nonpartisanship, facticity, balance, etc. AP and Reuters, too, in their guidelines, present several other ideals besides objectivity , viz., reliability, accuracy, balance, freedom from bias, precise sourcing, reporting the truth, and so on. Other central concepts connected to objectivity are neutrality and impartiality. However, objectivity is, undoubtedly, the term that is most often mentioned when the ethics of journalism is discussed, acting as a kind of umbrella term for several related journalistic ideals. It can even encompass the other concept that is relevant for this study, that of factuality. These two intertwined concepts are extremely complex; paradoxically, it is easier to show evidence of the lack of objectivity or factuality than of their existence. I argue that when journalists conform to the deep-rooted conventions of objective news reporting, facts may be blurred, and the language becomes vague and ambiguous. As global distributors of news, AP and Reuters have had an influential role in creating and reinforcing conventions of (at least English-language) news writing. These conventions can be seen to work at various levels of news reporting: the ideological (e.g., defining what is regarded as newsworthy, or who is responsible), structural (e.g., the well-known inverted pyramid model), and stylistic (e.g., presupposing that in hard news reports, the journalist s voice should be backgrounded). On the basis of my case studies, I have found four central conventions to be worthy of closer examination: the conventional structure of news reports, the importance of newsworthiness, the tactics of impersonalisation which tends to blur news actors responsibility, and the routines of presenting emotions. My linguistic analyses draw mainly on M.A.K. Halliday s Systemic Functional Grammar, on notions of transitivity, ergativity, nominalisation and grammatical metaphor. The Appraisal framework, too, has provided useful tools for my analyses. The thesis includes six case studies dealing with the following topics: metaphors in political reporting, terrorism discourse, terrorism fears, emotions more generally, unnamed sources as rhetorical constructs, and responsibility in the convention of attribution.
  • Rainio, Johanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    Growing human populations and increasing exploitation of natural resources threaten nature all over the world. Tropical countries are especially vulnerable to human impact because of the high number of species, most of these endemic and still unknown. Madagascar is one of the centers of high biodiversity and renowned for its unique species. However, during the last centuries many endemic species have gone extinct and more are endangered. Because of high natural values, Madagascar is one of the global conservation priorities. The establishment of Ranomafana National Park (RNP) was intended to preserve the unique nature of Madagascar. Containing several endemic and threatened species, Ranomafana has been selected as one of UNESCO’s World Natural Heritage sites. However, due to strong human pressures the region immediately surroundings the protected area has severely degraded. Aims of this thesis were to inventory carabid fauna in RNP and evaluate their use as indicators of the environmental change. Carabid beetles were collected from protected area (secondary and primary forests) and from its degraded surrounding area. Collecting was mostly conducted by hand during years 2000-2005. Species compositions between the protected area and its surroundings were compared, and species habitat preferences and seasonal variations were studied. In total, 4498 individuals representing 127 carabid species (of which 38 are new species) were collected. Species compositions within and outside of the protected area were markedly different. Most of the species preferred forest as their primary habitat and were mainly collected from trees and bushes. Their value as indicators is based on their different habitat requirements and sensitivity to environmental variables. Some of the species were found only in the protected forest, some occupied also the degraded forests and some preferred open areas. Carabid fauna is very species rich in Ranomafana and there are still many species to be found. Most of the species are arboreal and probably cannot survive in the deforested areas outside the park. This is very likely also the case for other species. Establishment and continued protection of RNP is probably the only way to conserve this globally important area. However, new occupations and land use methods are urgently needed by the local people for improving their own lives while maintaining the forest intact.
  • Kolari, Pasi (2010)
    The forest vegetation takes up atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) in photosynthesis. Part of the fixed carbon is released back into the atmosphere during plant respiration but a substantial part is stored as plant biomass, especially in the stems of trees. Carbon also accumulates in the soil as litter and via the roots. CO2 is released into the atmosphere from these carbon stocks in the decomposition of dead biomass. Carbon balance of a forest stand is the difference between the CO2 uptake and CO2 efflux. This study quantifies and analyses the dynamics of carbon balance and component CO2 fluxes in four Southern Finnish Scots pine stands that covered the typical economic rotation time of 80 years. The study was based on direct flux measurements with chambers and eddy covariance (EC), and modelling of component CO2 fluxes. The net CO2 exchange of the stand was partitioned into component fluxes: photosynthesis of trees and ground vegetation, respiration of tree foliage and stems, and CO2 efflux from the soil. The relationships between the component fluxes and the environmental factors (light, temperature, atmospheric CO2, air humidity and soil moisture) were studied with mathematical modelling. The annual CO2 balance varied from a source of about 400 g C/m2 at a recently clearcut site to net CO2 uptake of 200 300 g C/m2 in a middle-aged (40-year-old) and a mature (75-year-old) stand. A 12-year-old sapling site was at the turning point from source to a sink of CO2. In the middle-aged stand, photosynthetic production was dominated by trees. Under closed pine canopies, ground vegetation accounted for 10 20% of stand photosynthesis whereas at the open sites the proportion and also the absolute photosynthesis of ground vegetation was much higher. The aboveground respiration was dominated by tree foliage which accounted for one third of the ecosystem respiration. Rate of wood respiration was in the order of 10% of total ecosystem respiration. CO2 efflux from the soil dominated the ecosystem respiratory fluxes in all phases of stand development. Instantaneous and delayed responses to the environmental driving factors could predict well within-year variability in photosynthetic production: In the short term and during the growing season photosynthesis follows primarily light while the seasonal variation is more strongly connected to temperature. The temperature relationship of the annual cycle of photosynthesis was found to be almost equal in the southern boreal zone and at the timberline in the northern boreal zone. The respiratory fluxes showed instantaneous and seasonal temperature relationships but they could also be connected to photosynthesis at an annual timescale.